Over the next seven weeks, I would like to think through forty things that are true if Jesus, indeed, “rose from the dead”. This will take us through Ascension Day (May 21) and Pentecost (May 31). Both of these are important days of remembrance following the Resurrection and we will highlight them.
Paul states that without the resurrection, our faith would be in vain and we would still be lost.
“… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” 1 Cor 15:17
This is not a minor statement and it should cause us pause, for it puts this unique historical event into sharp perspective.
It is easy for me, and possibly you, to treat Easter as another Christian holiday marked by multiple, and possibly extensive, preparations. Church choirs rehearse diligently and on overtime (think sans Covid-19 through all of this), special services are prepared (think Good Friday and sometimes Sunrise Services), thousands of lilies are tended and provoked to bloom at the right time and are purchased to line sanctuary rails, special clothing and hats are bought or laid out, after-church family meals are planned and prepared and joyously consumed, and, as I did for years, some create treasure hunts, hide carefully painted eggs, make or purchase Easter baskets, chocolate bunnies, peeps, and who knows what else the market has come up with.
The point here is that just like Christmas and Thanksgiving and every other holiday, including birthdays, anniversaries, and the multitude of “take-your-boss-to-lunch” kind of days, they are preceded with much preparation, happy execution, and then forgotten except to toss the wrappings into the trash and press on with life as usual.
When I was at the White House, the annual “Easter Egg Roll” on the south lawn was a really big deal with weeks of preparation, followed immediately by a massive clean-up and the Secret Service hustling folks out of the “compound”.
For the Resurrection, however, Paul would imply that it is something so critical to our faith that it should be an ever-present reality. The astounding cry, “He lives!” should be on-going, not a one-and-done holiday. I think it would be important for us to ponder and meditate upon the deep implications that the tomb was really, truly empty and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is really real… absolutely true… a historical fact that has every day implications.
So, we will look at not only these implications, but also the apologetic propositions and the incredible truths that logically follow this unmatched historical assertion. We will not go through these in any particular order. We are not going from the least to the greatest or vice versa, in fact, you may feel as if they are somewhat haphazard. Which may be true! For I will list them as they come to mind… which increasingly seems to be quite haphazard. :)
But, maybe… after seven weeks, we will have imprinted these implications and truths deep in our hearts such that they will help us with our walk into the darkness we call future. Because, it is the Resurrection of Christ that stands at the forefront in the apologetic reality of who Jesus is and what God has done for us.
[Next: The Seal Was Broken]