N.T. Wright, in his book, Surprised By Hope, offers some excellent observations concerning the impact of the resurrection upon our present lives:

“Jesus’s resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord’s Prayer is about.”

“The point of the resurrection…is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die…What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it…What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether…. They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom.”

“…left to ourselves we lapse into a kind of collusion with entropy, acquiescing in the general belief that things may be getting worse but that there’s nothing much we can do about them. And we are wrong. Our task in the present…is to live as resurrection people in between Easter and the final day, with our Christian life, corporate and individual, in both worship and mission, as a sign of the first and a foretaste of the second.”

“Salvation, then, is not “going to heaven” but “being raised to life in God’s new heaven and new earth.” But as soon as we put it like this we realize that the New Testament is full of hints, indications, and downright assertions that this salvation isn’t just something we have to wait for in the long-distance future. We can enjoy it here and now (always partially, of course, since we all still have to die), genuinely anticipating in the present what is to come in the future. “We were saved,” says Paul in Romans 8:24, “in hope.” The verb “we were saved” indicates a past action, something that has already taken place, referring obviously to the complex of faith and baptism of which Paul has been speaking in the letter so far. But this remains “in hope” because we still look forward to the ultimate future salvation of which he speaks in (for instance) Romans 5:9, 10.”