“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of Heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of Heaven, not the things of earth.” — Colossians 3:1-2
Here is a quiz for you. Apart from being countries, what do the names Luxemburg, Denmark and Poland have in common? The answer is that each is the name of a small town on the east side of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
What do the words “loose, “print” and “ball” have in common? They are all endings for “foot______.
What do the words “radar,” “solos'” and “level” have in common? They are all palindromes–spelled the same both forward and backward.
More importantly, what do the words “resurrection,” “baptism,” and “above” have in common? They all speak of going from something lower to something higher.
As you think about it, rising from the dead as Jesus did was a literal elevation of an entombed body to a walking, talking, resurrected Savior. “Up from the grave he arose!” exclaims the hymn jubilantly. In baptism, of course, the believer symbolically re-enacts Jesus’ resurrection as he or she surfaces joyfully from the water, a new person in Christ. But as Paul reminds us, those two visual, tangible risings mean little if there is not a third rising–from his baser instincts in which we were once mired, to the transformed behavior of people who have been saved by God’s grace.
To be raised with Christ is to walk a higher road than ever before. It is to leave behind forever our lower self-expectations and “rise to the occasion.” It is to lift our eyes to view with eager anticipation the pristine purity of what we are even now becoming by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit who lives in us…or are we? Is our spiritual elevator going up or down? To believe in Christ’s glorious rising and to participate in a “rising” mirroring His very own is never to automatically guarantee higher hearts and minds.
There must be as daily yielding to Him. There must be a daily dying to self. We will grow and go higher as our glance at Him becomes a gaze…a full-blown focus on the person and purity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Are our hearts and minds “set?” Is our focus and fervency for Christ a fixed reality?