If you think about God long enough, sooner or later, you get to a point when your eyes go crossed, smoke comes out of your ears, and your brain circuits are fried. This happens to me when I think about God and time. Time is an artificial construction. Time doesn’t happen in nature. Seasons do, but time doesn’t. We impose time on nature. That’s why we end up with an extra day every four years. Our concept of time doesn’t exactly fit the realities of nature.
Nor does time fit with the realities of God. One of the implications of this is realizing that God isn’t hindered or restrained by our concept of time. God doesn’t wear a watch or carry a calendar. For God, it’s always now.
That means God is in our past, with us in our present, and waiting for us in our future.
Here’s why that’s important.
All of us have that moment in our past when we think our life was forever changed. Some of us are cringing now just thinking about it. There was the moment when someone did something to us and the wound was so deep we thought our lives were over. Maybe there was a time when we should have been brave, when we should have made a stand, but we didn’t and our cowardice has haunted us ever since.
Because Jesus is still in our past, He is still at that moment when we think our lives were forever changed and He can heal that wound so that it no longer bleeds into our present.
Jesus is with us in our present. As He promised, He guides us through our lives and gives us insight into His kingdom’s work all around us.
And Jesus is waiting on us in our future. The future is already complete. We believe the future is the way Jesus says it will be. His presence there is the guarantee of His word. His redemptive work is complete and the kingdom awaits all who will inhabit it. God is in our future and the future is done. Complete.
Faith means we are so confident Christ has already finished the future, that we begin to live in the future tense now. As Christ-followers, we are so sure the future is the way Jesus says it is that we are living that way now.
We no longer give our lives to money because money isn’t the currency of heaven. Love is. I’m not being dramatic or poetic, but eternally realistic. Love is the essence of God, and the future, heaven included, is filled with His essence. Because we know this, we are liberated from spending our time on those things that don’t matter in the long run.
We’re free to love each other. Why? Because that’s what we’ll be doing in heaven. Celebrating the presence of God in each other is one of the things we’ll do in heaven and for that reason, we should do that now. In very real ways, life on earth is a rehearsal for heaven. We are practicing for heaven.
We’re liberated from anger, grudges, bitterness, and pettiness. Why? Because these things have no future in heaven.
At Easter, we celebrate Christ has defeated death and paid for our sins. We should celebrate these great truths, but there’s more. Not only has Christ redeemed our past, but He has also transformed our future.
And we live every day in the great hope of waiting for the kingdom of God — which is already completed — will be revealed.
One of the overlooked celebrations of Easter is that Easter is Jesus keeping His word when everyone thought keeping His promise to return would be impossible. After all, Jesus was dead. Everyone knew it. The Roman soldiers were professional killers, the political and religious leaders were paying close attention, and His disciples and the women were sure as well — Jesus was dead. They placed Him in the tomb with no thought of seeing Jesus alive again.
But Jesus was raised from the dead. Jesus kept His impossible promise.
That gives us confidence and hope that our struggles in the world can’t take from us. I’m grateful my sins are forgiven, but I’m also grateful for a Living Savior who continues to transform me more and more into His likeness.
Easter wasn’t the end – it was the beginning. And following Christ, we’re living in that future right now.