by Buzz Dahlen
“He is risen! He has risen indeed!” What do those words mean for us today? Certainly any believer understands them to mean that Jesus rose from the dead. But what does that mean for us today? It means a lot. It means that we now have the possibility of being raised from the dead.
I saw “The passion of Christ” last week and when the movie was over, I sat silent, thinking about the price that Jesus paid so that I might live. But had Jesus not risen from the dead, if there is no resurrection then His death was for nothing. Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians: Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 1 Cor. 15:1-5
But what if there was no resurrection? What then would be our fate? Paul continues: If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 1 Cor 15:13-19
We can no longer take the resurrection of Jesus for granted. We must embrace it by faith and trust that God has a plan for each and every life He has created. Paul continues: But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 1 Cor. 15:20-26
I also watched “Saving Private Ryan” again this past week. To me that movie is modern day example of what Christ did for us. He gave His life so that we might live. The movie graphically depicts the life sacrifice so that one man might live. In the movie, after all is said and done, private Ryan is left with a challenge, “earn this!”
There is nothing we can do to earn Christ’s sacrifice for us, it is a gift. But we must be willing to accept this free gift and do our best to live each day to the fullest. We need to live the new life not waste it.
“He has risen! He has risen indeed!” means that you can be raised with Him, too.