From Truth to Icon

How easily Truth gives way to icon! Nearly 2000 years ago outside Jerusalem, at the first crack of dawn the crucified body of Jesus suddenly stirred to life. The Spirit of God not only reanimated his body, but resurrected that body in a completely new form. Jesus became the firstborn of a whole new creation of men and women–transformed from corruptible to incorruptible, from mortal to immortal.

Resurrected Man walked the planet for the first time. Jesus had overcome death and now lived beyond it so that we too might see and know and feel and hear him as he comes to live in everyone who invites him to do so. That’s the heart of the Resurrection, not just that he overcame death, but that he lives inside each of us today and wants to share an even deeper relationship with each of us than he was able to by living in the flesh alongside Peter and John, and Mary and Martha.

Today millions of people will gather all over the world to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. They will sing songs and hear sermons on the Resurrection. Then too many of them will wake up tomorrow morning and live like he isn’t in the room. They won’t look for him, listen to him, or follow him. Has religion reduced the fact of the Resurrection to an icon we can celebrate once a year and still miss its very reality each day?

Religion always takes something that is real and makes an icon of it to empty it of its power. Instead of worship being the way we live under Father’s care, it’s a song service we attend. Instead of communion being a meal of rich fellowship and remembrance of him, it becomes a shot class and a dried wafer tacked onto a formal service. And instead of church being the living community of people who are encouraging each other to follow him, it is merely a weekly gathering in a building in which we are more spectator than participant.

Celebrating the icon is not at all the same as embracing the reality. The Resurrection of Jesus is not best celebrated in fancy-dress religious gatherings, but in waking up each morning with an eye and an ear turned toward the Living Jesus who wants to make himself known in you today and lead you into the ever-increasing freedom and joy of knowing him.

When truth gives way to icon, it’s best to reclaim the Truth again even if that means abandoning the icon. He is risen indeed and because of that I am not alone today to fend for myself in my sins, doubts, trials, or fears. He is with me and I with him today, and he is making all things new!

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6 Comments
  1. Joni Menard April 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    This encouraged me today. I found myself a little sad this Easter Sunday. This is the reality, abandoning the icon can make you feel like your on the outside looking in. But the Truth when it is reclaimed is the opposite. I am won from the inside out and that happens a little deeper every day making all things new in Him. So grateful for ever-increasing freedom and joy of knowing Him.

  2. Joni Menard April 8, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    This encouraged me today. I found myself a little sad this Easter Sunday. This is the reality, abandoning the icon can make you feel like your on the outside looking in. But the Truth when it is reclaimed is the opposite. I am won from the inside out and that happens a little deeper every day making all things new in Him. So grateful for ever-increasing freedom and joy of knowing Him.

  3. Greg T April 9, 2012 at 9:02 am

    This is soo Right on. Easter used to be a day that I looked forward to only because I knew on that day that the women in our church would dress up and look so feminine and beautiful. Flowing white dresses and hats. I was into the resurrection but only from a distance so to speak. It was kinda like we were at the Super Bowl of Christianity and our team won kind of thing…. Well, today is much different. I get up every day now and I just wonder what is God going to say to me today. What is He going to do today. What treasure will I stumble upon today. Where you stub your toe, normally there is treasure in that place….. I finally see that I can’t have one foot in the law and one foot in Grace. Gotta be all Grace. No more ministry of Condemnation and death for me. Cant believe that ole Paul called the law that. “The ministry of Condemnation and Death”. Look it up if you don’t believe me. I had too. somewhere in Corinthians.. Now after thirty years a Christian and 27 of them trying to perform good enough to be loved by God, I have finally just trusted in His love for me. I am Holy, Beloved and God’s Special Possession. Wow, what a thing to say.. I used to be jealous that God called David a man after his own heart. But God calls me His Special Possession. That is so profoundly Glorious. Don’t have to be somewhere else doing something else in order to be right. I am already there, I am already what I am looking to be. I take seriously the line, when you pray, believe you have received. I feel now how I would then. That and sitting still and waiting on God every morning has changed my relationship with Him forever. Glory to God.

  4. Greg T April 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    This is soo Right on. Easter used to be a day that I looked forward to only because I knew on that day that the women in our church would dress up and look so feminine and beautiful. Flowing white dresses and hats. I was into the resurrection but only from a distance so to speak. It was kinda like we were at the Super Bowl of Christianity and our team won kind of thing…. Well, today is much different. I get up every day now and I just wonder what is God going to say to me today. What is He going to do today. What treasure will I stumble upon today. Where you stub your toe, normally there is treasure in that place….. I finally see that I can’t have one foot in the law and one foot in Grace. Gotta be all Grace. No more ministry of Condemnation and death for me. Cant believe that ole Paul called the law that. “The ministry of Condemnation and Death”. Look it up if you don’t believe me. I had too. somewhere in Corinthians.. Now after thirty years a Christian and 27 of them trying to perform good enough to be loved by God, I have finally just trusted in His love for me. I am Holy, Beloved and God’s Special Possession. Wow, what a thing to say.. I used to be jealous that God called David a man after his own heart. But God calls me His Special Possession. That is so profoundly Glorious. Don’t have to be somewhere else doing something else in order to be right. I am already there, I am already what I am looking to be. I take seriously the line, when you pray, believe you have received. I feel now how I would then. That and sitting still and waiting on God every morning has changed my relationship with Him forever. Glory to God.

  5. Sue April 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    It’s been 4 years or more since I was in a ”church” on Easter, I don’t miss any of it, now Easter mornings, I go up on the hill behind our house and spend time with papa. I look out over the beauty that is all around me and thank him for all he has done for us. I listen to the birds and marvel at the different tree, flowers and even weeds that he has created just for us. I feel so free since I left ”the church”, I’m now the one who is talking to papa, listening for his voice, following him, instead of letting someone else pick the songs, say the prayers, write the sermon, then just leave the building feeling like I have done my part….it had taken the place of my relationship with him. No more! No icons for me, they are empty. I’ve been set free, there’s no going back.

  6. Sue April 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    It’s been 4 years or more since I was in a ”church” on Easter, I don’t miss any of it, now Easter mornings, I go up on the hill behind our house and spend time with papa. I look out over the beauty that is all around me and thank him for all he has done for us. I listen to the birds and marvel at the different tree, flowers and even weeds that he has created just for us. I feel so free since I left ”the church”, I’m now the one who is talking to papa, listening for his voice, following him, instead of letting someone else pick the songs, say the prayers, write the sermon, then just leave the building feeling like I have done my part….it had taken the place of my relationship with him. No more! No icons for me, they are empty. I’ve been set free, there’s no going back.

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