Today millions upon millions will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, more commonly known as Easter Sunday. The same group also celebrates His birth on Christmas. Even though His birth was a miraculous event, everyone who has lived or is living now was born of a woman. The circumstances of His death were certainly unusual as well, but death touches all that are born. Either they have already died or will before too long.
It is not His birth or His death, although significant, that makes Jesus Christ unique. It is His claim that He would rise from the dead that sets Him apart from all religious leaders. As Christians all over the world recognize, believe and celebrate that He in fact did rise from the dead. We are all faced with a question that must be answered. Did He in fact rise from the dead? If He did not rise from the dead, then His word cannot be trusted. According to all His disciples, they testified that He did and He Himself foretold that He would. Therefore, He and all those who wrote the Bible lied and the Bible has no integrity. John 10:17-18, "Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father."
If He did rise from the dead as the Bible clearly proclaims, we then need to ask ourselves what that means to us. Romans 10:8-13, But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
To those who believe and receive, the resurrection changes everything. If we believe that He rose from the dead and receive what He did on the cross for us, eternal life is the result. John 1:12-13, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
To be called a child of God and receive the gift of salvation is the greatest and most wonderful gift of all. Without the resurrection that would not be possible. If we are partakers of that gift let us be filled with gratefulness for this indescribable gift.
Pastor Leo Kruger of Valley Christian Fellowship is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association