Here it is. The obligatory article on the resurrection. It is April after all and Easter is the first Sunday in April and all that. So it is only natural to talk about the resurrection because this is the time of year we’ve reserved to talk about it.
By and large, that’s the problem. We don’t talk about the Resurrection enough. We don’t think about it enough or incorporate it in our discussion of the Gospel enough. I agree with those who say we don’t believe it deeply enough and therefore we don’t apply it to our everyday lives enough. On April 4, 2021 we will look forward to having a packed house at church and we will sing and clap and preach like the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the greatest thing that ever happened in human history!
And that’s my point. It is THE GREATEST thing that has ever happened in all of human history and to a great extent we only truly celebrate it once a year! This goes back to my point that we don’t believe it deeply enough. Think about it for a moment. The vast majority of our Gospel presentations go something like this: You’ve sinned against God. Jesus died on a cross to pay the penalty for your sins. If you will put your faith in Jesus, you can have eternal life. I’m not wanting to disparage any of the typical Gospel presentations, but those that I’m familiar with, EE, CWT, ABC, The Roman Road, etc…, make no direct reference to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Yet Paul said in 1 Corinthians, “This is the Good News that I delivered to you; that Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that He was buried and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” Paul spends the rest of chapter 15 explaining how the death of Jesus has no value if Jesus is not raised from the dead, but is incredibly good news if He is! Again, I would in no way want to devalue the atoning sacrifice of our Lord. All I am saying is that we must hold the cross and the resurrection tightly together because one without the other is meaningless. Yet I want to affirm what Paul says, we are to be pitied more than anyone else if Jesus is not raised.
I would contend that there are two primary reasons that so many of us as Christians lead such ineffective lives in regard to the Gospel. The first would be a lack of deep gratitude for the substitutionary life and atoning death of Jesus. We fail to acknowledge just how desperately lost we truly were and thus we don’t like to think too deeply about all that Jesus had to suffer in order to save us. Unfortunately, many believe they just need a little help from Jesus. They fail to understand that without the righteous life and sacrificial death of Jesus they are morally destitute, bankrupt before God. The second reason we stumble along in our faith is a lack of understanding and true confidence in the literal, physical resurrection of our Lord and Savior. His resurrection is the means by which we have received the Holy Spirit, His presence with us. The resurrection is what frees us from sin’s power. We are no longer slaves to sin. It validates all that Jesus said and did, especially His atoning death. Because He is raised we have the greatest hope ever, that the day will come when we will be raised as well! Not to some ethereal, “spiritual” existence, but to a real, tangible, physical life that is infinitely better than anything we can imagine here; a new heaven and new earth! We will be in His presence forever! Let’s celebrate well on April 4 and may we live in light of His resurrection from that day on!