Blessed… Without the Resurrection It Wouldn’t Really Matter

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the tomb. Look, there was a great earthquake, for an angel from the Lord came down from heaven. Coming to the stone, he rolled it away and sat on it. Now his face was like lightning and his clothes as white as snow. The guards were so terrified of him that they shook with fear and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He isn’t here because he’s been raised from the dead, just as he said. Come, see the place where they laid him. Now hurry, go and tell his disciples, ‘He’s been raised from the dead. He’s going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ I’ve given the message to you.”

With great fear and excitement, they hurried away from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples. But Jesus met them and greeted them. They came and grabbed his feet and worshipped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Go and tell my brothers that I am going into Galilee. They will see me there” (Matthew 28:1-10, Common English Bible).

“Why does the resurrection even matter?” It is not an uncommon question. I have heard it numerous times. Paul actually gives an answer to the Corinthians when he says, “13 If there’s no resurrection of the dead, then Christ hasn’t been raised either. 14 If Christ hasn’t been raised, then our preaching is useless and your faith is useless” (1 Corinthians 15:13-14, Common English Bible).

I know for the last few days I have talked about this lesson and looked at other things. Please do not take it that I think the real point of this story is something besides the resurrection. I do not.

Since January we have looked at Matthew’s gospel. We have been looking at it for nine months and this is what it really comes down to, the resurrection of Jesus.

Without the resurrection, Jesus’ story is of little value. Without the resurrection, none of Jesus’ story would really matter. Many of the things Christians like to talk about would really matter.

Without the resurrection, would we even bother to discuss the virgin birth? What difference would it make?

Without the resurrection, there might have been miracles. But, remember, there had been miracles before Jesus’ birth and there were miracles after Jesus’ death.

Without the resurrection, the disciples might have still been followers of Jesus. But, they would only have been following a dead hero, a dead friend.

Without the resurrection, the religious authority of the Pharisees and Sadducees would most likely not been called into question. It might well be that we who are people of faith might be Jews or be waiting alongside the Jews for the coming of the Messiah.

Without the resurrection, there would be no Christian faith.  In order for Christianity to grow as a faith, there must first be a Christ, there must be a death of that Christ and then a resurrection of that Christ. If any of those elements are missing there really is no Christian faith.

In the end, without the resurrection, we have no life, we have no peace and we have no joy.

I have told many of my friends Christmas Eve Candlelight service (particularly 11:00 PM Christmas Eve) is my favorite service of the year. I love it because of the atmosphere existing on that special night.

This does not mean I believe Christmas Eve Candlelight to be the most important service of the year. The most important service happens on Easter Sunday morning. It is critical. Everything else in the Christian faith is held in the balance of the events that stand behind Easter Sunday morning worship.

I have told people many times over, “You can’t have Easter without Good Friday.” Well, equally true, you can’t have the Christian faith without a resurrected Christ.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s