Believers are blessed, and the celebration of Resurrection Day [Easter] commemorates the reason we are blessed. Jesus conquered death, hell, and the grave not for Himself, but for humanity.
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. – John 20:29
The blessing Jesus is speaking about is life. Believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior results in eternal life. That is: life forever in heaven, in fellowship with God your Creator. In our current state of physical life, it is difficult to grasp the meaning of eternal life. Trying to comprehend eternity is like trying to grasp air in your hand. It is there, but difficult to experience.
Amazingly, Jesus adds more blessings on top of eternal life. You might wonder, how can God add to eternity in eternal life? Being God He can, and He does. He gives us an abundant life.
In John 10:10, Jesus says,
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
When Jesus gives us eternal life, He is just beginning with the blessings. Eternal life begins now with the peace and calm of Jesus Christ. Eternal life is not something you wait for. It is now! You can enjoy eternal life right now.
It’s not the same as being in heaven, but it is still forever. And by setting your perspective to begin living forever right now, you will live differently, more expectantly, and less fearfully. By living forever now, your eventual transition from earth to heaven is merely a transition, a continuation of life moved from one place to another.
Abundant living is contentment in Him. It is joy unspeakable and full of glory. It is life that is able to transcend all problems that oppose you and all challenges that confront you.
In addition, Christ gives us privileged life. We have access to the Creator of the world. We have access to perfect revelation of our world through His written word. We have access to unlimited prayer potential. And we have access to knowing His perfect will for our lives.
Further, included with eternal, abundant, and privileged life is adoption into the family of God. Romans 8: 14-15 says,
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
All believers are sons of God. He is our heavenly Father. We are in His family. We are brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. We are not strangers or just friends. We are not even distant relatives. We are children of the same God.
And taking adopted life even further, Romans 8: 16-17 says,
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
God adopts us and makes us joint heirs with His son Jesus Christ. This means that we are heirs to possess all that Jesus receives from His Father.
And what is that possession? Colossians 1:16 tells us,
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.
Wow! Everything was made for Christ which means everything is given to us for an inheritance from God.
Eternal life, abundant life, privileged life, adopted life, and inherited life are just some of the blessings God gives to us.
But these blessings are only for those who believe. In other words, the only thing preventing these blessings in your life is unbelief.
Thomas saw the risen Savior and His wounds. Jesus says that we will not have that experience. But we can know Him and sense His presence through faith. This means He reveals His presence and His truths to us. We cannot touch Him as did the disciples. But His personalized revelation to each of us is real enough. And the willingness of the disciples to die for their claim that they saw the risen Savior is powerful proof that indeed they saw Jesus alive and well.
He is risen and offers life to all those who believe.
Do you believe?
Are you living the abundant, eternal, privileged, adopted, and inheritable life?
If you are not a believer, find out why you do not believe, and try discover a reason to believe in Him. In Isaiah 1:18, God’s invitation to you is to,
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
If you are a believer, but not experiencing the abundant life, confess your faults to Christ, and ask Him to help you. God wants you to enjoy His gift of life, and He will help you discover what is preventing you from enjoying His blessing.
Dr. Patrick Briney, April 20, 2014, at Mission Blvd. Baptist Church