The central axiom of the Christian faith is this: Jesus Christ died, was buried, and three days later rose again in a final defeat of sin and death. If this is true, then the entire weight of existence hinges upon it. If it isn’t true, the Apostle Paul himself says that “our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain” (1 Cor 15:14 NRSV).
Explore the resurrection. Enter into the story and search out Christ. Peek into the tomb to see if he is still there. If you do, you will find, along with Mary, Peter, and the rest of the disciples that it is indeed empty. Because of this empty tomb, we can, along with Paul, claim with boldness: “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead” and because of that we live. Hallelujah!
Isaiah 51:9-11 NRSV
9 Awake, awake, put on strength,
O arm of the Lord!
Awake, as in days of old,
the generations of long ago!
Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,
who pierced the dragon10 Was it not you who dried up the sea,
the waters of the great deep;
who made the depths of the sea a way
for the redeemed to cross over?
11 So the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Luke 24:13-26 NRSV
“Emmaus’ Door” (1992) by Janet Brooks-Gerloff.
13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19 He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22 Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23 and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” 25 Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?”
23 “O that my words were written down!
O that they were inscribed in a book!
24 O that with an iron pen and with lead
they were engraved on a rock forever!
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that at the last he will stand upon the earth;
26 and after my skin has been thus destroyed,
then in my flesh I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see on my side,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
- How does the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ impact your daily life? Does it change the way you view yourself? Does it change the way you treat others? Does it change your outlook on the world and the opportunities that are presented to you each day? Is your life marked by gratitude, hope, and joy?
- Those are challenging and convicting questions. If you feel convicted, you are in good company! We live in a broken world and often are separated from the joy and hope that is offered to us because of sin, busyness, and the daily stress of life. Our challenge to you is that you strive each day this week to read these passages and think about and pray through the reality of the resurrection and how it should transform your life and the life of the world. Jesus lives and is doing a great work among his people! Let’s celebrate!
New City Writing Team