As Easter approaches and eggs and rabbits abound I can’t help but think about the many loved ones I now have in the Kingdom – or not. I am always a bit amazed at how many religious holidays are celebrated without the knowledge of what the day truly symbolizes. Unlike Christmas which historically would not be the true birth date of Christ by any stretch, there is little debate to the accuracy of the weekend of the resurrection. Easter eggs and rabbits do hail from pagan rituals and Ishtar, but the truth of resurrected life remains.
Many religions consider Jesus a prophet and a scholar but don’t hold to his deity or His resurrection. I am not going to touch on the famous, “Liar, Lord or Lunatic” debate over His deity, for this is Good Friday and the resurrection is upon us. For the Christian – his deity and his resurrection is not a topic for debate but a must. If Jesus was not resurrected then the very thing we place our hope in is a lie and the gospel message a sham. There is no hope, no future, no promise, and the pain of this world is overwhelming.
I miss my son, I miss my parents, I miss my father in law. I fear the day when Dave and I will part. I hurt for my mother in law, my extended family who mourns over the loss of another baby, my pastor friend who just lost his father one year after his mother, the grandmother without her grandson, the mother without her two children swept away in Sandy, the aunt who lost five family members in a rash of tornadoes… The list goes on and on, and on and the darkness engulfs us for we will never, ever see them again.
My baby was buried on a cold, dreary, December day and as I looked upon the tiny white casket with tear filled eyes I knew,
He is Risen!
“Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
Who got the last word, oh, Death?Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?” (I Cor. 15:55, MSG)
It is so much more than eternity – it is the quintessential basis of our faith! If Jesus is not risen then God is a lie and the bible is a fallacy. If He is not alive then we are reading fairy tales and action stories that have no value beyond our temporary entertainment and the Truth has not been revealed to us.
“From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in—we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we’re telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly, this: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us.We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!” ( I John 1:1-4 MSG)
God is real.
Jesus is alive.
The Word is true.
Though there may be sadness in your celebration as you long for those you love, may you gain peace and joy in the knowledge in this,
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” ( John 11:25-26 NIV)
HE IS RISEN. HE IS RISEN INDEED.