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Sunday, March 27, 2016

He's Alive!

Perhaps the singularly most important event in the life of Christ is the event we celebrate today -- the Resurrection. Perhaps.

We get that His birth (Matt 1:18), with His Father as God and His mother as the virgin, Mary, was important. It's uniqueness declared a unique event and a unique person. (The term the King James Bible translates "only begotten" is most literally "one of a kind". The μονογενής -- monogenēs -- is the one (mono) kind (genus), the Son of God.) His sinless life (Heb 4:15) was absolutely essential. The one that sins owes his own debt to God (Ezek 18:20); only the One who does not sin is capable of taking on the sin of others (2 Cor 5:21). It was absolutely critical that Christ die on the cross as the Lamb of God. In doing that He fulfilled the prophecies and took on your sin and mine. He bore our curse. No crucifixion, no salvation.

But the Resurrection ... well, imagine for a moment a NASA moon launch in the 60's. When the Apollo 13 capsule, crippled and critical, entered the Earth's atmosphere, both the ground crew and the astronauts had done everything they could to ensure a safe return. Still, when that communication blackout occurred (as it did on every reentry), there were tense moments waiting for a response. It actually was longer than anticipated. It was not until communication was regained that success was known. The same is true with the Resurrection. At that critical moment when the man, Jesus, was executed and buried, there was the (human) possibility that He had been a man who was executed or that He was, in fact, God the Son, taking on the sin of the world. Only when He rose as He predicted did we know which it was. It is said you can't keep a good man down. Since there is no good man but Christ, I suppose it is true.

Paul considered it "the gospel" (1 Cor 15:1), declaring, "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also." (1 Cor 15:3-8) (Isn't it interesting that Paul felt no compulsion to defend His death. It was His resurrection that required witnesses.) On the Resurrection Paul wrote:
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. (1 Cor 15:13-21)
"If Christ was not raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins." I think that qualifies as "singularly important". On the other hand, because He lives, we can be confident that He took our sin. Because He lives, we will live. Because He lives, death is overcome.

Maybe you're lackadaisical about Easter. You know, too much commercialism and candy and eggs. Okay, fine, but do not miss the event most worth celebrating -- the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the source of our hope, the point of our certainty. Hallelujah! The Lord is risen!


David said...

He is risen indeed!

I have to wonder what the lesson is in His resurrection to those that believe He merely lived a life of example and His death didn't actually accomplish anything but to show us to be self-sacrificing.

Stan said...

No point. No point at all.

Anonymous said...

Terrible situation in Pakistan today.

Bob said...

i have heard that He died for our sins and rose for our justification. His resurrection demonstrated that the father excepted the sacrifice. in addition Jesus imputed his righteousness to our account. wow. if we are saved by his death , how much more are we save by his life. people that think of this act as a mere example of how we should walk, are missing the whole point. we were dead and He gave us life. He is risen indeed. let the world spin their foolish ideas. silly spinners, Jesus died for sinners.

Stan said...

Yes! Jesus died ... and rose for sinners!