What memories does Easter conjure up for you? I vividly remember matching Easter dresses Grandma made for Mama, my sister, and me. I can almost smell the ham cooking before the huge family feast. And backyard Easter egg hunts were always an adventure!
Oh yeah, somewhere in all the celebration, we attended Church. Mama insisted.
If you’d asked me, I’d have said she was a little fanatical about the whole “Jesus thing.” Seriously. She actually thought a person’s view about Jesus’ Resurrection impacted everything they believed about everything else! (Told you she was a fanatic!)
So much has changed since then. I’ve experienced a lot of life. I’ve attended some great schools, studied a myriad of views and worldviews. I’ve encountered gracious people from diverse cultures around the world. I’ve experienced seasons of doubt. Other times, I seemed to have the wind at my back. Through it all, I’ve learned a life-changing truth:
Mama was right.
Indeed, what we believe about Jesus’ Resurrection impacts everything we believe about everything else! (Yes, I have become the fanatic!)
If there’s no Resurrection, so much we consider vitally important really isn’t significant at all. Think about it. If there’s no Resurrection, why not succumb to every reckless, destructive urge? Why not take what I want, no matter whom it hurts? Why not live for the moment with no concern for tomorrow? None of it matters. After all, I’m just a clump of cells . . . unless there’s a Resurrection.
Why does it matter what I believe? All viewpoints are equally valid…well, except Christianity. It’s the “opiate of the masses,” Marx explained, a crutch giving false hope to naïve pushovers. In fact, Christianity is so misleading that it should be banned from society…unless there’s a Resurrection.
Who cares how I get ahead? If self-discipline and character do not serve me, I can toss it to the wind. Faithfulness in marriage? Why? Forgiveness? Never! “An eye for an eye”, right? Get even!
Let the defenseless care for themselves. What’s it got to do with me? They’re eventually going to die anyway. WE ALL ARE. Then what? Nothing! It’s all hollow, all hopeless….
…unless there’s a Resurrection.
See? Everything we believe about everything does indeed hinge on the reality of the Resurrection. If Jesus didn’t really die that tortuous death for our sake, if He did not physically rise that Easter morning, then this journey called life is ultimately pointless. But if the He did conquer death and humiliate the grave, everything changes! Resurrection means He really is who He says He is, and we really are who He says we are! If Jesus truly defeated every power by His ultimate Power, then life has purpose. I matter. What I do matters. There’s value to my living beyond what I presently see.
If the Resurrection is real, then Jesus is undeniably the Son of God, so I can believe what He says. Get this! Christ says, when we invite Him to dwell in us, He infuses us with Resurrection power also. We endure defeated, directionless lives no more! We overcome!
I don’t know what you believe about Jesus’ Resurrection. Perhaps you have always believed it, but realize you’ve never wholeheartedly embraced its truth. Or maybe it’s all a little over-the-top for you. Maybe you’re pretty sure that people like me take this whole “Jesus thing” entirely too seriously. You’re probably right. I sound like a foolish fanatic…that is, unless there’s a Resurrection.
For comments or prayer, please contact Dr. Lanier at www.HopeCommunityChurch.tv.