This past Sunday was Easter! This is the day that the church worldwide celebrates the fact that Jesus was dead but that he rose from the dead and is now alive!
This Sunday we looked at a passage from 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul is speaking to the church at Corinth about the resurrection. He tells them three main things.
First, the resurrection can be hard to believe. Paul tells the church at Corinth three things; that Christ died for our sins, was buried and was raised to live again, but Paul emphasizes Jesus being raised over and over again. He tells how Jesus appeared to Peter, then to all 12 disciples, then to 500, then to James, then to the apostles and lastly to Paul himself. Paul did this because people have a hard time believing in the resurrection and Paul was simply telling them how many witnesses there were. There was a teaching going on in the church at that time saying that resurrection was not possible so people had a hard time buying it but Paul assures them that Jesus was raised from the dead. We sometimes do similar things with the resurrection story. It’s easy to have a conversation with someone about Jesus being a good man who died for us, but try bringing up the fact that he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. This conversation can be a little tougher. Paul mentions all of these witnesses to assure us that Jesus DID rise from the dead.
Second, the resurrection is absolutely essential. Paul makes the basic argument that the whole thing is a house of cards that is built on Jesus’ resurrection. If you take out the fact that Jesus rose from the dead then the entire Christian faith falls apart. He tells us if Christ has not been raised from the dead then Paul’s preaching and their faith is worthless and believers in Christ are to be pitied. Those who have already died will never be raised to new life in heaven. If Jesus has not been raised from the dead then we are totally wasting our time. But Paul calls us to believe it because it happened and he calls us to put all of our hope in the fact that Jesus Christ died but was raised from the dead.
Third , the resurrection is our ultimate hope and it should shape our lives. All of us hope in something and what we hope for shapes our lives. Some hope for fame or success or happiness and those things shape who they are and what they do. Paul calls us to put all of our hope in the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and those who believe in him will be joining him in his new life. Christ’s death and resurrection don’t just mean that our sins are forgiven, they also mean that our future with God in heaven is secured. This should shape everything! Our ambitions and our fears should all be shaped by the fact that our future is secured by a God who has power over death and calls us to join him in eternal life.
Church, know that the morning that Jesus rose from the dead is fulcrum of our faith. If Jesus didn’t rise then we are wasting our time. But if he did rise then it’s all true. Hell has been defeated. Death has no power. Our sin has been forgiven. Eternal life is possible in Christ and He is making all things new. And on Easter we as a church celebrate the fact that it’s true.
Christ is risen.
Band for the Week was:
- Alex Dellapenta – guitar + vox
- Jon Pritchett – guitar
- Julie Watkins – vox
- Zack Van Hoy – drums
- John Enzor – bass
- Patrick Downing – guitar + vox