Monday, March 7, 2016

CHRIST'S RESURRECTION POWER by Gary Wilkerson

“For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:16-19).

As a teenager, I had doubts about God and I started looking into other religions. At that time I found the Baha’i faith appealing because it basically says that all religions are true and all roads of faith lead to heaven. But then I read the great Christian author C.S. Lewis who corrected my loosey-goosey thinking. He wrote that all of Christianity rests on one question: Was there a resurrection or not?

If we cannot answer yes to this, then it doesn’t matter whether there was a literal Noah’s ark or a six-day creation period or an actual Garden of Eden. If Christ’s resurrection didn’t take place, none of those things matter at all. But if there was a resurrection, then everything else became possible: Lazarus could be raised from the dead, people could be healed, sins could be removed, heaven could be a reality. That is resurrection power—and it gives us something Paul calls our blessed hope—“Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

The more I read as a teenager, the more I came to a firm belief about the witnesses who saw Jesus after His resurrection: “Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:6). I began to see the resurrection as not just an additional event, but the culmination and consummation of the work of Jesus’ death for us. And the blessed hope that was planted in me became a source of life each day.

If we don’t claim Jesus’ resurrection power in our everyday life, we won’t experience what His resurrection won for us.