Today, billions have gathered to celebrate the day Jesus rose from the dead.
It all started as a rumor, from a woman who saw his empty grave, and then saw him in person risen, in a garden. This being Jesus’ choice, one immediately thinks of gardens with far less helpful outcomes where a woman and then man made a lesser choice.
We don’t need to drag on about proofs of his resurrection. We either believe the witnesses that were there and died for believing in the fact of his resurrection, or we simply do not.
But why does this matter? Why does the name of Jesus provoke such a response and instantly change any conversation you have…no matter the medium?
Because a living man provokes a response, and even more a man that raises from the dead holds real power. That’s invasive, that’s scary to our comfortable lives, that’s too close to our hopes for real life to the full. We truly fear it’s not true, but at the same time we fear it is. Because if it is, everything must change.
We have all been to funerals where the eulogy was bent to glorify the person in death. Considering the life of Jesus, something similar could have been written and he would have been a great man in history. Right there with Seneca and Aristotle and Buddha; but he stands in a different class altogether, as one who’s closest followers claim he is raised from the dead and is now the undying and eternal king of the universe. Which he always was, his death
But, here lies the problem, people continue to defame the name of Jesus or avoid it at all costs or run to it. A dead man bears no power to transform. But a living one does. A living man can provoke, a dead one can not.
Jesus offends simply because all his teaching becomes instantly flavored with a new salt because he is alive. It must be true if death can’t hold him, he must transform if even death could not put up a fight. The sermon on the mount itself makes sense immediately in the light of the resurrection. For who better than the master of life to teach you how to live it?
The name JESUS forces us to choose. With or against? True or untrue? Life or death? Lord, or and extremely clever insane person?
Of all the names in all of history there is no other that provokes such a response without the threat of violence. Just the name itself is enough to incite a deep visceral reaction.
The living have a tendency to show up. Even those that would deny him feel the power and presence of his name when it is spoken in sincerity. Whether their feeling is positive or negative.
If he is alive, it’s all true. If he died on the cross and stayed dead we have nothing to celebrate. But good men have died for centuries, their eulogies all there for us to read and debate. Jesus has no such eulogy from those that were closest to him; simply eyewitness accounts that HE’S ALIVE.
This is the good news.
Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
What does the reality that Jesus is alive mean for your daily life, right now?