Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
1 Corinthians 15:12-19
The question sneaks in like a shadow this season of the year. It's not the trumpet-blast question of elephants and donkeys vying for votes, or even the thumbs-up/thumbs-down question of tax time. But if we're honest, even the goofy symbols of rabbits and colored eggs confront us with the question as much as the ecclesiastical pageantry and Hallelujah chorus. What will you do with the resurrection?
The reality that Jesus is alive, raised from the dead, and reigning as King forms the gravitational center of all that we believe about Christianity. Peter preached it, Paul proclaimed it, and the Church universal has declared it through the ages. But what about you? And what about me? What will we do with the resurrection?
The power and wisdom of God are on full display in Jesus alive again. The same power that called into the dark and formless void of pre-creation, and hovered over the womb of a virgin Jewish teenager, spoke into the darkness of the tomb of Jesus Christ. There could be no other way. A dead prophet would never amount to more than a memory, and an imperfect sacrifice could never bring more than temporary appeasement. God's great promise of redemption and His eternal covenant call for a sinless King who is alive.
The person and work of Jesus Christ coalesce in the resurrection. Jesus is exactly who He said He was. He didn't mince words or make outlandish statements. He was and is the long-awaited Messiah, the Hope of Israel and the object of centuries of prophecy. Jesus said that He must suffer and die. He explained to His disciples that He was sent to do that work, and His resurrection bears witness to the truth that His work of intercession continues this very day.
The Peace and Witness of the Holy Spirit are based on the truth that Jesus will never leave or forsake those who are His. The primary ministry of the Holy Spirit is to bear witness to Jesus. And on the night in which He was betrayed, Jesus said that the time was coming when those who are in Christ would know a peace and have a joy foreign to the world. The resurrection confirms the truth of those promises.
And so we confront the anti-cultural, unpopular, quiet question of this in-between age. Do you know Jesus, now raised and reigning? And do you live your life looking forward to the day when that same Jesus, very much alive, will return to claim you as His own?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the Founder and Perfector of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1- 2