“If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
Paul wrote those words 2,000 years ago in his letter to the church in Corinth. The people there had become Christians because they had heard the amazing story about how Jesus had died for their sins and then risen from the dead. As Paul is using his letter to help them understand what it means to walk with God as a follower of Jesus, he reminds them… “Jesus rose from the dead, people! If He didn’t rise from the dead, all of this Christian stuff is pointless. But he did! And that changed everything for all of us.”
Dave and I recently watched the movie Risen. My husband is a pastor and my son is a film-maker so I tend to be pretty hard on “Christian” movies, but this one was amazing. We loved it.
It’s a story about a Roman soldier who was there when Jesus died. He was then responsible for making sure the tomb was sealed so no one could steal the body. And once the body was gone, he was given the job of finding the body so they could prove Jesus was really dead.
In the process of searching for the body of Jesus, the Roman soldier found Him…. but He wasn’t dead. He was alive.
Those Who Saw Him Were Forever Changed
My favorite part of the movie is the way they portrayed the disciples. We don’t see them until after they have seen Jesus risen from the dead, so we don’t see the fear and confusion and loss they went through when Jesus was crucified. All we see is the joy and confidence and love and peace that overflows from their lives once they know He rose from the dead! He was alive! They had seen Him! And that changed everything for them.
And it changed everything for us.
Peter expressed it this way to another group of new believers.
“Praise God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us a new life through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Now we live with great hope, and we have a priceless inheritance waiting for us in heaven, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by His power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure the trials that come with living in a fallen world, for a while.” I Peter 1:3-6
Do You Believe It?
If you truly believe that Jesus rose from the dead, that fact should change everything about who you are and what your life is all about. I’m intentionally trying to remind myself of that every day.
As you walk through your days in this fallen world, may joy and confidence and love and peace overflow out of your life onto all who cross your path. And may you be prepared to share the amazing story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection when they ask the reason for the hope you have within you.
by Bernice Gudgel