Not the Same

April 13, 2018

2 Corinthians 5:16-… From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard Him thus no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.

            This is one of the most endearing promises in the Bible. Today, I noticed, perhaps for the first time, the phrase, “we regard Him thus no longer.” I have talked with many people who think of Jesus and talk about Him as He was when He was in human form. It is comforting to think of Jesus as a gentle soul who walked around loving the marginalized, healing the sick, and picking up little children. Many of the early paintings, as I recall, showed Him with long hair.  I suspect someone read their Bible, because, now, many paintings show Him with short hair.

            John, who often referred to himself as “the apostle Jesus loved” wrote the Revelation near the end of his life and in the first chapter, he admitted not recognizing Jesus in heaven. Paul said, in today’s scripture, “We regard Christ no longer according to the flesh… behold the new has come.” Jesus, today, is not the same man who walked among us. In the biggest picture, that was His walk in humility to His death. Our walk to life after death is a humble walk to death.

Our flesh will die or be discarded if Jesus returns while we are still here.  We regard ourselves now as spiritual beings, new creatures, alive in Christ.

            “Alive in Christ” … We are not just enlivened by Christ, we are alive only in Him. Is your life apart from Christ fading away? That is part of the transformation process. As we come alive in Christ, our natural life fades away. He becomes our life, our all in all. There was a phrase floating around when I was younger, “He/ she is so heavenly minded, he/she is no earthly good.” What that referred to was people who acted or talked spiritual, while ignoring the natural. The phrase itself was not correct because it eliminated Jesus from being of value. We are to be heavenly minded people. That is not a way to act or speak, until it is a way to think. “Behold, the new has come.”