09 Apr Why Christians should rethink the resurrection
Updated: Aug 29, 2018
By Josie Child, PAX Producer
The cross is everywhere in Christianity; on necklaces, church roofs, on the front of Bibles. It is imprinted onto wafers and sewn into priestly garments. It is the universally accepted symbol of the faith, and it has come to represent Jesus for Christians and non-Christians alike.
The cross points us to the deep suffering of Christ on behalf of mankind, and to the burden of wrongdoing that separates us from the love of God. It paints a picture of a Christ who is defeated, overwhelmed, and sorrowful to the point of death; ‘my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ (Matt 27:46).
But the cross is not the end of the story. The suffering Jesus is not God’s last word to humanity. The cross shows us the problem, and the resurrection reveals the solution.
As Easter approaches, here’s three reasons to rethink our dependency on the cross:
1) Not suffering, but joy
Billy Sunday said ‘If you have no joy, there’s a leak in your Christianity somewhere’. The psalmist writes, ‘you show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy’ (Psalm 16:11). Joy is one of the nine fruits of the Spirit promised in Galatians 5, an overflow of gratitude in recognition of what God has achieved for us.
It is joy, not suffering, that should be the hallmark of the Christian. When confronted with the resurrection, joy is the only response which makes sense!
2) Not defeated, but victorious
The resurrection shows us just how far God is willing to go to redeem his people. It shows his compassion and his love. However, without the resurrection, Jesus is just another man who died at the hands of religious and political leaders. As Paul bluntly tells us, ‘if Christ has not been raised… your faith has been in vain’ (1 Corinthians 15:14).
But Jesus wasn’t remarkable because he was crucified – he was remarkable because he was resurrected! ‘He has given us a new birth into a living hope… an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading’ (1 Peter 1:3-4).
3) Once, but for all time
What does the resurrection mean for us today? Paul tells us that ‘the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you’ (Romans 8:11). The same power that enabled Christ’s resurrection lives in each and every Christian. This, in effect, means that every day is Easter day. What an amazing promise.
Christians are not people of the cross – we are people of the risen, living Lord!
Watch Nadim’s video here, and tell us: how does the resurrection affect your day to day life?