Behold, I am making all things new. – Revelation 21:5
The resurrection affects everything. When Jesus rose from the dead to defeat sin, death, and evil, he overcame everything affected by the fall. Jesus is the first of a kind, not only a new kind of person but a new creation:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. – Revelation 21:1
This is the promise of a new environment, no longer ruined by human exploitation. This is the promise of peace in a world that will no longer be ravaged by war. The resurrection of Christ is the teaser trailer of a whole new creation. His new corporeal quality is a foretaste of things to come.
The Bible also tells us that the new creation is circumscribed with a holy city teeming with cultural life. The kings of the earth bring their cultural tribute into the kingdom to lie at the feet of King Jesus (Revelation 21:22-27; see also Isaiah 60). Some of the highest achievements of human culture are present in the new world. We should expect innovative technology, great works of art, and stunning architecture. Who knows? Perhaps we will have access to improved space (even time) travel, unhindered viewings of the Mona Lisa, and unrestricted access to Machu Picchu. Whatever it will be like, it will be truly awesome. The new creation will be populated by a resurrected people amidst a kaleidoscope of culture in the joyful service of King Jesus. This renewed creation is our future and our present. In Christ, God is currently making all things new. He is bringing the future into the present. How?
Where do we get the power to live such radical lives in the present, to be a bustling, creative, comforting, creation-renewing people? Where do we get the power to bring the future into the present? It comes from a powerful idea, an idea like the one described in the film Inception. This idea that “rewrites all the rules” is the idea of the gospel, the good news that Jesus has defeated sin, death, and evil through His own death and resurrection and is making all things new, even us. The power for a new creation comes through the one, true Human who remakes the world from the inside out.
In the resurrection, Jesus rolls the future back, a new creation, to start it right in the middle of history. He has begun the new creation. The power of the new creation is available to anyone who will receive it by faith. Jesus will take your old and give you new, remove your ugly and give you beauty, take your sin and give you righteousness, absorb your death and give you His life. This is the great hope of the gospel:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Now is new creation. The choice is ours, every single day: to believe the old or be the new. Will you live like Saito in Inception, dying an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone? Or will you take an informed “leap of faith” to believe in the resurrected Christ?
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Excerpted with permission from Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection by Jonathan K. Dodson and Brad Watson, copyright Zondervan.
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