An Either/Or Decision
In a world as complicated and as dangerous as the one in which we live, it is comforting that there are a few things that come down to an either/or decision. When it comes to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, you have just two choices. Either Jesus physically died, was buried and then miraculously rose from the dead, or the whole thing is a fairy tale.
When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he reminded them that he taught as "utmost in importance" that Jesus had, in fact, risen from the dead. Our creeds are clear on this. We get the phrase, "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die" from Paulís remarks. He said if Jesus had not risen, then we might as well eat and drink, for we are going to die in our sins and our faith is futile.
Hundreds of times, I have stood at a freshly dug grave and looked grieving relatives in the eye and read the scriptures about eternal life and Jesusí victory over death. Time and time again I have been amazed at the power of this truth that gives hope. When Jesus stood at the tomb of his friend, Lazarus, He told Lazarusís sister, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, even though he dies, yet shall he live." He then asked the most important question you and I will ever answer: "Do you believe this?"
I have sat with friends as the chemotherapy chemicals are infused into their bodies. I have hugged family members as they surround the hospital bed of a loved one in the throes of death. I have knocked on the door of the young wife of the Marine who was not coming home. I stood in Manhattan, where the smell of death hung like the noxious vapor it is, over the hopes and dreams of thousands. My testimony is this: Jesus rose from the dead and He has defeated death once and for all for those who would believe.
As we celebrate Jesusí victory over death, letís not forget that He is very much interested in all that death has done to our world; the death of a dream, the death of a marriage, the death of hope. "If the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He shall quicken your mortal bodies."
Why not tell Jesus about the things that have died in your life? He is the only One with the power to bring dead things back to life. Christ the Lord is Risen. He is risen indeed!
Copyright 2008 by Jim Jenkins. All rights reserved.