Saturday, April 11, 2009
The Morning Everything Changed
After the Sabbath, around dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to take a look at the tomb. Suddenly there was a powerful earthquake. For an angel of the Lord had come down from heaven, stepped forward, rolled the stone away, and was sitting on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were as white as snow. Because they were so afraid of him, the guards shook and became like dead men.
But the angel said to the women, “Stop being afraid! For I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here. He has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying. - Matthew 28:1-6 (New Living Translation)
And if Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in God is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God, for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave, but that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are still under condemnation for your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ have perished! And if we have hope in Christ only for this life, we are the most miserable people in the world. - The Apostle Paul to the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 15:14-19)
Paul and the other Apostles, with the possible exception of John, all died because of their belief in the resurrection. They claimed to be witnesses of the risen Christ. Who would knowingly die for a lie? And if they chose to die for a lie, were they all deluded? I would say that is harder to believe than to believe they were telling the truth.
Our choices are limited to two: believe or reject that Jesus Christ was who He claimed to be and rose from the dead, validating His diety and everything He said.
So Easter is not just another religious holiday. It is the day that changed everything for everyone who believes.