The Real Game Changer: The Power, The Reality and The Hope of The Resurrection

Posted: April 5, 2015 in Gospel of Luke

He is risen! He is risen, indeed! We go from “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord” to “Up From the Grave, He Arose!” Easter Sunday morning almost 2 millenia ago changed everything. Why is this important to us? Why do we give Easter such special attention? We buy new clothes for our kids. We dress ‘em up real nice in their Sunday best. We pack out churches. But most of us in this increasingly secular world don’t even understand the importance of this day. To most of us, it is family get-togethers. It is the Easter bunny. It is candy. It is Easter egg hunts. Even atheists will participate in the secular events surrounding Easter. They will take their kids on Easter egg hunts. They will get together with family. They will even gladly take the holiday off from work this past Friday. However, without the resurrection of Jesus none of these things would have ever been incorporated into the fabric of secular life. The resurrection is of highest importance to the true believer. Without the resurrection, our faith is meaningless because we would then believe in a powerless God. Without the resurrection, we have had faith in just another dead prophet! Without the resurrection, we have no hope and this is just it. Thank God, none of that is true. He is Risen!

The first thing that we need to know about the resurrection is that it is a testimony to the power of God. According to gotoquestions.org,

”To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. If God exists, and if He created the universe and has power over it, He has power to raise the dead. If He does not have such power, He is not a God worthy of our faith and worship. Only He who created life can resurrect it after death, only He can reverse the hideousness that is death itself, and only He can remove the sting that is death and the victory that is the grave’s (1 Corinthians 15:54-55). In resurrecting Jesus from the grave, God reminds us of His absolute sovereignty over life and death.”

God created the universe. God created man. All of it was created by Him. Without the Creator doing the creating, none of this and none of us would exist. He created it so He has complete power and control over it. Therefore, He has power that creates that magical spark of conception that creates life. He has that power that withdraws life’s energy force from our lives. He controls when our hearts stop beating. He controls that force that keeps our hearts beating and He controls when it stops. Therefore, He controls death. The resurrection of Jesus shows us the sovereignty of God our Father. He has complete control over creation and He has control over life and death. There is an amazing hope in that for us as Christ followers. When we think we have hit rock bottom and there is no hope, we must remind ourselves that God is still in control. It reminds that God is sovereign over our problems. It reminds us that nothing is greater than God. He defeated death on Easter Sunday. He can defeat our problems when we humbly submit to His Lordship. No matter how dark the moment may be, we believe in a God that is all powerful. So powerful He is that He defeated the grave by raising Jesus from the dead. Now, that’s my God. That little ray of hope in our hearts even when things seem the bleakest is the hope of the resurrection. That little ray of hope when we are down and out comes from knowing a God who is sovereign. We know that God works all things together for good for those who believe in Jesus Christ. The resurrection stands eternally as the hope that we cling to. It is a testament to the sovereignty and the power of God.

Another important fact is that the resurrection proves that Jesus meant what He said when He said He is the only way to the Father. All other religions rest their faith on dead prophets. Only the followers of Jesus Christ can rest their faith on a risen Savior. The faith that we have is unique. Some critics of our faith claim that the resurrection is a hoax created by the faith to give it some special umph. This is where understanding the history of the gospels is so important. In other religions and even in mythological writings, there are hundreds and hundreds of years before the sacred texts or the legend were committed to writing. Even the seriously flawed Koran was not committed to writing until several generations after Muhammad’s death. However, the gospels were each committed to paper within the lifetimes of eyewitnesses of the events of Jesus’ life including His resurrection. These eyewitnesses would include Jesus’ enemies. Jesus died around 30AD, a fact that can be verified from extrabiblical sources. The gospels were written down as early as 55AD (Mark) with the last one (John’s Gospel) being written no later than 80-85AD. These gospels were circulated among believers as early as 25 years after Jesus’ death. And the manuscripts can be proven too that what we read today was painstakingly preserved as written over the centuries. Therefore, if the resurrection was a hoax then, His enemies would have cried foul and discredited the gospels early on. But yet they survive through the centuries intact. Add to this fact that millions have died through the centuries and have clung tightly to their faith in Jesus as they died would have never done so for a lie. Particularly those early Christians. They had nothing to gain and everything to lose by believing in Jesus and the fact that He was resurrected. They would not have died for a bold-faced lie. They knew as witnesses that the resurrection was real. It was their eyewitness that they refused to recant that inspires us today. They died for believing in Jesus because they saw Him resurrected. Would you die for a lie? Would you put your life on the line for a lie? Millions over the centuries have done so willingly because the resurrection was real. It was no lie. It was written down within the lifetimes of Jesus’ enemies and somehow they could not quelch the story of the resurrection. A lie may have its day in the sun but it is always exposed within short order. This “lie” has endured for 2,000 years and counting. Why? Because it is not a lie. It is true and it happened. There are those who don’t believe it happened, but just because you do not believe something does not make it not real. Saying that you do not believe in gravity does not make it not exist. It exists regardless of what I believe. The same is true with the resurrection. There are far too many ways for it to have been discredited by now, but the story continues to live on because it is truth. Truth needs no cover story. It is what it is and truth always survives. Always. The resurrection, the core tenet, of our faith was real and real is my faith as a result.

Finally, the resurrection is important to Christ followers because it give us hope of eternal life. The resurrection gives us hope in two ways. First, that at our own personal death’s we know that Christ has conquered the grave and that through Him we will too. We know solidly that death is not the end. The witnesses to the resurrected Christ give us hope and proof that there is eternal life. There is life beyond the grave. There is something better than this world. There is heaven. There is validity to everything said in the Bible. There is eternal hope. Secondly, we know that even if the world ended right now with Jesus’ return that we have hope that we will be spared the ugly end to all things. Even if we have died we at the end of time be rejoined with our earthly bodies in a new and wonderful state. Christ defeated the grave. He is Risen. Christ will return to settle it all. We are protected from His judgement because we are His children. The resurrection is comfort. The resurrection is hope. The resurrection means everything. His resurrection puts the exclamation point on everything we believe. The risen Savior gives us hope. The resurrection gives us joy. It means that the believers in Kenya that were gunned down this week by Muslims for just being Christian were not defeated. We know through our risen Savior that no matter what the world of unbelievers throws at us to try to defeat us that we have eternal joy, a joy that cannot be taken away by a bullet or any other form of killing. We win! They can kill my body but that’s all they can do. Kill me! Go ahead! That only means that I get to see my Savior face to face sooner. I live and die with Christ. My earthly death is just temporary pain exchanged for eternal joy! What hope that gives us. That hope should compel us to never deny Christ whatever the cost. That hope should drive us to live lives that are about fighting injustice and spreading the gospel and loving those in need. What have we got to lose? Our eternal joy is secure. Live life abundantly. Live life that others may know your hope. What have you got to lose? The resurrection says we don’t have anything to lose and everything to gain.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s