Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
The instructions in this verse are something that I tend to struggle with following. Using the NLT, the phrase “realities of heaven” seems a little cryptic. Heaven to me is a bit of a glorious mystery, and the connection between being raised to life in Christ and heaven adds some of that mystery to a relationship with Christ means.
I think that turning a focus toward “the realities of heaven” simply indicates that we are supposed to be falling more and more into this mystery. In a lot of ways, it can be like falling in love. The more time you spend with someone, the more you get to know them, you are exploring new depths to your relationship. If this is even somewhat true for human relationships, how much more so must it be true for a relationship with God?
As you spend time with a significant other, you have the opportunity to learn more about that person. Just as there are tangible aspects of a relationship, so there are tangible aspects of our relationship with God through Christ.
Now, in a human relationship, those tangible aspects might be equated to specific moments such as the day two people meet or an eventual wedding day. The depth of those moments, however, does not stem from the moments themselves. They gain meaning and significance as time and experience wear on. For example, the day two people meet becomes much more significant if that relationship results in a lifelong commitment. The sense of mystery, that sense of awe, or that general feeling of wonder grows more and more as the relationship persists.
In Christianity, I think the same is true about our relationship with Christ. There are the tangible aspects of Christianity, i.e. what Christ did on the cross. We know that Christ’s death and resurrection brings us into a right relationship with Him, but the more that we explore and seek to develop that relationship, the more we come to understand the depths of that relationship. That mystery of our relationship with Christ becomes greater. The meaning becomes more and more significant.