meditations on Holy Week (4): the Risen Lord

If Jesus is really alive – if the resurrection really happened – then absolutely everything is changed.

Christianity is simple, and explosive, because it is based on recorded, investigated, historical events. It is not primarily a moral code, metaphysical explanation, spiritual technique, method for societal change, or anything else other than a story – a history – which demands a response. When Paul defined the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, he defined it in terms of historical events: the Messiah, in fulfillment of all the scriptures, died, was buried, was resurrected, and was witnessed. Because of these events, there is salvation. Period.

If it did not happen, Christians are to be pitied and disregarded – their faith is pointless. If it happened, every human being must come to grips with it. There can be no explaining away of Jesus or Christianity and no excuses if one admits that the events of Holy Week actually happened.

Thus, each of us must ask: did it happen? Did God come to earth, did he die, did he rise from the dead? If you want evidence for the resurrection, there’s plenty: Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Easter” and N.T. Wright’s “The Resurrection of the Son of God” are two books of which I am aware. Do a Google search and you will have no trouble finding resources. Some of the basic evidences are the authenticity of the gospels, the empty tomb, the eyewitnesses, and the endurance of the movement. If you’re curious, find out for yourself. I believe it happened; therefore Jesus is my Lord, my Savior, my all. What other response is there – if it’s true?

The resurrection of Jesus =

  • the cornerstone of the Christian faith
  • the center of New Testament preaching, e.g. Acts 2:24, 31-32, 4:2, 33, 17:18, 31, 23:6
  • the legitimacy of full-fledged confidence in Jesus and the Bible
  • the validation of the effectiveness and saving power of the cross
  • the preview of what the resurrection of God’s people will be like
  • the cause for hope in a world of chaos, in a body of death
  • the reason to fall down in worship of Jesus, to praise God with all of life, to hold nothing back from the cause of advancing the good news of Christ
In Exodus 15, as the Israelites walked out of Egypt as a free people for the first time, Moses and Miriam sang a song of praise and victory, saying “the Lord is a warrior.” Indeed, he is a warrior: he was at that moment on the shores of the Red Sea, and he is in the lives of his children today. Jesus fought sin and evil, he fought Satan, the prince of this world, he fought death itself, and won. “The Lord is a warrior” at the resurrection. That is hope, life, reality. That is everything.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26
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