Without Easter...

Without Easter, there is no mission, because without Easter, there is no Good News, there is no Resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most pivotal event in all of history. At Easter, we remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It represents God's ultimate triumph over sin, death, and evil, and the restoration of humanity to a right relationship with Himself.

Without Easter, our faith is futile
As the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:14, "And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is useless and so is your faith," and later in verse 17, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17).

The point is that the resurrection proves that the death of Jesus is an all-sufficient price. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then his death was a failure, God did not achieve victory over sin, and we are still in our sins.

These strong words, tell us of the importance of the resurrection.  Paul understood that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our Christian faith, and without it, our entire belief system collapses.  The resurrection of Jesus is not just a nice story that we remember at Easter time, it is the foundation of all that we believe, and without the resurrection, our faith is meaningless.

As New Testament scholar N.T. Wright said it

"Take Easter away, and you won’t have a New Testament; you won’t have a Christianity; as Paul says, you will still be in your sins." (Surprised by Hope)

If Christ’s tomb is not empty, then we are still in our sins and there is no hope of eternal life for those who hear our empty message.

Without Easter we have no hope
If the tomb is not empty, you can be sure that your promises are. The resurrection of Jesus Christ serves as a sign of hope that we have as believers. It proves to us that Jesus accomplished what he planned and we now have hope and a future. As the Apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:3-4,

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you"

The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives believers the assurance of eternal life and the hope of a future resurrection themselves. The resurrection provides purpose and meaning to both this life, and the next. Because Jesus has been raised from the dead, I have the hope that one day, I too will be raised!

Without Easter, the gospel is worthless 
If Christ has not been raised from the dead, then our message is worthless, and proclaiming the Gospel is wasting both our own time, and those that we preach it to " If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Co 15:19)

Paul righty asked the question about the value of our faith, if Jesus has not been raised from the dead. If we are laying down our life in service of a dead man, then what value does this have? What do we gain by risking dead, humiliation and persecution for a dead man? But Christ has been raised from the dead. At Easter we remember that the tomb is empty, and the Jesus is no longer in the grave, but He is risen!

This Easter, I am grateful that Christ is risen. Christ’s resurrection validates my faith. His resurrection fulfils both Old and New Testament, that told about about His coming, and His death and resurrection. The death, burial and resurrection is the foundation of our faith today. If Christ is risen, we can be certain that the gospel is true. All who believe in Christ will, like him, one day, rise from the dead. Because Jesus lives, we can have confidence that God's mission is being accomplished.

Because of Easter, we know that death has been swallowed up in victory (1 Cor 15:55-57). Jesus secured the eternal promises of God’s redemptive plan. God is saving sinners among every people group in the world. The grave no longer has power over those that believe in Him. One day every nation, tribe, and tongue will submit to the sovereign Lord.

This Easter, can I encourage you to reflect on the importance of the resurrection to your own life, and to think about the mission that God has called you to. To redeem all of the human race back to Himself.

“If Christ is not risen, we are wasting our lives advancing a church with no saviour. But because Christ is risen, then we waste our lives if we serve any other cause but the proclamation of his resurrection.” (Robert Wells V).

Michael Hanson
Executive Director