Last Friday we observed Good Friday in remembrance of our Lord’s crucifixion and death on the cross. By tasting death for every man, Jesus took our penalty as He erased our guilt. Now God can forgive. Indeed we can echo with Paul when he said “the Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal.2:20b)
Today we celebrate one of the most significant event in Christian history- the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The incontrovertible fact of the resurrection of Jesus was preached at the very first public evangelism by the early disciples (Acts 2:14-41). It was boldly proclaimed shortly after his death and at the very place in Jerusalem where it happened. There were very little time for the claim to be a legendary story made up by the followers and which happened long time ago and in a faraway place where it is not possible to verify the claim. The septic can easily go to the tomb where He was buried and produce the body to refute the claim. However the most that the enemy of Gospel can put forward is that the body was stolen by the disciples (Matt.28:11-15). The Bible gives the names of individuals and groups of people whom the resurrected Jesus appeared to (1 Cor.15:3-11). The majority were still alive at that time and many of them were willingly to die for it. If the disciples indeed stole the body and lied about the resurrection what is the reason for them to be willing to die for the lie?
The resurrection of Jesus is a significant event for the following reasons:
- Our message is not in vain. If Christ has not been raised from the dead then our preaching is useless (1 Cor.15: 12-14). The good news of the gospel is that we have a Saviour who conquers death and offers salvation to the world.
- Our faith is not in vain. Paul said “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile” (1 Cor.15:17-19). We will still be in our sins and when we die, we are lost forever and there is nothing to look forward to. There will be nothing to hope for or to live for. Indeed it is because Christ is risen, we have the motivation for living, the motivation for service and the motivation to subject ourselves to the sanctification of the Holy Spirit.
We celebrate Easter because”the power of sin is broken and death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor.15:54). Sin refers not to the act but the condition. It is the condition of the heart that produces the sinful acts. The Bible says “we fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.2:23) or we “miss the mark”.
We celebrate Easter because we will be changed- our perishable bodies will be changed to imperishable bodies. Imagine no more wrinkles, aches or sickness. No need for plastic surgery or regular workout at the gym or be enslaved to strict dietary regime to keep the bodies healthy.
“Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain. (1 Cor.15:58)
Deacon Wayne Teo