After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the tomb. 2 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. 3 Now his face was like lightning and his clothes as white as snow. 4 The guards were so terrified of him that they shook with fear and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here because he’s been raised from the dead, just as he said. Come, see the place where they laid him. 7 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.”
8 With great fear and excitement, they hurried away from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples. 9 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,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved