While many churches advertised and celebrated their huge numbers yesterday, we gathered with a few families in the home of some good friends of ours. We didn’t have a band or choir or production. We didn’t have a rousing sermon or video presentation or drama. It was just a few brothers and sisters in Christ encouraging one another to live every day in light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
You see, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is an historical event – a very important historical event. But, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is much, much more than an historical event. It is a very present reality for every child of God.
Yesterday, after we all arrived and set our food out in the kitchen and talked about what was going on in our lives and prayed for one another, we started talking about the resurrection. It was a very challenging and encouraging discussion for me.
Challenging… because the discussion with my brothers and sisters in Christ reminded me of how often I do not live in the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Too often, I live as if Jesus was not raised, and that this life and death will be final.
Encouraging… because the discussion was a reminder that as we struggle, Jesus is present, and he is powerful, and he is full of grace and mercy when we fail.
First, the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a demonstration of God’s power, and that same power is still available to us today. This is what Paul wrote about the resurrection and God’s power:
[I pray that you might know] what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places… (Ephesians 1:19-20 ESV)
Second, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a reminder that death is not final, and that we will be raised just as Jesus was raised. Paul wrote about this aspect of the resurrection as well:
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23 ESV)
Finally, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the promise of the continued presence of Jesus with us – even today. Once again, Paul had something to say about this:
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10 ESV)
Obviously, there is much more to the resurrection of Jesus Christ than the three items that I listed above. And, we even talked about more aspects of the resurrection than that. But, those three are certainly important.
I’m glad that we talked about the resurrection yesterday. I’m glad that we encouraged one another to live in the reality of the resurrection yesterday.
My hope, though, is that we continue to encourage one another like this every day.