What is the big deal about Easter?
That he (Jesus) was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, 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 15:4-8)
The big deal is, Jesus is alive! He is in heaven. And, He is coming back. Yep, the same Jesus his followers had seen and touched, shared meals with, and heard make promises went up into the clouds as they watched. And, this promise was given by two messengers from God.
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
The truth that again and again got the Apostles in hot water with the church crowd was that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead. The bodily resurrection of Jesus is the bedrock of the Christian faith. Paul said it this way.
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead,how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)
Make no mistake, everything depends on the factual account of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead!
If Jesus was not raised from the dead there is no hope for any of us.
What appeal does dying and staying dead in a grave have to you? It has none to me either. If Jesus was not raised, we will not be raised, and after all, the goal is to live eternally.
If Jesus was not raised from the dead there is no Christianity!
Paul says it like this, If Christ has not been raised from the dead his “preaching is vain and your faith is vain“. And, “Your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”
The cross and its significance is very important but if Jesus’ death was the end of the story He would be no different than any other man who died for his faith.
HE IS ALIVE! CELEBRATE!
This Sunday Christians around the world will celebrate and remember an empty tomb and a risen Saviour. It is His life everlasting that we celebrate. His life is our life if we are in Him.
WILL YOU LIVE FOREVER? EVEN AFTER YOU DIE AND ARE BURIED, WILL YOU LIVE AGAIN?
There are many, many promises that you can, or that you will. One I really like is this one.
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.’ (Romans 8:11)
Easter is the believer’s celebration of everlasting life. It is the acknowledgement that death has been defeated, that sin will finally be eradicated, and once again Peace will rule in an eternal kingdom.
He Himself is our blessed hope, and our blessed certainty! Happy Easter to you.