Resurrection Day! This is the moment that changed everything. Lazarus was raised from the dead, but would die later of old age. The widow of Nain’s son was raised, but would pass later. BUT Jesus, NO. This man would never die again. In fact, he is still alive. This sets him apart from any miracle recorded in the Bible or any history. He is alive evermore. The tomb is empty, his body transformed to an eternal body, but still flesh and bone. He is called the first born from the dead. He has paved the way for all who believe in him to once again live as a whole being: body, soul, and spirit. Death lost its power over mankind in Jesus. Those who believe have escaped death’s grip as well. There is a day coming when the grave can no longer hold power over the body.
This moment in history has changed the fate of man from eternal damnation to hope in Christ. This moment has been celebrated now for centuries. There can be quiet reflection and gratefulness to gallant pageantry in its celebraton. Christians around the world and in different faith streams all celebrate this moment. The resurrection is what sets us apart from all other religions. We do falter with tombs of religion founders…ours is empty. We do not visit monuments of deceased leaders…ours is alive and well. We do not have a death and dumb idol to serve or a philosophy to follow…ours speaks to us and guides us daily.
The resurrection not only made Jesus alive, it makes us alive! We live because he lives. We hope and have purpose because he gave us purpose and hope.
I have often thought of those who traverse this life without a thought or preparation for eternity. I see the results of this kind of life. There are the beginnings with its plans of education, the diplomas, the career training, the ideas of what they can be. There come the disappointments, life altering events such as sickness, death, premature responsibilities. Then disillusionment can settle in and medicating life’s disappointments with various forms of addictions including drugs, alcohol, and, even more insidious addiction because it is hidden in supposed success, are those who chase wealth, possessions, power, political favor etc. These pursuits can provide acceptance, but be as hollow as those lost in drugs.
It may not be apparent till later in life where the addict meets the social burnout at the same place of hollowness and meaninglessness. Solomon in Ecclesiastes noted the folly of all that pursuit without true happiness nor meaning. Solomon concluded after all the depressive illustrations that the best man could do was to bless God and enjoy life.
I have observed that wealth does not bring happiness. It is no guarantee of joy or health. I have also observed that many who have just enough are the most content and peaceful. Paul, the apostle, made comment that he had learned how to abound and be in need and still be content. I find that the resurrection of Jesus and the power it extends to us brings a confidence and peace if we will just embrace it as an empowering reality and not a historical fact, a life changing spiritual impact and not a religious festival.