Parson to Person: Resurrection
Resurrection! It’s a word that by its very nature captures our attention.
A manager in a local factory chided, “If you want to see a resurrection, just come by here when the whistle blows at 5 p.m. You’ll see resurrection first hand!”
Why does this word grab our attention? Because being raised from death is radical. No resurrection has changed our world like the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s still being talked about 2000 years after it happened. Why is this?
When Jesus said that He himself would rise again from the dead three days after He was crucified, He declared only what a fool would say, if he expected long devotion from any disciples — unless He was sure He was going to rise. No other founder of any world religion known to man ever dared to say a thing like that.
Jesus predicted His death and resurrection in an unmistakable manner. He said it would be a sign to authenticate His claims to be the Messiah - God in human form (Matt. 12:39-40).
The sign given to you will be the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and nights in the heart of the earth.
Again in John 2:18 — What sign will you show us, seeing you do these things? Jesus answered, ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.’
(Matt. 17:23) They will kill Him and the third day He will be raised up.
(Mark 9:10) They kept His word to themselves, questioning what the rising of the dead meant.
(Luke 9:26) The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed and be raised the third day.
I suppose anyone could foretell their death and then go put themselves in harm’s way, or even take their own life. But who could foretell their own death and their own resurrection? Not only did He prophesy that it would happen, He did so 2,500 years before He does it. And then He fulfills it! His death and resurrection truths confront me with both His incredible love for me and His supreme Lordship over all. I must answer. I cannot simply ignore it. My decision will have ultimate consequences. He is either Lord or lunatic. Only in vain will I argue my case.
Dr. Thomas Arnold (1795-1842), well-known professor at Oxford University and writer of ‘History of Rome’ and ‘Lectures on Modern History’ said, “I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them. I know of no other fact in history which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God has given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.”
A living God. Not a superstition. Not a myth. Not a cruel hoax.
This Easter, we again celebrate, rejoice, renew, yes believe that if “Christ be not raised, then our faith is vain and we remain in our sins.”
But our past can be changed. Our sins can be forgiven. Our hope is real, for Christ is risen!