Monday, April 14, 2014

Resurrection Celebrations, despite Increasing Secularism

He is Risen!  He is risen indeed!!

It is a truth for many, unqualified and unmitigated.  Jesus is risen from the dead.

In that truth is the power of Christianity, Christ, and the Gospel Message.  This message will not go away.  It will not die.  It will neither be argued away, nor persecuted away, nor legislated away.  It’s a message that is here to stay—until Jesus returns.

Luke, a medical doctor by education and profession, writes: “During the forty days after his crucifixion, he [Jesus] appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive.  And he talked to them about the kingdom of God.”  (Acts 1:3, NLT)

Luke describes a few more things about the Apostles’ personal interaction with the post-resurrected Jesus, and then adds the following: “After saying this, he [Jesus] was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and could no longer see him.  As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them.  ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, why are you standing here staring into heaven?  Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”  (Acts 1:9-11, NLT)  Hence the Christian belief that Jesus will return again—as victor rather than sufferer, the second time around.

Argue against it as you will.  The witness is there.  The testimony is given.  And the intention is clear.  Jesus was dead, suffered and died, literally, fully, really.  And now he lives.  He is risen!  For nothing is impossible with God.

In short, this means things like:

- God obviously has power of Life over Death.

- Jesus’ death was intentional.  Jesus died for a reason, and we would do well to clearly understand that purpose.

- In the person of Jesus, humanity has personal, experiential, and testimonial evidence, that there is indeed Life after death.

- Jesus is therefore the cornerstone, the lynchpin of our hope and faith in humanity’s salvation, which includes life after death, the hope for ultimate and final justice, and the victory of goodness over evil, among other things.

It is no wonder then that this message, this conviction, this belief and hope in the resurrection of Jesus will not die.  It is especially powerful in the face of all that is wrong with this world, its extreme pain and suffering, its oppression and injustice, and its dark unabashed evils.

So we celebrate and we proclaim with passionate hearts and full conviction: Jesus Lives!  Jesus is Lord!!  He is Risen!!!

Please, do join us in that celebration and enter into this great hope for humanity.

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