Jesus was born… so what? So was I.
I’m not dissing Christmas. The mystery of creator becoming creation, of the Word becoming flesh, is filled with the profound message of God’s amazing love for us. But being born and living is something we all do. Resurrection, now that’s a different story!
Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth (and to us), “…if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:14 (ESV)) The importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ cannot be overstated.
Sin separates us from God. Sin destroys shalom. Sin brings death, both large and small. The Bible records God’s long-term plan to restore shalom and reconcile people to himself, not counting their sins against them. Gods plan is to undo sin, a plan that goes all the way to undoing death itself. “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:26 (ESV))
Jesus is the one through whom shalom is restored. Jesus is the one who, through his death, reconciles us to our heavenly Father. Jesus is the one who undoes death. But if he hasn’t undone death, he hasn’t done the job we need him to do. “…if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17 (ESV))
But Jesus has been raised from the dead! Paul shares the message and the witnesses succinctly: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas [Peter], then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.” (1 Corinthians 15:3–8 (ESV))
Easter changes everything! Easter is the guarantee of all God’s promises. Easter is God’s, “Yes!” to us. The words of Jesus that call us to repentance and faith contain the promise that all is forgiven and God desires us to come home like the prodigal son. The resurrection is the demonstration of the power behind the promises. God has promised to undo death and shown us his power to do so in Jesus Christ.
Easter rocks! If you are in the Orlando area, you are cordially invited to our Easter Service & Brunch on Easter Sunday. It’s going to be an uplifting celebration of the most important holiday of the year.