Thursday, April 28, 2011
Why is Easter such a powerful experience for Christians? Because it gives us the opportunity to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus! In the first Century a small group of Jews spent time with another Jew named Jesus. They chose to become his disciples, to learn from him. They followed him from one town to another, watching as he taught, healed, and delivered people from the power of the Evil One, Satan. Then they watched him be taken prisoner, beaten, and finally crucified between two common criminals. They saw him die. They saw his body buried in a borrowed tomb. Then they heard he had been raised from the dead, and they saw him in his resurrected body. They were convinced that he had been resurrected from the dead by God. They were so convinced that they began preaching the Resurrection; that is what they preached -- the Resurrection of Jesus! They were not trying to persuade people to accept the beliefs he had taught them; they were trying to persuade that he had been resurrected. The Resurrection was the chief theme of their preaching. They were persecuted for their preaching and each of them, except for John, died a violent death. But they were willing to suffer and die rather than renounce their conviction that Jesus had been raised from the dead. Belief in the Resurrection was the lynchpin of the Christian faith. If Jesus had not been raised from the dead, there would have been no stories of Jesus, no Christian Church, no New Testament, no mighty Christian movement. Had there been no resurrection we would never have heard of Jesus. But because the Resurrection actually happened, millions have come to God through faith in the shed blood of Jesus. Easter Sunday gives us a chance once a year to celebrate the truth of the Resurrection! And because He lives, we can face tomorrow and anything else we must face! Glory!