Everyone needs some R&R every once in a while. We all know what that stands for. Rest and Relaxation. We need to fit it in between all the harry and hassle of life. But that’s not the R&R I’m thinking about.
I read a post from a young man not too far back. He was approaching a birthday in his 20’s, moving from one year to the next, and was intending to “reinvent” life with the turn of the calendar. Silly boy. We’ve all tried this before. But we have found that the one side of the leaf looks an awful lot like the other. The same character that plagued us last year will still pursue us in the new year. We can’t change the past, nor can we erase it, and we have little hope in the future of being something radically different that we already are.
Except for the truth of R&R - two words that Peter uses in the first chapter of his first letter, appropriately called, 1 Peter 1. He talks about Jesus and his Resurrection (see note 1 below), and he talks about Jesus and his Revelation (see note 2 below). In his resurrection, Jesus emerged from the tomb, having died on the cross, but now entering into new, unending life. In his revelation, Jesus will return from heaven as crowned king and righteous judge. We live in between those two events. And for believers and followers of Jesus, those two events - R&R - Resurrection and Revelation - are decisive points in history that can separate us from the disappointment of our pasts and disillusionment about our future.
What this means is life-changing. Our sins can be forgiven. And while a change of character often comes with time and difficulty, our changed identity works on us and in us, even as we anticipate a future that is not conditioned by the past or present, but rather guaranteed by the living and victorious Christ.
The answer is not inside my brain or will. The answer is found in another Person, in Jesus, already raised, and one day to be revealed.
(1)1 Peter 1:3 - born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; 1:11 He predicted the sufferings of Christ; 1:21 God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory
(2)1 Peter 1:7 may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 1:13 fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.