I've been reading the gospel accounts of the last week in the life of Jesus this week, and the accounts of the resurrection and immediate aftermath. Nothing new in that - I read the gospels pretty often, and this time of year I focus on that time frame with Easter just ahead. On Easter, most pastors will make a case for the resurrection and try to help people see how it changes everything. So I expect lots of my brother and sister pastors are reading along with me, looking to explain on Sunday how the resurrection happened.
But here's what just jumped off the screen at me.
The Gospels do not explain the resurrection; the resurrection explains the Gospels. Belief in the resurrection is not an appendage to the Christian faith; it is the Christian faith.
There'd be no New Testament at all without the resurrection.
No Paul and his letters in defense of it.
Peter would be a fisherman with some great stories people would tire of hearing after a while.
John would have been a kind grandfather-type always talking about this friend he loved so that loved him.
If the resurrection had not happened, you or I would most likely never have heard about Jesus. Lots of "messiahs" had come and gone and were yet to do so. Only one is known across the ages and around the world.
As a result, we cannot ignore His claims and discount His promises to those who believe. Listen friend, it may be you are going through hard times. It may look dark and seem cold. But because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, your failures are never final. Your life, if hidden in Him, will endure the darkest days and coldest nights - and you will never be alone.
Resurrection - it's "New Hope!"
Grace and peace,