With the recent celebration of Easter, we have all been reminded of the possibility of resurrection. For me, this possibility clusters around two ideas.
First, Jesus is committed to the resurrection of your heart as a man. What does this mean? It means that He is committed to remove all that deadens your heart—the sins, the addictions, the arrogance, the insecurity—all that has made you less than a man. So many of the things we lean on to make us feel like men end up deadening and emasculating us. This is the tragedy of our condition. This is the sadness of our state. Whether it’s the next car, the next woman, the next career advancement, or the next porn site—it leaves us weaker, not stronger. It leaves us deader, not more alive. This is certainly my story and the story of every man to whom I have listened. The Scriptures tell us that we are dead in our sins (Eph. 2:1), and it’s true. But He calls us to be alive in Christ (Eph. 2:5).
But underneath all of our tragic attempts at finding masculinity lies something even more tragic: our shame at not being men. The surest thing a man knows about himself is that he is not one. He is not what he was meant to be. The shame of this resides deep in the core of our being, permeating everything we say and do. Like black mold in a home, the shame weakens and sickens us. Yet even here, in what seems impossible to believe, there is to be resurrection. Jesus is committed to seeing that you come more and more alive in this life, pulsating with glory and love, radiating joy and strength. We are to know less and less of the deadness of our sin and shame. We are to feel more and more like real men. This is the miracle of redemption. What is our part in this miracle? To trust in His work, to rest in it, to submit to it...and to act in obedience.
Second, Jesus is committed to the resurrection of your body. He is not the God of the dead and decaying, but the God of the living. What we have seen happen in our hearts is to be repeated in our bodies. I was especially reminded of this truth on this very Easter. Instead of heading off to worship with my family followed by dinner with my extended family, I was laid up in bed all day with a stomach virus. I like to pride myself on staying in great shape through hard physical exercise and a careful diet. But in just a few hours, I went from my normal energetic self to being wiped out. Just getting up out of bed took effort and then required recovery. I felt pitifully weak and helpless. However much I tend to trust in my body, it failed me on Easter, and one day it will fail me completely as I face death. I will have to let my body go and trust in His work. But what seems impossible is again to be our experience. There is to be resurrection. What we have known in our hearts is to be fully known in our bodies. We don’t know exactly all that will mean, but we know that we will be like Him (I John 3:2), the mighty Victor and Conqueror. We will then be fully men.
Easter reminds us that each day we are to be more alive than the day before, and one day we are to be fully alive. This is the wonder of resurrection. This is the wonder of Jesus. Walk in that wonder today.
Bill Delvaux is a graduate of Duke University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, has served as a pastor, and a high school Bible teacher. Presently, he leads Landmark Journey Ministries as a speaker, small group coach, and author of Divided: When the Head and Heart Don’t Agree and Landmarks: Turning Points on Your Journey Toward God. Bill also serves as content editor for Stand Firm, LifeWay's devotional magazine for men. He and his wife have two grown daughters and reside in Franklin, TN. Follow Bill on Twitter @BillDelvaux.