Christ Has Raised to New Life
We Have Been Raised to New Life
Easter is the celebration of the central mystery of our faith—the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It stands at the heart of our faith for several reasons. First, if God did not raise Jesus from the dead, then our faith is in vain. Second, if God did not raise Jesus from the dead, Jesus’ proclamation about the kingdom of God was false. Third, if God did not raise Jesus from the dead, death has conquered Jesus and we have no hope of eternal life. Fourth if God did not raise Jesus from the dead, there is no reason for the church; there is no reason for the sacraments; there is no reason to celebrate this Easter Day.
did raise Jesus from the dead and in doing so God vindicated Jesus’ message that the kingdom of God has made its appearance in his ministry. By raising Jesus from the dead, God has conquered the power of death and forgiven our sins. By raising Jesus from the dead, God has given us the sure hope that those who believe in Christ will be raised from the dead as was Christ.
But what does it mean to say that God raised Jesus from the dead? To begin with, the resurrection of the dead does not mean that Jesus simply returned to his former way of life. If that is the meaning of the resurrection, Jesus would have to die again, and death would be victorious over him. No, Jesus’ resurrection was not a return to his former life; it was his entrance into an entirely new life that we will not understand until we experience our own resurrection at the resurrection of the dead.
When God raised Jesus from the dead, Jesus entered into the fullness of the kingdom of God that he preached. When God raised Jesus from the dead, Jesus entered into a realm of life over which death no longer has any power. Jesus now lives with God in a way we cannot imagine; and death has no power over him.
The resurrection of Jesus has important implications for us who believe in him. For, what happened to Christ will happen to us if we remain faithful to Christ. Just as God raised Jesus from the dead, so God will raise from the dead those who belong to Christ. And just as Jesus entered into an entirely new life, so we will enter into a new life if we remain faithful to Christ. The resurrection of Jesus is the reason we believe that God will raise us from the dead.
Easter is glorious for all of us of because it provides us with so much hope: hope that God’s love is more powerful than death; hope that we shall share in Christ’s resurrection. Enjoy Easter with your families and friends, celebrate it with your loved ones. But most of all find new faith and hope in Easter -- faith in Christ and hope for eternal life.