Once again the world ‘remembered’ the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. In most cases it was just an annual ritual. Some used the opportunity to propagate the proper meaning behind the sufferings of Christ.
A true Christian remembers the death and resurrection of Christ everyday of his life. His faith and life stands upon these vital truths – the atoning sacrifice and His victory over the grave. These are fundamental to Christianity. Apostle Paul puts it poignantly, “If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty…. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins…we are of all men the most pitiable.” 1 Corin 15”14 –19.
However, having a mental understanding of the importance these New Testament teachings and being affected by the implication of it are two different things.
A story is heard about the great reformer Martin Luther. Once he saw his wife wearing a black gown against her regular practice. He enquired about it with much curiosity. The answer stunned him, “Martin Luther’s Lord is dead” she replied. He understood the message. He was depressed over certain issues. That prudent wife could symbolically convey the reality that, how irrational it is to be discouraged when our Lord is alive.
If such a great man of God could ignore the effect of the resurrection of Christ how much more vulnerable we are in this busy world. We ought to ponder over these facts repeatedly so that we may be gripped and challenged by it. Our Lord is alive, triumphantly came out of the grave breaking the Roman seal and defeated death and devil. What does it signify?
1. Proves His deity. Romans 1:4.
His divinity is proved beyond any doubt. As perfect God and the creator Himself, death could not hold Him. All His claims are right; He is what He claimed to be. He has all the authority in heaven and earth. We can trust Him and follow Him.
2. Confirms our salvation. Rom 4:25
His atoning sacrifice for our sins was effective. God the Father has accepted His declaration, ‘it is finished’. Since the Lord Jesus has fulfilled all that the Law demanded, God is free to forgive, cleanse and justify us. Rom 3: 25, 26.
3. Assures His intercession. Romans 8:34; Heb 7:25
Not only He saved us, He keeps us as well. One of the ways by which the Lord protects us is His intercession for us. He died to procure our salvation; now He lives to secure our salvation. Because He lives and pleads for us, He is able to save us to the uttermost. 1John 2:1
4. Demonstrates the power of God. Ephesians 1:19, 20. Phil 3:30
Resurrection of Christ vividly illustrates what God can do in our life too. He is able to quicken a dead body and bring to life again. In the Old Testament God’s power was gauged by what He did for Israel in their deliverance from Egypt. Whereas in the New Testament, the power of God is gauged by what He did for Christ in raising Him from the dead.
Paul longed to experience this supernatural power in His own life. He also prayed that believers may be aware of the inexplicable and infinite power of God that raised Christ from the dead. In the physical realm as well as spiritual sphere, there is nothing impossible with our Lord. The transformation and revival that He can bring out in us is unimaginable and unfathomable.
Awareness of this truth should encourage us to face any stage in life. When our Lord is very much alive and His strength is available for us, why should we fear, doubt or despair? Rev 1:17.
5. Guarantees our life after death. Rom 6:14; 1Cor 15:22; John 14:19
It was a puzzling question for mankind, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). By the resurrection of Christ this question is answered. True, earlier also there were occasions when the dead was raised again. But they were raised to live with the same mortal body, but Christ was raised with a glorified body. Death is not the end; we shall all receive a glorified body. Not that we shall just live after death, we shall be with Him.
As there is life beyond this earthly sojourn, how we ought to live for Christ and look for His return. 2 Cori 5:15; 1Cori 15:58. When the Lord is alive and going to come very soon is it wise to concentrate all our attention to the earthly things? How foolishness it is to invest all our resources for this corruptible world and neglect the things of God?
The apostles and early Christians were so caught by the truth of Christ’s resurrection. The fearful little flock were so charged by this message that no body could stop them from preaching about it. They lived and died for their risen Saviour, earnestly looking for His appearance. Let our life style be motivated and challenged by this truth – Our Lord is alive. Our words and activities must reflect this conviction – ‘Because He lives…..”
A Kidnap Story
A young business man from a well-to-do family in San Francisco was kidnapped by a couple of professional hoodlums and held for ransom in a hideaway in the city. The district attorney called the newsmen together and asked for their cooperation. He asked them to do an unusual thing – not to print anything until the police could have a chance to find the victim and his abductors.
The newspapermen agreed to keep an absolute blackout on all news of the kidnapping, as though they did not know anything about it. One leak – the slightest hint in the news media that the police knew of the plot – would have meant death for the young man. The sprit of the thing took hold of the newspaper – men until they were more excited about saving the man’s life than getting news out of it.
When the search was successfully ended, a hard bitten city editor sat at his desk, saying, “For twenty five years I’ve been writing stories about life. This is the first time I’ve had a part in making the story come out right.”
When a man’s life is at stake, there is excitement in that.