We’re in eternity, now experience it

Justified, reconciled, saved, they’re all old-fashioned words that may not mean much in today’s English. So are words like righteousness, sanctification and atonement. So, perhaps, are sin, faith and grace. And yet they’re all essential words in the explanation and description of what God accomplished for us in Jesus Christ.

Can we translate these old English words into modern terms, then, or better still, summarize them all in one simple statement? Yes, because what God is offering us is “the chance to experience eternity.” That’s what all these words are meant to convey and point to. Because of Jesus Christ, we can actually experience eternity – and experience it now, too.

It’s just like the children in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. They discover that an ordinary old wardrobe is, in fact, a portal into the magical world of Narnia. What they don’t know is that Aslan, the great lion of Narnia, had planned this for them. This was what the wardrobe was for. It was Aslan’s way of getting them out of their world and into the world of Narnia because Narnia was to be their world from now on. Likewise, Christ’s death was God’s way of getting us out of this world into his. It’s the portal we take into eternity, because eternity is to be our world from now on, too. 

We now face the chance to experience it. This is the magical moment, when we step from the wardrobe and the adventure begins. Behind us, all those old-fashioned phrases about us being sinners and God’s enemies and in desperate need of saving from his wrath, are still as real as they ever were, but none of them are barriers to our eternity anymore. Why not? Because at the moment we believed in God’s grace we stepped through the portal into eternity, where our Aslan, Jesus Christ, brings his plan for us to completion, too.

The plan being? Romans 5:11, that we “rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Rejoice and reconciliation – more old-fashioned words – but they describe our experience in eternity perfectly, of a wonderfully close relationship with God that makes joy easy. And how is this relationship made possible? “Through our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 11) – first by his death (which got us into eternity in the first place), and now by his life to enable us to experience it.

Or in more modern terms, his death opened the portal to eternity, but his life opens up the experience.          

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