Jesus Christ has been raised! The even better news for us is that we too have been raised, for as Paul says in his Letter to the Colossians, “…you were buried with Christ in baptism, in which you were also raised with him….” Paul then goes on to say, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is…. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
In case we might think that Paul is urging us to spend our time, trying to picture what heaven looks like and to forget about such earthly concerns as feeding the hungry and taking care of the environment, he clarifies what he means by “things on earth” over against “things that are above.” “Things on earth” are things like impurity, passion, evil desire, covetousness, anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk. These things we are to put to death or take off, the way we take off our clothes.
“Things that are above” are things like compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, patience, forgiveness, and love. These are the things we are to think about and put on, the way we put on our clothes. Minds that are set on things above are minds that no longer think in terms of “Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.” They “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Christ.”
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead changes our daily life. It’s not something that becomes useful for us only after we die. It is certainly not just one more fact that we know about this Jesus of Nazareth. Rather it is a fact that changes our focus, what we think about, and what we set out to do each day of our life. If we say we believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are saying a lot more than that we believe Jesus was raised. We are saying nothing less than that now we set our minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Pastor Ahl (1999)