Summary: This power culminating in Christ's resurrection has immense implications for us today. One of its implications is that the power that enabled Christ to rise from the dead can impact our lives as well. And if there is a power like that available to us, it
The Power of the Gospel
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
(Romans 1:16 NIV)
May 18, 1980. You might remember that on that day there was an incredible explosion which was estimated at 500 times more powerful than the force of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. This explosion was so powerful that it ripped 1,200 feet off the top of a 9,700 foot volcano known as Mount St. Helens.
Although the mountain had been dormant for 123 years, within minutes incredible power was unleashed. Thousands of tons of volcanic ash were thrust into the atmosphere. The cloud of ash literally turned day into night in the surrounding communities. They were virtually immobilized as from 4 to 6 inches of the powdery substance fell like a winter snowstorm. What was once considered prime hunting and fishing country was decimated. Sports Illustrated reported that 26 lakes, 154 miles of trout streams, and 195 square miles of wildlife habitat were destroyed. Powerful.
But Mount St. Helens was not powerful compared to another volcano which erupted in 1883. Mount Krakatoa, in Indonesia, erupted with a force that was equal to 30 hydrogen bombs. The power from Mount St. Helens was estimated at 500 atomic bombs. One hydrogen bomb is equal to 1,000 atomic bombs. So, Mount Krakatoa was equal to 30,000 atomic bombs. Mount Krakatoa was 60 times more powerful than Mount St. Helens. During the eruption of Mount Krakatoa, tidal waves killed 36,000 people in Java and Sumatra, and a cloud of ash cooled the earth's climate for almost two years.
What we have seen in natural eruptions of power is but a small example of greater forces at work in the universe. From the time when dynamite was first produced in 1867 by Alfred Nobel until the time of the discovery of the power contained in the atom, we have learned much. But all that knowledge combined only gives us a clue to what the real power behind this universe is like.
The truth is that we haven't begun to comprehend the limitless power of God. Today, we celebrate a display of His power in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This power is not destructive power as in an earthquake or the eruption of a volcano. It is creative power. And it may be unlike any power you have ever experienced.
This power culminating in Christ's resurrection has immense implications for us today. One of its implications is that the power that enabled Christ to rise from the dead can impact our lives as well. And if there is a power like that available to us, it would be a tragedy not to be aware of it.
The resurrection of Christ, which we celebrate every Easter, is the fundamental issue upon which Christianity either rises or falls. Our faith is based on it.
Romans 1:4 says that Jesus "was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead." The power of God demonstrated in Christ's resurrection is the key issue of Christianity. If Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, then He was a fake, what he said was not true, and we might as well believe something else. The apostle Paul said without the reality of the resurrection, our preaching is vain, and our faith is vain. If Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, then we are believing a lie. The validity of Christianity rises or falls on the veracity of the resurrection. The truth of Christianity is verified by God's power.
To many, we Christians make an amazing claim. We believe that Christianity is the only true way to God. Some think we are quite arrogant to make such a claim. But we do not make that claim out of arrogance; we make it out of assurance. Our assurance comes from the evidence of Christ's resurrection from the dead. It is this resurrection that sets Him apart from all others. Many have come before Christ, and some have come after. But only Christ has died and come back to life by the power of God.
The resurrection power demonstrated on that first Easter was simply the culmination of the plan of God for the redemption of this world. In fact, the entire life of Christ was a demonstration of the power of God. We see the power of God in his birth. A virgin conceived by the supernatural power of God. By this supernatural power of God we see a sinless man brought into the world. We also see the supernatural power of God as Jesus stretched forth His hands to heal. He opened blind eyes, cleansed lepers, cast out demons, and raised the dead by the supernatural power of God. As he went to the Cross, we see the power of God manifested. His suffering and death was a dramatic demonstration of God's power working in Him. On the third day, God reached down from heaven, and rolled away the stone, and Christ rose from the dead. This is what sets Christianity apart from all other religions. This is why we say that Christianity is the only true way to God.