It’s probably a sad commentary on the state of Christian education even among the clergy, that many believe they are Christians, but don’t believe in the resurrection.
Some don’t even know what the word means. As Easter approaches, I thought it might be good to discuss this issue in as plain a fashion as possible so those who have been taught in error, could learn what the word resurrection means and why it’s important to us, today.
What Is Resurrection? Resurrection is rising from death to life. This is not a metaphor…it is literal. That’s an important distinction, because there are many, today who believe it impossible to rise from death to life. After all, we’re all scientifically minded and none of us has seen anyone come back after they died, so, how could it be possible? This is probably the main reason many Christians have reasoned themselves into believing resurrection isn’t real. Also, many of us dismiss it because we feel we would be subject to ridicule for believing someone can come back from the dead. Unfortunately, by denying the resurrection, we’re denying a foundation of Christianity.
Why Believe In Resurrection? When we celebrate Easter, we’re celebrating the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was publically executed, sealed in a guarded tomb and came back to life on the third day. He was seen after his death by more than 500 people who had known Him. They testified to this fact despite the risk of execution by the same government that killed Jesus. Still, this isn’t the reason Christians should believe in the resurrection.
If we don’t believe in the resurrection, as Paul said, our faith in Jesus Christ is useless, an empty religious ritual. If there was no resurrection, Jesus lied, much of the New Testament is lies, some of the Old Testament is lies, Jesus is long dead and unable to help us, there is no eternal life and no reason to treat anyone else with love and respect. The fact is, belief in the resurrection is necessary to believe in Jesus as God. It is impossible to be a Christian without believing that Jesus was resurrected from the dead and promises to do the same for all who believe in Him. Call yourself whatever you want, attend as many churches as you want, donate as much money as you want, but make sure you’ve got this belief thing straightened out before you die. Nothing but belief matters!
What Does Resurrection Mean In My Life? As important as resurrection is after we die, it has great meaning for our lives right now. How much less grief would we have over a lost loved one if we knew we would be reunited? How much less of a threat would war or pandemic be if we knew there was a loving God who would not allow anyone good to be lost? How much more courage would we have to face life’s challenges if we knew it wasn’t even possible to lose our lives? How much better would we be if we knew, 1. our actions have eternal consequences, and 2. all our past loved ones are watching what we do? Jesus said, if we believe, we have eternal (present tense) life. The fact is, even if we believe in eternal life, most of us Christians behave as though we don’t.
As I’m typing the words, I feel God is telling me to share that I’m as guilty of this as anyone reading. Too much of the time I behave as though I believe resurrection doesn’t exist, that the wrong I do doesn’t matter, that my past loved ones can’t see. I guess as long as I’m dragging around this Earthbound body, I’ll be fighting this battle of belief. Dear Lord! We believe! Please help us with our unbelief! Please help us believe in resurrection and then help us act on that belief.
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About The Author:
Glen Williams is Webmaster at Web-Church Online Christian Worship and Founder of E-Home Fellowship (EHF), Co. He is an ordained minister who has been active in Christian ministry since 1989, counseling and helping people live in Christ. You can comment on his articles at Web-Church Christian Forums.