Monday, April 18, 2011

April 19, 2011

"And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.  But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."  I Corinthians 15:17-22

Do you remember as a kid how you played soldier or maybe cowboys and Indians? You would hide behind a tree or in the bushes and shoot your cap gun to make sure you got the "bad guys" before they got you! The idea of the game was to make sure you didn't get "killed". But, in fact, you got "killed" a number of times. Other than the sting of losing the battle, being "killed" was no big deal because you would rise to play again! Over the course of a long Summer day of cowboys and Indians you probably got "killed" a dozen times or more!

If death were no bigger of a deal than it was in a game of cowboys and Indians, then the resurrection of Jesus Christ would be of no consequence. But death IS real. And death IS final. Therefore, death is fearful.

But Jesus died. The Son of God succumbed to death! That is a big deal! It is not easy for God to die and it was anything but easy for Jesus. He suffered unimaginable cruelty. The agony inflicted on Him has been experienced by no other in history. It is a big deal because He did it for you! He took the shame and the penalty of your sinfulness and paid it for you on the cross! Though He was innocent He took your guilt! It killed Him so you wouldn't have to die for your sins!

Jesus' death was a big deal because by dying in sin He conquered sin!

As significant as His death was, His resurrection was even bigger! In this cosmic battle between good and evil, the Good Guy won! He arose from the dead on the third day! By rising from the dead - coming back to life after being dead for three days - He defeated death! And He defeated it not only for Himself but for you and for me! That is a big deal! That is worthy of celebrating!

So, one of these days when death comes to claim you, because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ - the miraculous return from the dead, the best documented return from the dead - you will re-enact your cowboy and Indian days of getting back up after you are dead!

That is a big deal!

That is something worthy of celebrating!

Celebrate it now! Celebrate it tomorrow! Join your Christian brothers and sisters and celebrate it BIG TIME this Easter Sunday! Celebrate it as though your life depends on it! Oh, by the way, IT DOES!