Jesus Christ arose as the King of Life. We need to face up to the fact of death to realize the value of the gift he offers us.
March 24th seemed like a normal day and number 9525 to Duesseldorf seemed like a routine flight as it departed from Barcelona, Spain. No one who boarded that flight had any idea what was in store for them that day. If they had, they would never have entered the aircraft.
Most of the passengers probably had a thousand other things on their minds and no idea at all what was about to happen to them. No one knew what was on the mind of the co-pilot that day. Who knew that he was researching flight deck security in the days before that flight. Who knew that he was struggling with suicidal thoughts? Who knew he planed to lock the pilot out of the flight deck and plunge the plane to a fiery crash into a mountain in the French Alps?
Every person on board that flight perished in that tragic crash. The truth is no one knows the exact time of their departure from this life. But in spite of that fact death is one of the most taboo subjects in our culture. We avoid speaking about it though we are exposed to fake representations of it splattered across the TV screen every day. In that case we are distant detached observers, being entertained by depictions of death, but death itself is far from us.
It is hidden away, sanitized in hospitals, dressed up in funeral homes. It is very rare in our day for anyone to witness death in person, and many don’t know that this is quite in contrast to just a few generations ago. For example, one hundred years ago when a person reached the extremity of life, family and friends would gather around their deathbed to make their farewells. They were also there as witnesses to the end of their loved one’s life. When a loved one died many would see them in their last moments.
Today almost no one of the family and friends are at the bedside when death takes them from this life. Thus we have a rather skewed view of death. Yet death is unavoidable, and it is the most significant issue we each must face in this world. For unless our Lord and Savior returns for us in our days on earth, we must certainly face death at some point.
This is the reason why this historic event we celebrate this [Easter] morning is such good news. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the game changer, it makes a world of difference when facing death. Because this is the most significant historical fact of all time, this truth is under consistent attack from those who would like to put a wet blanket over any flicker of hope in this world. Many today refuse to believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead as the Bible clearly proclaims.
Well, how do we know if that really took place? On the one hand, for those who are not yet Christians the evidence for the resurrection is extremely important. On the resurrection hangs all the claims of Christianity. If Christ did not rise then the whole thing is off. But if He did rise Christianity is the truth and all the claims Christ made while here on earth are verified including His command that all men every where repent and become His disciples. That command must receive a response. Now, on the other hand, for those who have already placed their trust in Christ as Lord and Savior, understanding the evidence for the resurrection equips us to fulfill Christ’s commission to us to tell the Good News to all. Even more personally impacting is what the resurrection of Christ means for the hope we have when we face death itself.
Scripture gives us the great promise and precious comfort that those who place their faith in Christ shall rise from the dead just as He rose from the dead. For the Christian death is not the end, no it is just the beginning of a new great and glorious chapter in the joy of eternal life.
Jesus Christ is Risen!
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