Stop for a moment and think about this: What if Jesus' resurrection was a fraud? What, then, is the meaning of your fleeting life on earth?
Let's face it. If Jesus didn't arise that first Easter morning, lay aside His burial wrappings, and leave the tomb to walk among those who loved Him, nothing really matters. Let me write that another way. If Jesus didn't come back, alive, from the dead or if His resurrection was a hoax, then nothing—absolutely nothing—has any meaning at all. Any blessing we enjoy will come to a sudden, heartbreaking end. Any good work we accomplish will either decay or quickly become obsolete. When our life has passed—a mere twinkling of a moment when compared to the eons before and after us—any impact we leave will be washed away like footprints in wave-washed sand. Furthermore, we waste our time trusting in and praying to some strange, dead Savior. The apostle Paul wrote it this way:
1 Corinthians 15:14-19, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”
How pointless our belief would be in a dead Lord! How futile to trust a lying God! How fleeting is any happiness or any meaningful future or any hope that only ends with death!
On the other hand, because Christ has indeed risen, we have every reason to live well, to worship God, and to savor the blessings we enjoy today. Why? Because these earthly blessings are only a taste of so much more to come.
What does the resurrection give us? I suppose the benefits are many, but for now, let me mention only two:
First, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is our promise that the life we live is not in vain. We have significance both temporally and eternally. Our lives have purpose beyond the eighty-or-so years we spend on earth because the living God has promised us that our investments in eternity will not return empty.
Second, because Jesus conquered death and because of our faith in Him, we now anticipate victory over the grave. Jesus' triumph over death gives us the courage to endure all temporal tragedies and the wisdom to relish every earthly delight. His victory over the final evil, death, assures us that nothing is too dead for Him to revive. So whatever our circumstances, we can be confident that better days are coming. Furthermore, we have no fear of our own death!
And that's our hope, isn't it? Jesus' resurrection promises that we, too, will be resurrected one day... never to die again.
- Pastor Sanders