Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Easter makes Christmas - Resurrection Sunday edition

Finally, my follow up to Easter makes Christmas - Good Friday edition. (I also wrote a post back in 2009 titled The Truth About Easter)

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the substitute for my sin, the sacrifice on behalf of the sins of the world - was incredibly important. In fact, just before breathing His last, Jesus cried out victoriously "It is finished!" because He had accomplished His purpose in coming to earth.

For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

So, if He already accomplished that by dying, then how important is the resurrection?

It is everything!

And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 1 Corinthians 15:14, 15, 17-19 (emphasis mine)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves His deity and is the only reason we can have faith in our own resurrection upon His return.

If He did not rise from the dead than He is a liar (for He claimed that He would rise on the 3rd day!), the scriptures are false (for they proclaim the resurrection again and again), our faith is futile and we are still in our sins - and death is the end. If He did not rise then neither will we and we have no hope of eternal life.

Just look at the disciples! Before the resurrection they were timid and fearful. John was the only one who even showed up at the cross - they were all in hiding!

Nancy Leigh DeMoss says...
But then came the news of the resurrection and then the gift and empowering of the Holy Spirit. The combination of those things transformed those first disciples into a bold band of believers who were willing to lay down their lives for Christ’s sake. The church was birthed and it spread through the proclamation that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead.

A timid, weak, disbanded group of men suddenly became a bold team of believers willing to die proclaiming Christ's resurrection. People do not die for what they know to be a lie.

DeMoss continues to list seven implications of the resurrection - there is hope in the most desperate of circumstances, God always keeps His promises, death is no longer to be feared, our own bodily resurrection is assured, God has accepted and approved the work Christ did on the cross and therefore accepts and approves those of us who are in Christ (no longer any condemnation for our sins!), the power and dominion of sin in our lives has been overcome, and the very same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to us!

Wow - the importance of the resurrection simply cannot be overstated. It is significant beyond measure.

Why We Celebrate Easter
The birth was an event
The life only an example
Until the death gave them meaning
and the resurrection gave them power

Why we celebrate Easter

Of all the events that defined the life of Christ
A miraculous birth, test in the desert, supernatural baptism,
sermon on the mount, the working of miracles
The Bible commands us to remember only one

His sacrificial death


Why are we not commanded to celebrate His birth
or commemorate His miracles, but to remember His death?

In His birth, He became Emmanuel, God is with us
But in death, He became Saviour, God saved us
And in resurrection, He became Redeemer, God has renewed us

In birth and life, He revealed the possible
in death and resurrection, He made it possible

He became our example, in how He lived and loved
We couldn't become it until He died and rose

It was not enough that He was our Teacher
He had to become our Saviour, Redeemer

"It is for your good that I am going away...
unless I go away, the Counselor will not come" John 16:7

Without Easter weekend we only see His example
With Easter weekend we become His example
Without Easter weekend we're merely good people
With Easter weekend we're a holy people

His birth was the incarnation
His life was a revelation
But His death was our salvation
and His resurrection is our restoration

That's why we celebrate...

If you are a skeptic and need to see some evidence of the resurrection, I highly encourage you to purchase The Case for Easter by Lee Strobel (less than $4!) - which contains all the chapters relevant to the crucifixion and resurrection that are in his larger volume, The Case for Christ.

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