These are two of the three most important days in Christianity (the other, of course, being the day of Jesus’ birth).
Here at Kalamazoo Community Church, as in millions of churches, we ‘did it up’, trying to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as the HUGE historical event that it is. Here, as in other places, we incorporated full-on worship with full-on teaching, along with beautiful staging and lighting, powerful video…you get the idea.
Question: Why do we do that?
Answer: Because this is ‘THE Weekend‘ and these are ‘THE Events‘ which literally changed everything!
If Jesus really did go to the cross and sacrifice Himself in the place of all who will believe in Him, and if Jesus really did rise from the grave, then NOTHING stays the same!
We at KCC believe with all our hearts, souls, and minds, that these events are historically true, and that they are worth remembering.
…and we’re not alone.
Listen to what the Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians:
“And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.” (1 Corinthians 15:14-19)
In other words, the Apostle Paul–who had been radically changed by his own encounter with Jesus, risen from the dead–knew that
Conversely, if it’s not true…if it’s all been a ruse, a conspiracy, wishful thinking, etc., then he, us–and all who believe–are simpletons and should be pitied.
They’re also still ‘stuck’ in their sins!
Yet, that is not the case.
“But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.” (1 Corinthians 15:20, emphasis mine).
Question: What’s Next?
What difference, in the day-to-day life of a believer, do these events make?
Is it all about ‘eternal life‘ and heaven after I die?
Answer: NO! It’s so much more!
See what Paul writes to the Ephesians:
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 1:19-20, emphasis mine).
His point? The very same power of God which raised Jesus from the dead is now alive–in you! (IF you are a Believer in Jesus Christ, having acknowledged Him as Savior and Lord, by faith.) Paul prays that the Ephesians (and us) would understand how great God’s power is “for us who believe Him”!
Another Question: Do you, Believer, live that way?
How would you answer that?
I’ll write about this a bit more…but right now, I’d like to encourage you to WRESTLE with that!
IF you believe that Jesus has risen, AND you have committed yourself to a life of faith, and IF you believe Paul’s words here, then ‘Why is your faith not Transforming your life, powerfully?’
I think the Lord wants us to wrestle with that.
…and He may just have an answer!