Living as Easter People
Over the next few weeks, we are going to be exploring the topic of what it means for us to live as Easter people every day of the year, not just for one day or even one season of the church calendar. We are going to deal with the affects of the resurrection of Jesus Christ on our lives. The question some may be asking is why this is so important for us.
To put it simply, Paul says that we of all people would be most pitied if the resurrection of Jesus had not happened. There are some who claim Christianity who do not believe that Jesus rose from the dead. They consider it too impossible to happen. Their experience keeps them from believing that resurrection is possible. None of us have ever seen someone rise from the dead. This lack of experiential knowledge keeps many from believing that such an event really happened. Instead, they will say that resurrection is a spiritual experience. The disciples did not actually see a bodily risen Christ. They were overcome with emotion and saw a vision of Jesus. It is even claimed that they believed the resurrection so much that they propagated a lie in order to spread Jesus' message and in a sense keep him alive through the message.
All of these claims miss the point of the Gospel witness and the witness of the apostles. The claims of the Gospels are clear – Jesus walked out of a grave, bodily, not spiritually. As Paul says, if it did not happen, then all that we do is for nothing, and we base our lives on a lie. The lack of belief in a bodily resurrection has lasting consequences on us as a church and as individuals.
If God cannot raise the dead, what can he do in your life? How can he bring new life to you through someone who is dead in a tomb? How can true healing happen in our lives if the source of healing is dead? True life is not possible without the resurrection of Jesus. Otherwise our salvation means nothing.
The truth of the resurrection of Jesus is foundational to who we are as Christians. Theology matters! If the resurrection is not our foundation, then we need to close shop and move on. Without the resurrection, we become nothing more than a civic organization. Unfortunately, the church in the United States and the western world in general have been living as if the resurrection never happened. We don't live as people who believe and trust in a God who is so powerful and so loving that he raised his Son from the dead to defeat the final enemy of humanity. We believe in a God who can only do what we think he can do based on our personal experience not on faith. But the last time I checked, the Bible doesn't say anything about basing our belief on experiences that we have personally had. The Bible says that we are to walk by faith and not by sight.
This is how Easter people live. Join me in discovering more about how God is calling us to live a life based on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.