Christ is Risen … or is He?
With all the hurly-burly of modern life, it’s hard sometimes to relate to the goings on of that Passover Festival in Jerusalem. You know, that one! The one during which they crucified Jesus.
A Powerful Story
Whether it’s consumerism or communism, it seems that all those “isms” out there in the world want to rob us of the reality of Christ’s resurrection on that amazing, first “Easter Sunday”.
Take this story, that I picked up in a book some years ago.
In about 1930, the Communist leader Bukharin journeyed from Moscow to Kiev. His mission was to address a huge assembly. His subject – atheism. For a solid hour he aimed his heavy artillery at Christianity, hurling argument and ridicule. At last he was finished and viewed what seemed to be the smouldering ashes of men’s faith. “Are there any questions?” Bukharin demanded. Silence.
Then, a solitary man arose and asked permission to speak. He mounted the platform and moved close to the Communist. The audience was breathlessly silent as the man surveyed them, first to the right and then to the left.
At last he shouted the ancient Orthodox greeting “CHRIST IS RISEN!”
The vast assembly rose as one man and the response came crashing like the sound of an avalanche, “HE IS RISEN INDEED!”
For the one whose faith is in Christ alone, no amount of argument or ridicule or distraction or pressure can overcome the fact that CHRIST IS RISEN!
What Does the Resurrection Mean to You?
But let me ask you, when you woke up this Easter Sunday morning, how close were you really to the truth of the physical resurrection of Jesus?
Were you, like Mary Magdalene, just a little confused? After all, she mistook Jesus for the gardener (imagine living that one down!) (John 20:11-18)
Or perhaps like Thomas, you have problems believing that it could really be true. (John 20:24-29). Poor old Thomas needed physical proof, so Jesus showed him His scars.
The whole point of Jesus’ resurrection is that you should have life, and have it in all its abundance. That’s what the Apostle John wrote as he came close to the end of his Gospel account:
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30,31)
That’s the key! A rich, abundant life. No, not always a comfortable or convenient life. Mostly not that at all. But the sort of life that you’ll get to the end of, look back on, and smile, knowing that you’ve lived it to the full.
When the End Comes
And when the end comes, when that last breath of yours is breathed on planet Earth, you will know that you have just stepped into the next part of eternity. An eternity that you will spend with Him for ever and ever without end, because He died for you and rose again.
May the powerful truth of the empty tomb and the risen Christ fill your heart, and indeed every fibre of your being with the most indescribable joy, for …
CHRIST IS RISEN!
HE IS RISEN INDEED!!
Please … please don’t let the arguments, the distractions, the pressures, the successes, the failures, the treasures, the losses … of this earth, rob you of that.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38,39)