Easter has passed, but I am reflecting on the message and meaning of Easter – bearing in mind the Covid-19 crisis and the pressure this places on us. I am aware of the pressure this can put on us – both for ourselves, for people we know and love and even for complete strangers whose needs are shouting at us through our televisions, our smartphones, our computers and our radios.
What I mean by ‘The Uploaded Life’ is a way of living that is consistent with what is true about what God the Father has done for us through God the Son. If we can live The Uploaded Life, we will be well equipped to cope not just with this current crisis, but any crisis. Also, The Uploaded Life will be noticed by other people and will a fantastic witness to the reality that Jesus is our saviour, and The Uploaded Life is available to anyone and everyone who wants it.
For me, there’s a bit of a parallel with technology. It is not difficult or super expensive to back up our precious data. If we are backed up well, then the loss, theft, or failure of a laptop or other device doesn’t have to be much more than an inconvenience. But whether or not we back up is basically our decision, it is under our control.
So it is, I feel, with the Christian life. God has made it perfectly possible for us to live in an uploaded way, but this is not automatic – there is some work we have to do, some effort that we need to choose to make.
What struck me is that there are some basic truths from the Bible that need to be grasped.
The first is that, ‘You Are A New Creation’. I base this on what Jesus said to Nicodemus about the need to be born again, born from above, born of the Spirit in John 3:3. Also, in 2 Corinthians 5:17 Paul tells us that anyone who is ‘in Christ’ is a new creation.
The second is that, ‘You Have Access Now To Heaven’. I recall what Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:4-6 about us alrdeay having been raised with Christ and or being seated in heavenly realms with Him. This is not just a truth about our future, it is a truth about our present.
The third and final truth is, ‘You Are A Citizen Of God’s Kingdom’. I base this on Colossians 1:13, where we learn that God has rescued us from one kingdom – the kingdom of darkness – and we have been transferred to God’s kingdom.
Given that powerful truths such as these exist, what is the appropriate response to them? I suggest three responses to these three truths, so that alongside something that’s true, we have something to do. I link something from the Bible to these responses, merely as a suggestion – I am not trying to say there is anything definitive or exhaustive in what I offer next.
In light of the truth that ‘You Are A New Creation’, I was struck by Romans 12:2. I suggest that, since I am new, I have a responsibility for the way that I think.
Given that ‘You Have Access Now To Heaven’, I am reminded of Colossians 3:1&2. I feel a good response is that I should focus on things above.
For the truth, ‘You Are A Citizen Of God’s Kingdom, I was drawn to two sections within the Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:19-21 and 6:33. Jesus is telling us to tresaure Heaven. If Jesus wants me to place a value on Heaven, I sense my reponse should be start investing now into that place.
Here is a graphic where I try to summarise all this:
I will try, in a future post, to sketch out some practical ways we might be able to make progress in these kinds of responses.