If He is not Risen, I am a Fool Indeed

Posted on April 21, 2011


 

“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

-1 Corinthians 15:19-

Christianity is like a two-sided coin.

On the one side, there is the crucifixion.  The fact stands that the Savior that Christians worship was executed.  The cross they wear around their necks?  Akin to wearing an electric chair on a chain!  Jesus’ death was gruesome. He even cried out to God, “Why have you forsaken me!”  He experienced separation from his Father for the first time in all of eternity.

This side of the coin tells us several things.  It shows us that sin is brutal. It shows us that God will reject his own son if there is sin on Him. It tells us that the punishment for sin is torturous, physically and spiritually.  It says that to God, sin is a very, very big deal.

Often, belief in Jesus stops right about at this point.  Many believe that he was a great prophet, and that he died.  Many believe that now, Christians use him to point out to everyone how gruesome and bloody and hell-worthy their sins are.

But if Jesus was just a historical figure who was crucified for his crazy beliefs, then Christians are fools.

For the other side of the coin is the resurrection.  Jesus, after being crucified, stabbed in the side, wrapped up and entombed, came alive again.

According to the Bible, when Jesus rose again, he conquered death.  When he rose again, he triumphed over sin.  He proved that he meant it when he said a new kingdom is coming.  His resurrection meant that the kingdom is here and that when he comes again, it will be fulfilled completely.

This means that I am free to live in such a way that I can look through both sides of the coin.  Through its lens I see that I am free from sin and from death.  Christ’s kingdom here on earth presents a radically new way for me to live.

This kingdom emulates love that is unheard of.

 How can I do anything but (strive to) love everybody when Christ loved me so much he died for me while I was still his enemy?

Imagine the moments in life when you feel so loved and so close to someone that you might explode with feeling. This is a small glimpse of what heaven will be like.

This kingdom is insistent upon forgiveness. 

The example given is of someone who not only forgives me, but forgave his killers as he hung on the cross.

I have many people to forgive.  Some, I don’t want to- the circumstances are such that I want to justify unforgiveness. But before the picture that Jesus offers, one that is so sacrificial and so full of mercy, how can I live a life where I am the judge?

This kingdom is founded upon hope.

The hope that because of Jesus, anything that is dead can come alive again!

Any relationship where hope has been lost- it can be restored. Anybody whose life is stagnant can be woken up again.  Any hurt that cuts through the heart and beyond can be healed.  This does not make sense unless God is dynamic and alive.

This kingdom has a renewed body, mind, and spirit.

Jesus had each of these things, and so we know that they are valuable and reclaimed.

The resurrection changes life in a way that goes against the way that we are ingrained to think and reason, because apart from the resurrection, Christ’s kingdom doesn’t make sense.

But He is alive, and it changes everything. 

 “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

– Romans 8:31-35; 37-39 –

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Posted in: Seriously