5 reasons Jesus’ resurrection matters

“Good Friday and Easter free us to think about other things far beyond our own personal fate, about the ultimate meaning of all life, suffering, and events: and we lay hold of a great hope.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Does the resurrection really matter?

Trust me, this isn’t a lecture about why you should attend church on Easter Sunday or why you should attend church the other 51 days during the year.

The question is why the resurrection matters in life. Does it make any difference in your every day, drag-yourself-to-work kind of day that involves paying bills, eating, fighting colds, and exercising?

The resurrection of Jesus can change the destiny of your life. It matters for eternity, surely, but it also matters today and every day. That’s good because Easter is coming, and you’ve got eggs to dye and bunny cookies to make.

Jesus cheated death. The discussion of the resurrection begins with the person who marks the end of B.C. (“before Christ”) and the onset of A.D. Anno Domini (“in the year of our Lord”). History itself revolves around Jesus. Why? He’s the only human to cheat death of his own free will and power. This is the resurrection everyone must confront at some point in his life–the historical data that there lived a perfect prophet (i.e.. God’s son) who died and raised himself to life and returned to heaven. How do we know that? Hundreds of people saw him and testified to his death and his earthly life afterwards. And if he cheated death–a death he predicted and accepted–than he was either a lunatic or the person he said he was. And he said he was God. You can read the whole story in John chapters 18-20.

We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

1 John 5:20

No one else has ever been resurrected. And I’m not talking about rumors of ghost sightings or near-death experiences. Have people been shocked back to life with those paddles? Surely. But nobody ever died on purpose and raised himself back to life. Resurrection means someone who was dead came back to life and talked to his friends and ate dinner and stuff. Mohammed, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul III, Martin Luther, and Billy Graham were all spiritual leaders. But they are all dead. They have tombs where their bodies are rotting, and they are powerless to stop the process. Jesus’ tomb, however, sits empty. (You can see it.) His resurrection power gives resurrection power to everything else in my life–yes, even in my normal non-Easter life.

Nature is in a pattern of resurrection. That resurrection affects the day-to-day resurrections in our temporal world. Belief in Jesus’ resurrection spearheads all other possible resurrections, and you do believe in those, even if you don’t believe in Him. Let me explain.

The sun comes up every morning, inspiring us to productivity, yet sets every night, under the equally important light of the moon, which ushers rest into our hurried lives. We couldn’t stop the power of our solar system, even if we tried. We count on it.

Seeds die so new life can grow. Each spring, flowers burst forth anew, trees re-bud and bear fruit, year after year. The food cycle continues, the animal kingdom functions, all in tandem, all in natural rejuvenation. Nature renews itself without our help.

In every family, the elderly pass away, and the young bring new babies into the world, all pink and innocent and full of wonder. Incredibly, new life follows on the heels of death.

Humans can have hope in emotional rebirth. Let’s not forget the resurrection of the human spirit–the daring challenge of starting over when all seems lost:  the battered wife who breaks free, the broken marriage that repairs itself, the addict who accepts accountability, the slave who escapes, the abused who disarms the power of the abuser. These are resurrections, and they are the resurrections that defeat God’s enemy, just as His resurrection defeated his enemy 2,000 years ago.

Tragedy brings tears, yet laughter brings joy; even midst heartache, a laugh or a smile can chase away pain. How does this phenomenon work?

A resurrection mindset will change your life. A lifestyle of resurrection chooses change when the status quo would be easier. It believes in the unexplainable without embarrassment because it has lived the transformation. It gives when it feels empty. It loves when it feels hated. It confesses when it sins. It believes when life seems hopeless.

This is the power of the resurrection, every day, from now till eternity. And then it begins again.

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’”

John 11:25

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