Summary: Jesus is our resurrected savior.
Portraits of Jesus
The Risen Savior
(Story of Jesus on trial at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington DC. Emphasize the remark by ACLU advocate Bruce Fein.)
Is it possible that the resurrection is not all that important? Is it possible that our sins could be forgiven without the resurrection? Was the resurrection really necessary? Is the resurrection important?
Obviously the NT writers believed that the resurrection was important. In the book of Acts it’s just about all they talked about. There were some false teachers who were trying to diminish the power of the resurrection to the believers at Corinth. So Paul writes to the Corinthians and says in 1 Cor. 15:12-19 (read).
Is the resurrection important? It’s the foundation of our faith. Let’s consider for just a few moments some reasons why the resurrection is so important for those of us who follow Christ, and why we wish for the whole world to embrace a resurrection faith.
The resurrection is important, first of all, because we have loved and we have been loved.
Christine Fodera of Louisville, Kentucky wrote in Reader’s Digest about an amusing experience she and her husband had. Her husband, Sam, had been asked by their minister to do some rewiring in the sanctuary of their church building.
The only way to reach the wiring was through the attic. That meant crawling over the ceiling by balancing on the rafters. Christine was concerned for Sam’s safety so she waited in a pew.
Without her knowledge, some people were gathering in the foyer. They didn’t pay her any attention, probably assuming she was praying. She was getting worried about her husband, so she looked up toward the ceiling and yelled, “Sam, Sam—are you up there? Did you make it okay?”
There was a great commotion from the foyer when the people heard Sam’s voice echoing down from the rafters, “Yes, I made it up here just fine!”
For those of us who have had the experience of losing a loved one to death, it’s a great comfort to us to know they made it “up there” okay.
When C. S. Lewis lost his friend Charles Williams, he wrote something which he said he thought he would never write. It sounded like so much sentimental drivel. He wrote that since Charles had died, heaven was no longer a strange, far-off place. Why? Because now his friend was there.
Later, Lewis’ beloved wife, Joy, died, and he said the same thing. Heaven was closer still, because Joy was there.
Separation is difficult for us who remain in the flesh. It’s difficult for us because we have loved. So the resurrection is important to us because of what it says to us about our eternal relationship with those we have loved, and those who have loved us.
The resurrection is also important because life is so precious.
None of us is eager to die! You probably heard about the rancher who told the funeral director he wanted to be buried in his pickup. The funeral director tried to talk him out of it, but the old farmer was adamant. “It’s like this,” he said, “I ain’t ever seen a hole that old truck couldn’t get me out of.”
We might appreciate the farmer’s sentiment, but death is one hole that’s going to take more than his old truck to get him out of. I read just recently of a young man who was dying from a rare blood disorder, and he had requested that his body be frozen. Why? So that some time in the future when a cure has been found for the disease, his body could be thawed and brought back to life and his disease would be cured. (And some people say it’s hard to believe in God?)
We all want to live. Life is beautiful, and rich, and wonderful! Still, death is one reality that confronts us all.
A newspaper in Nashville carried a story about a small town hospital that received a bomb threat. Officials decided that they had to take it seriously and evacuate the hospital. Some patients were shipped to the local rescue squad building and some, due to a shortage of space, had to go to a local funeral home.
One woman, who had been in surgery when the bomb threat first came, came out from under the anesthesia and realized that she was in a funeral home. She was quite concerned until the situation was explained to her.
Although she initially misunderstood her situation, she was not wrong in her conclusion—just premature. Eventually all of us will face a day when our life on earth will be over.
Is the resurrection important? It is if you have ever loved or been loved. It is if you value the life God has given you.