Does Easter Really Make a Difference?

Surveys reveal that most people in the U.S. believe that Jesus Christ really did rise from the dead. However, many of these same folks have a difficult time understanding how an event which occurred almost 2,000 years ago can still have significance today. As one man put it, “How does knowing Jesus rose from the dead help me pay my daughter’s college tuition?” True, there is no financial benefit in believing in Jesus’ resurrection (at least directly), but that does not mean this historical reality is irrelevant to modern life. I appreciate the following essay, which points to the importance of Jesus’ conquest of death.

“All these questions have the same answer. What is it that gives a widow courage as she stands beside a fresh grave? What is the ultimate hope of the cripple, the amputee, the abused, the burn victim? How can the parents of brain-damaged or physically handicapped children keep from living their entire lives totally and completely depressed? Why would anyone who is blind or deaf or paralyzed be encouraged when they think of the life beyond? How can we see past the martyrdom of some helpless hostage or devoted missionary? Where do the thoughts of a young couple go when they finally recover from the grief of losing their baby? When a family receives the tragic news that a little daughter was found dead or their dad was killed in a plane crash or a son overdosed on drugs, what single truth becomes their whole focus?” What is the final answer to pain, mourning, senility, insanity, terminal diseases, sudden calamities, and fatal accidents? What is the answer to all these questions? The hope of the bodily resurrection.”

Friends, in 1 Corinthians 15, God (through the Apostle Paul) makes it clear that because Jesus has risen from the dead, all those who trust in Him will also conquer death. If we have embraced Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we will one day inhabit God’s eternal kingdom with new, immortal bodies which cannot decay nor be destroyed. This confident assurance that the time we spend on this earth is only the beginning of what life really holds fills the Christian with great hope. No, we are not fond of death. It remains, as the Bible says, our “last enemy.” Yet, we are able to joyfully affirm the great hope that is proclaimed in an old hymn: “Jesus lives and so shall I, the sting of death is gone forever.” That, friends, is why the resurrection of Jesus is still extremely important and why I am once again excited about celebrating this marvelous event on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022. It will be great to see you that morning!
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Dan Erickson