Lessons From The Death And The Resurrection Of Christ
The past week I have been reading through the Death and Resurrection passages of Christ's last days on earth. Wow. Look around us. It might seem that death in winning. That darkness is ruler. But, this is only temporal. And you can choose to live eternally minded or temporally minded.
Here are some lessons I have learned as I read through these passages this week:
The Death and Resurrection of Christ is the most powerful event in human history
The Death and Resurrection of Christ is at the center of mankind. Historically, all of history was influenced by these events. All of history looked forward to the cross. All of eternity looks back at the cross. All of hell looks up at the cross. And all of heaven looks down at the cross. Theologically, from creation to eternity, the cross is the anchor of biblically history and message. Culturally, why are crosses such an adornment? It goes without argument, everything hinges upon these two events.
Why would we fear anything because of the Resurrection?
There is nothing that God cannot overcome. The power of darkness, death, the grave, and Satan himself are defeated through the Death and the Resurrection of Christ. There is no power on earth or in the spiritual realms that holds victory over Christ and life. It may not look like it immediately, but, ultimately, God wins. Life wins.
Resurrection always follows death - always
Death is temporal. For all of us. Eternity comes for all of us. The Resurrection of Christ assures that if we believe in His work, we live forever in His presence. The Resurrection of Christ also assures that if we do not believe in His work, we live forever away from His presence. But, be assured, as Paul has told us, "For to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." And, "To live is Christ. To die is actually gain." No worries. If you are going through a difficult time, as a believer, there is the promise of victory in the end.
The Death and Resurrection bring courage
To those who believe, there is great courage and faith. Cause for people to come out of hiding. Like Joseph of Arimathea. Before Jesus died, he went to Christ secretly so that the religious council wouldn't see him defecting from their ranks. Now, at Christ's death, and subsequently His Resurrection, Joseph comes out of hiding and asks for the body of Jesus. That he might bury Him in his own tomb. How about Nicodemus? He was the one who came to Jesus at night because he was so afraid and didn't want people to see him speaking with Jesus. Now, he is at the cross and seen with Christ and His disciples after the Resurrection.
The events of the Death and Resurrection are inseparable - both for Christ and for us
Christ overcame death through resurrection. And this is the base of Christianity. For you and me, our world is a mess. The garden that we think exists has been over-run with weeds and unwanted pests. The castle that we think exists is really cracked at its foundation. Look at the proof:
Amos 9.11 says, "In that day I will restore David's fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be..."
Proverbs 24.30-31, "I went past the field of the lazy man, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgement..., and its wall was broken down."
Proverbs 25.28 says, "Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control."
The world is in chaos. Statistics prove this in every sector of society. Broken homes, failed governments, loss of values in media, and war in our world. But, even with this reality, life will follow death. There is a light that shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot comprehend it.
Death and Resurrection is our avenue to eternity
As Charles Spurgeon (the preacher and theologian from the late 1800's) has said, Death and the Resurrection is actually the chariot to God and eternity. Depending upon our belief. That reality will either be in heaven or in hell. Only a real relationship with God is going to assure an eternity in heaven. Quoting Jesus, John said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life...I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go, I will come again and bring you to Myself." (John 14)
Fair or unfair? An unwelcome intruder or a timely escort? However you see it, death and resurrection are part of human-ness. No matter what you are going through, the Death and the Resurrection of Christ has something to say. A hope for every situation. In a world that thinks they are invincible, we often treat death as an unwelcome intruder. Unfair and unjust. While Christianity sees it entirely different. Like an escort to eternity. By average, we only get about 70-80 years to live on this earth. Upon death, whether before or after this average lifespan, for the believer there is life. For the unbeliever there is death.