I hope that your church pulled out all the stops for a raucous celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord!
For followers of Jesus Christ, Easter Sunday is the single most important day in history. Without it, there would be no reason for our faith.
The Apostle Paul writes that "if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:14) So I certainly hope that Easter Sunday is the biggest and best day on your church calendar.
But what are you going to do with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ until Easter 2019?
What will you do with the Resurrection when a particular area of sin looks attractive to you, and you feel weak and unable?
What will you do with the Resurrection when you've been betrayed by someone, and thoughts of vengeance enter your head?
What will you do with the Resurrection when you're struggling in your marriage, and it seems impossible to love one another as God has designed?
What will you do with the Resurrection when you're facing another situation with a rebellious child, and you feel as if there's no patience left?
What will you do with the Resurrection when you lay in bed tonight, wondering how you'll face tomorrow?
What will you do with the Resurrection now that Easter is a full year away?
As much as I'm captivated and riveted by the celebration of Easter Sunday, I need to be honest with you: it's a struggle for me to remember the Resurrection once the celebration of Easter has died down.
How about you?
3 Year-Long Easter Realities
At the end of 1 Corinthians 15, which is arguably the New Testament's longest treatise on the Resurrection, the Apostle Paul gives us practical implications of how to live in light of Easter. He writes:
"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."
There are 3 realities about the Empty Tomb that we should carry with us every day of the year:
1. The Empty Tomb Comforts Us: Difficult and unpredictable realities of life in a fallen world are guaranteed, but we can "be steadfast and immovable" even when we don't understand, because our Risen Savior rules over everything that would confuse us.
2. The Empty Tomb Motivates Us: If Christ rose from death, reigns in power, and is coming back again, we should be the most motivated community on earth, "always abounding in the work of the Lord." Enough of mere survival - we should help others thrive right here, right now, because we believe in victory, redemption, and transformation.
3. The Empty Tomb Assures Us: If the Resurrection guarantees eternity, then we believe that our suffering and ministry "is not in vain." Life will get discouraging - at times, it won't seem like there is an end in sight, or progress is invisible. But a Second Coming is coming, and we will be rewarded for our faith.
Don't wait until Easter 2019 to celebrate and step into these Gospel realities!
Paul David Tripp
- Have the truths of the Resurrection already slipped from your soul this week? If so, what replaces your Resurrection mindset?
- Which of the three - comfort, motivation, or assurance - are you in need of most today? How can you preach to yourself the Good News of the Resurrection to either comfort, motivate, or assure you?
- Identify a brother or sister in the Lord - PLUS identify a friend who doesn't know the Lord - and love them in light of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.