Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Resurrection of Christ

Easter has its fair share of chocolate bunnies, big bonnets and baked ham dinners with the family. It’s a special time fun time for children. Of course, the Easter “holiday” also has a spiritual significance for hundreds of millions of “believers” who remember that first “Resurrection Sunday.”

Knowing that I am a preacher, I am often asked by people this time of the year, “How does your church plan to celebrate Easter?” You can imagine I’m sure from similar responses you have no doubt experienced when people are very surprised to hear when I tell them that we don’t have any special elaborate Easter programs. Rather I say every single Sunday is to be revered as the day of resurrection. The New Testament makes no specific reference to the apostles or early church celebrating “Easter” or Christmas on specific days. Instead, the resurrection of Christ was always emphasized on the Lord’s Day and in the weekly remembrance of the Lord’s Supper on every first day of the week. (cf. Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:23-24; 16:1-2)

Having said that, let me be very clear: Now, we don’t want to ever come across as ones who do not believe that Christ's sacrifice and resurrection are important. The Bible teaches that the resurrection of Christ is the central fact of New Testament Christianity. (cf. 1 Cor. 15:3-4) If Jesus were not raised from the dead, then nothing in the scriptures--or for that matter, outside the scriptures--is of eternal value. This is what Paul meant when he wrote, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Cor. 15:19 NIV) Christianity without the resurrection of Christ is no Christianity. It would be absolutely meaningless.

One final thought to keep in mind. I am always thankful when people anytime are thinking about Jesus and His life, death, burial and resurrection. Therefore I have always believed that these occasions provide us wonderful opportunities to invite and look for visitors. This could be our only opportunity to connect with some people who may be searching for a purpose to their life. Take the opportunity to especially invite someone this week to Bible class and worship with you.

God bless,
Robert Prater

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