THE PRACTICALITY OF THE RESURRECTION

What a great day Easter Sunday was. It began with a Sunrise Service where over 100 people gathered to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. Though cloudy, we witnessed a skyline with a reddish glow from a sun whose early morning rays pierced clouds that sought to hide its radiance. Like on that first Easter morning, the clouds of sin, the devil and death could not keep Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness, from piercing the darkness of this world with His glorious Light of redemption and reconciliation. As the cool gentle breeze brushed the cheeks of those gathered it reminded us of His ever abiding presence amongst us.  Liresurrection2fting our voices in praise that Christ arose from the dead, the birds, as well,  joyfully sang of His triumph over the grave. As we gathered we could still hear the  proclamation of the angels on first Easter morning echoing in the air, “He is not here, He is risen.”   Yes, “this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, [being raised from the dead] sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12). That Christ arose from the dead is truly a wonderful truth worth lifting our voices in praise.

That Christ arose from the dead is a historical fact. Evidence from eyewitnesses of the Christ-event and even from writings other than the Bible by first century writers verifies the historicity of His resurrection. The cross and resurrection of Christ is the central point of eternity, history and the Christian faith. While Christians can celebrate the historical reality of Christ’s resurrection, what is the practicality of His resurrection? How does the resurrection impact our daily lives?

For the believer the practicality of the resurrection is that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to us each and every day of our lives. Paul writes about this amazing truth, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you” (Romans 8:11). Did you get that, the same power that raised Christ’s lifeless body from the dead dwells with us and in us; such power is available to us in our daily lives. WOW!!

If the resurrection power of Christ dwells with us and in us why should we think we can’t face and get through the obstacles, difficulties and mountains that we confront in life? Yes, we place our faith in a historical event, but much more, His living presence is accessible for the practicality of daily living. It matters not what the trial, the testing, or the temptation the resurrection power of Christ is there to strengthen us. Paul, as he faced his own obstacles, writes, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). Writing from a prison cell he knew the practicality of Christ’s resurrection power to help him in his situation.

The believer has access to “the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which [God] wrought (exerted, accomplished , brought to decisive finality) in Christ, when he raised him from the dead and set him at his own right hand…” (Eph. 1:19-20). This verse tells us that the power we have available to us was put to the ultimate test when Christ was raised from the dead. If such power was victorious in the raising of Christ from the cold dark tomb, cannot “the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe” help us in the adverse circumstances of our lives. Can you think of a situation that His power is not able to give us victory?

P.T. Forsyth eloquently writes, “From the New Testament point of view the seat of chief power and authority in the universe is the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ…For Paul the omnipotence of God was chiefly shown in raising Christ from the dead… [the] act wherein was exerted the whole power of God for the world – the resurrection of Christ.” Forsyth goes on to say the center point of the Christian’s faith must be in the two-fold event of the cross and resurrection and we must not lack faith in “the greatest exertion of omnipotence ever known – the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We only [live] by the power of his resurrection.”

Our Christian faith rests upon Christ’s resurrection and His living presence in our midst. Yet are you and I living daily by the power of His of resurrection? Do we desire to know the power of His resurrection working in our lives? The practicality of the resurrection is that its power is sufficient to empower us in all of life’s storms and struggles. The supreme exhibition of the power of God is found in Christ’s resurrection, but are we relying upon such awesome power each day? While we gather every Easter Sunday to celebrate His resurrection, it is an event we can celebrate every day of the week. We can celebrate knowing His presence and power penetrates and invades every area of our lives.

Blessings,

Dr. Dan

UNTO HIM ALL PRAISE BELONGS

Angels wept in silence as they watched from on High,
as Jesus who left His throne in Glory prepared to die.
The earth quaked with fear as its Creator was nailed upon a cross of shame,
and the sun refused to shine its light upon those who jeered and mocked His holy name.
As sinless blood dripped to the ground that had once coursed through His veins,
the bitter taste of humanity’s sin filled His soul with anguish and pain.
A crown of thorns rested upon his royal brow as He hung suspended between heaven and earth,
the crowd taunting His claims of Kingly worth.
Having willingly fulfilled on our behalf heaven’s perfect and righteous demands,
He bowed His head and committed His spirit into the Father’s hands.
Was it right that One who had incarnated Love should die in such disgrace?
Yet the cross was in God’s divine plan to provide salvation for the human race.
Taken down from the splintered tree His body was laid in a garden tomb,
the beautiful budding flowers nearby hid by the dark clouds of sadness and gloom.
But the fog of despair quickly vanished before the rising Son of the first Easter morn –
His resurrection signaling a new Day had been born.PraiseHimSea.lg_
The birds burst forth in praise and angelic song,
Chirping in unison, “He is not here, He is gone.
Rising in power He ever lives bestowing forgiveness upon those who His pardon seek,
And in grace imparts strength to the weary and weak.
By His eternal Spirit with the lonely He does abide,
Promising to forever be our Friend and constant Guide.
When the hard winds of trials seek to knock us down and do us in,
Our risen Savior is there to pick us back up and set us upon our feet again.
An when at journeys’ end death grips us with its cold sullen hand,
He who robbed the Destroyer of his sting will usher us unto an eternal Land.
Then with angels who once wept in silence we will join in triumphant song…
“Hallelujah to the resurrected Savior and unto Him all praise belongs!”

Daniel Merritt