Jesus is indeed risen from the grave.
But does the reality of it ever feel a bit distant? Jesus was raised and therefore I will be raised, which is very wonderful but is the resurrection only a past and future thing or does it connect with here and now? Yes it does and the Bible says very big things about the impact of the resurrection in the present:
God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus… (Ephesians 2:6)
For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
It’s not easy to understand exactly how these things can be – clearly my body hasn’t been raised yet (I want my money back if it has) but, spiritually speaking, something very real has happened to me and one day my body will catch up. I don’t really get this, so it’s best just to take it at face value and accept that, as a Christian, in some very real sense I am already sharing in the resurrection of Jesus. He has risen to sit at the right hand of His Father and – somehow, in some way – I am with Him too. I don’t understand it but what it means is this:
When I feel far away from God, I’m not.
And when God feels far away from me, He’s not.
I am up there, in there with Jesus. Where He is, I am. I don’t deserve it, I didn’t earn it but that’s what it says – and therefore I can live life in the light of that reality, even though it’s not a reality I always – or often? – feel.
Is it possible for me to get closer to God? No – in Christ, I am already as close as can be.
Is that something I always sense? No – my feelings are often out of step with this reality.
That’s OK! The Bible recognises that. In Matthew’s gospel the disciples are told they will not always have Jesus with them (26:11) and yet He is with them always (28:20)… no wonder it takes a while for our feelings to catch up! Even King David struggled with this – in Psalm 63:1 he says
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you…
But then in verses 7 and 8 he says,
Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.
In other words, God felt absent to David but at the same time he banked and believed on the presence of God. David seeks God and God shelters David. He longs for God because he is dry and empty – and he sings of God because is he is held and helped.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed – and so are you; you just don’t feel it.
But it’s true, wonderfully true.
With love in (the risen) Christ,