The Miracle of the Resurrection
Each year, on Easter Sunday, we celebrate the event that changed the world forever. The miracle of Jesus rising from the dead was the ultimate demonstration of His deity, and the resurrection is the fact on which Christianity rests. Some of the most powerful words in history were spoken on the first Easter morning when the angel declared to the women visiting the empty tomb in Luke 24:6, “He is not here, but has risen!” With that pronouncement, hope was restored. Jesus was alive. He had risen from the dead, just as He had told them. Jesus had conquered the grave, giving eternal hope of redemption through faith in the resurrected Christ.
Since knowledge without action is a waste of knowledge, simply knowing about the resurrection is not sufficient. The resurrection should change your daily life and practically effect every decision you make. In light of Jesus’s resurrection, allow me to challenge you with four practical responses to the miracle of Easter.
First, you should respond to Jesus’s resurrection with love for God. Your gracious heavenly Father sent His Son to be cruelly sacrificed on the cross of Calvary for your sins. The only proper response to God’s love for you is to love Him in return. While you may often feel unlovable, that does not change the reality that God loves you. God’s love for you is not based on your performance, but rather on His grace. God loves you when you’re weak and selfish. Your heavenly Father loves you even when you fail. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more. His love for you was clearly demonstrated when His Son died for you. The only proper response to God’s amazing love is to love him in return.
Second, you should respond to Jesus’s resurrection with love for others. The power of the cross empowers you to love others, even those who have disappointed, wounded, or forsaken you. Loving others means you are willing to love them enough to forgive them and help them confront the sin or weakness in their lives. In 1 John 4:11 John wrote, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” God loves you through His grace, so that you can love others as Jesus loves you. If you love God as you should, love for others will naturally flow from your heart.
Third, you should respond to Jesus’s resurrection by being courageously honest. Courageous honesty includes confidently sharing the gospel with the lost. Speaking the truth of the gospel is perhaps the ultimate expression of love for another person. Apart from one believing in the resurrected Christ, there is no hope of eternal redemption. If you sincerely believe Jesus rose from the dead, you must boldly proclaim the truth of His resurrection to others. Paul summarizes the importance and centrality of the resurrection to the Christian faith in 1 Corinthians 15:13-14, “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” Since Jesus has risen from the dead, there is eternal hope to all who believe. The resurrection is so essential to Christianity that it would be useless to follow Christ if He had not actually rose again on the third day.
Courageous honesty also includes encouraging believers to live righteously before God. It’s often difficult and frightening to speak truth into the life of a fellow believer with the right spirit. But, when you are courageously honest in a loving spirit, God can use you to keep a brother or sister in Christ from spiritual destruction. To the church at Ephesus, Paul writes in Ephesians 4:25, “Let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” In Romans 15:1-2 Paul adds, “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” Speaking the truth in love to a brother or sister in Christ always requires courageous honesty that is offered from a humble heart. As the local church courageously encourages one another to remain faithful to Christ, the church is strengthened, and its testimony within the community is solidified.
Fourth, you should respond to Jesus’s resurrection with humility of approachability. In light of what Jesus sacrificed for you, you need to forsake your defensiveness and be thankful for those who are courageously being honest with you. The Lord is the ultimate example of humility, and you must develop the same type of humility Jesus displayed. It’s your pride that brings you to the place of spiritual superiority, believing you are above correction. The Christian who fails to practice biblical humility will be prone to becoming critical, self-righteous, and hard-hearted. The resurrection of Jesus should draw your heart toward humbly receiving the loving and courageous honesty of others. The resurrection of Jesus should draw your heart toward humbly growing in Christlikeness and serving God for His glory.
The resurrection of Jesus must change your life. Easter Sunday should encourage you to love God, love others, practice courageous honesty, and live with humble approachability.