Young Christians who have just come into the faith often ask: Why is the resurrection so important? How can an event which took place 2,000 years ago have any relevance for us today? Three very simple statements (not original to me) will bring us to the heart of the matter. First, the resurrection of Christ assures us of God's forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of humanity's greatest needs. Jack Winslow, in his book Confession and Absolution, says that the head of a large English mental hospital remarked that he could dismiss half of his patients immediately if they could be assured of forgiveness. The resurrection is convincing proof that Christ's sacrifice on the cross was accepted, and thus gives us the assurance that all our sins can be forgiven. Second, the resurrection of Christ assures us of God's power. It is one thing to be forgiven; it is another to live above the power of sin. "Men may change their ways," say some writers (as we saw) from non-Christian religions, "but they can't change their character." Well, God can change people's character. He did so with the apostle Paul, with Peter, and with countless others. Paul's prayer in the passage before us today focuses on this - that we might comprehend something of the power released in the world through the resurrection. Third, the resurrection assures us of God's ultimate triumph. Other religions and ideologies have very vague ideas about the future. Some believe in endless cycles of reincarnations; others nirvana. Christians, however, have a hope that is different. Death for a believer is nothing more than the anteroom to glory.
Father, this must be the moment when debate ends and dedication begins. As You have done so much for me, I want to commit myself in a deeper way than ever before to living life in the power of Your resurrection. Help me dear Father. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
For further study:
1. To what extent do we experience resurrection life?
2. To what heights does resurrection life raise us?