24th March 2013

Resurrection

“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
John 6:40 (NIV UK)

The resurrection of Jesus stands at the heart of Christian faith. We believe in Jesus because he did something no other human being has ever done: he rose from the dead to life eternal.

It’s funny how we sometimes believe things that don’t make sense or that have no supporting evidence whatsoever. The tabloids carry a multimillion-dollar business by tantalising believing readers with a steady diet of the sensational, if not the ridiculous. You’ve seen the headlines: Elvis is still alive. JFK was abducted by aliens. Miners discover an opening to hell.

And then there are the facts we simply take for granted in our modern scientific world: The earth is a sphere, not flat like a pancake, and it revolves around the sun, not vice versa. A virus causes measles. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.

Most of us believe these things, not because we have personally proven them, but because we trust the authorities who tell us they are true. We use the ’phone; who invented it doesn’t really matter to us. We go to the doctor when we get sick; it doesn’t matter to us who discovered a given vaccine. And we can enjoy a beautiful sunset without giving much thought to Galileo, telescopes or star charts.

We live in a world of facts, but most of the facts we know have little, if anything, to do with who we are and how we live. The resurrection of Jesus is different. It might be easy to believe Jesus rose from the dead as though it were just another fact for a history exam. But this fact is not like other facts. It’s the one fact that changes everything.

If Jesus Christ really rose from the dead, then he is far more than just another great figure in history. He is who he claimed to be—the Son of God. And if that’s so, then he, and everything he said, has to be taken seriously. The resurrection of Jesus stands at the heart of Christian faith. We believe in Jesus because he rose from the dead. He told his disciples he would be raised on the third day after his crucifixion—and he was!

The fact of his resurrection verifies that what he said about himself was true: He was indeed the Son of God and God was acting decisively through him to deal with human sin. Jesus said in the Gospel of John, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).

Greater words of comfort have never been spoken! It doesn’t matter how far from God we have been. It doesn’t matter how dark and vile our sins have been. When we believe the word of God, the good news that God is redeeming sinners through his Son. God forgives us, accepts us and gives us fresh, new life in his eternal kingdom.

Prayer
Gracious Father, you ask us to set our sights on you and the great promises you give to us. This is the hope not just of Christians but of all mankind. Help us to live our lives showing that we believe this truth to be true, and so that others may see it in us. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Study by Joseph Tkach

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