The day after Easter, it’s worth pondering, “What difference does the resurrection of Jesus have in my life?”
Some people, even professing Christians, believe it was just a story. (How in the world can people who call themselves ‘Christian’ still come to such a conclusion?) And for some who do believe, Easter is more of an event than a lifestyle. Church attendance swells on Easter Sunday and then dwindles to normal the week after. We turn the page of the calendar and move on. Of course, we’re thankful that Jesus conquering the grave means His followers also will share in that promise when our bodies die. But is there more?
Think on this. What if Jesus hadn’t risen from the dead? What if He remained in the tomb forever? He would be just like all the other ‘good’ teachers, wouldn’t He? We could say, “He was such a good teacher. I want to try to be like Him.” His life would inspire us to higher ideals, but we’d be left on our own to sort out how to accomplish that. Furthermore, if He was just like all the other ‘good’ teachers we’d be tempted to blend all the ‘good’ teachings into our lives: a little Christianity, a little Hindu, a little Buddhism. We’re told it’s ‘extreme’ to believe in “THE way, THE truth, and THE life.” And so it becomes easy to fold Christianity into a part of our life, rather than being our life.
But Jesus couldn’t have been just a good teacher. He claimed to be the Son of God. What good teacher would lead His followers to believe a lie if He was a mere man? And what believers would follow a lie to their persecution and tortuous death . . . for centuries to follow? And what difference did the resurrection of their beloved master and Lord make in their lives?
Following His death they were huddled in fear, guilt, and depression. Hopelessness and despair defined their days. They must have been asking, “What now? Should we go back to our routine manner of living?” They didn’t have long to ponder this because three days later they had real encounters with their risen Lord. They saw Him with their eyes. They touched Him with their hands. They talked with Him and fellowshipped with Him. And then they came to understand His compelling purpose for their lives.
While He walked on earth, Jesus interacted personally with many. After His resurrection He gave His Holy Spirit so that ALL could encounter Him any time, all the time, at the same time, now and forever. Because Jesus conquered the grave, we share in His promise that our death is not final, that true believers also will be resurrected unto eternal life. But amazing as that is, there’s more!
Because Jesus rose from the grave, we have hope for today! Because Jesus conquered death, Jesus-in-us can conquer life and all we face. For those who live in His Spirit there is resurrection power, not only in heaven, but for living – today.
You’ve heard about the historical Jesus. Maybe you’ve tried to incorporate His teachings into your life. But have you had a personal encounter with the real resurrected Jesus? Ask Him to be Lord of your life and let His resurrection power make a profound difference in your life, not only for eternity but for today.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33