Colored Eggs, Scavenger Hunts, or the Resurrection

Resurrection Empty Tomb Jesus

What comes to mind when Easter is mentioned? For many it might be the thoughts of family gatherings, colored eggs, and scavenger hunts. Easter, however, is about more than our family, our fun, and ourselves. Easter is about the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Why is the Resurrection Important?

(1) It proves all Jesus’ claims during His earthly ministry were true.

As the climax of the biblical story, it proves that Jesus is the Messiah, the Chosen One, the Son of God, the Savior of the World.

(2) It provides salvation for the believer.

Jesus’ resurrection brings all those, who believe by faith that He is their Savior, into a right relationship with God (Rom. 4:25). In Jesus’ resurrection we are vindicated and made sons of the Living God (Gal. 3:26). As well as, we are freed from the bondage of sin, which means we should not let sin reign in our bodies any longer. We must put all unrighteousness to death by the power of Jesus’ resurrection (Rom. 6:11-13).

(3) It provides eternal life for the believer.

Death no longer has dominion over the Christian. All those who believe in Jesus as their Savior, will be resurrected to a new and eternal life, and given a perfect body that is not subject to aging, weakness, or death (1 Cor. 15:50-57). Whereas, all who reject Jesus as their Savior will experience eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46; 2 Thess. 1:5-10).

The Proper Response to the Resurrection

In Matthew 28, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary go to the tomb of Jesus where they meet an angel. The angel shows them the empty tomb and tells them to go and tell the disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead. On their way to tell the disciples, they meet Jesus on the road and fall down and worship Him.

The two Mary’s provide us with the proper response to the resurrection.

  1. We are to go and tell others of Jesus’ resurrection and what that means for those who believe.
  2. We are to worship Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Conclusion

Jesus’ resurrection proves all that He said is true. It vindicates us from our sin. It mends our relationship with God. It frees us from the bondage of sin. It allows us to live in accordance with God’s commandments. As well as Jesus’ resurrection provides us with a new body that will never die, age, or experience decay for all of eternity.

As a result, our proper response is to tell others about Jesus’ resurrection, and to worship Him as Lord and Savior.

I pray that we will contemplate more fully the resurrection of Jesus this Easter Sunday.

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To Live is Christ and To Die is Gain

In Philippians 1:18-21, we learn Paul was able to face persecution and possible death joyfully because of the prayer of the Philippians and the supply of the Spirit. In addition, he was able to face these circumstances joyfully because he knew he would be vindicated and would gain ultimate salvation. Furthermore, his ultimate joy came from knowing that Christ would be proclaimed and the Gospel advanced even if it meant he had to die. This attitude and certain belief causes him to say, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

To Live is Christ

With Paul’s statement, “To live is Christ”, we encounter a man who had a singular focus in life, which was to glorify Christ. He lived in such a way that he saw everything he did and every circumstance he faced as a means of pointing other to Christ. He did not care if he was ridiculed, beaten, jailed, shipwrecked, or even killed because he had a singular focus, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Jews first and then the Gentiles.

Paul lived a life radically different than most Christians today, not because he thought it would earn him salvation, but because he desired to see Christ glorified and understood the promises of God, which is revealed in his next statement, “to die is gain.”

To Die is Gain

Paul believed death was gain because he knew he would be with his Lord and Savior, the one he proclaimed to all people. He also knew the advantage the next world held over this one. A life free from persecution, sickness, disease, and injustice awaited him. For Paul, death was gain, which allowed him to “live for Christ.”

Application

Paul believed death was gain,which was the reason he could live for Christ. He shared his attitude with the Philippians because he wanted them to see death as gain, so they too could live for Christ. He wanted them to take up his purpose for life, which was to glorify Christ in every decision and circumstance, living as if death is victory, not caring if men could destroy their body, but ever seeking to glorify Christ in life or death.

This means Paul’s letter to the Philippians was not written just to tell them what he thought about life, it was to challenge and encourage them to think and live the same way. Likewise, the reason this text has been preserved for 2,000 years was not just so Paul could tell us what he thought about life, it was preserved because God desires we live like Paul. God desires we say with Paul, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

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