Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 2, 2012

"And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 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 firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep"..........."When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? "Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." I Cor. 15:14-20 & 54-58

Life is about figuring out what matters and what doesn't. The sooner you figure that out the better your life will be. Some never figure it out.

Usually, you figure out what matters through being told what matters by someone who matters a lot to you. Most often you are taught what matters by your parents because they matter most to you and you learn to value what they value. Over time, as you mature, you begin to develop your own value system to determine what matters most to you.

If you are a Christian you must ultimately develop your value system according to the truths and people who are recorded in the Bible. When you decide that Biblical values will matter more to you than material or temporal or cultural values you will begin to experience some push-back and that pressure forces you to regularly examine and evaluate what matters to you. That can be a healthy process! Perhaps you are in that process right now.

So, what matters most to you? What should matter to you is what matters to God since pleasing Him should matter most to you. In this message to the Christians at Corinth, Paul states clearly and confidently that what matters most is the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

That is why Easter is such a big deal! Easter is a big deal because the resurrection IS THE DEAL! Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, He was a liar, because He promised His disicples that He would return from the dead. Without the resurrection, God is a failure, because His plan for redeeming the human race depended on His Son dying and then rising from the grave. And, as Paul says his preaching is useless, as is your faith, and we are fools or liars, we are trapped in our sins, and we have no hope in life or at death if Jesus did not die for you and me and if He did not arise from the dead.

Without the resurrection of Jesus, nothing matters. With the resurrection, every promise in the Bible matters! Without the resurrection the Bible is a fable and the Old Testament Prophets are fools. With the resurrection, God has proven He has power over sin and death! His power matters! With the resurrection we have the hope of our own resurrection! That matters! God made sure the resurrection matters because He wants you to know how much you matter to Him!

Jesus' resurrection matters because it is the heart of the matter!

Will you bow before the Father and thank Him for the Resurrection of Jesus? Will you stand up and rejoice that you serve a Risen Savior? Will you go to your church Sunday and worship for all you're worth? Will you worship like it matters? Worship matters because He matters. And He matters because of His resurrection!