Monday, April 17, 2006
the meaning of Easter
Christians the world over have just celebrated the most holy of days on the Christian calendar - Easter. Christians celebrate this day as the day that Jesus Christ, who had been crucified just days before, rose from the dead. Paul stresses in Romans 10 the importance of belief in the resurrection of Jesus - "because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
There are some who claim that the resurrection of Jesus was not a literal event but symbolized the importance of endurance. The Jesus Seminar was composed of thirty scholars who were dedicated to researching the historical and authentic Jesus; they "concluded" that the resurrection did not actually occur, that Jesus did not bodily return from the dead. See this recent article in the "Washington Post."
Paul states that for salvation to occur in the individual, he/she must confess that Jesus is Lord and that He was raised from the dead. To confess something is to acknowledge or admit something - to profess a belief in something. It is through this belief and this confession that salvation lies - not on anything else. In his first letter to the Corinthian Christians, he argued that if Jesus was not raised from the dead, the Christian faith is vanity (see chapter 15).
Al Mohler discusses how death has been swallowed up in victory: "The church comes each year to this celebration of resurrection because we must constantly remind ourselves and the world of the resurrection hope, and of the reality of the risen Christ. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ must always remain a company of resurrection witnesses, speaking the Gospel of the cross and the risen Christ to a world desperate for genuine hope."
Mark Driscoll has a series on Easter: 1, 2, 3, & 4. *many people are linking to these posts by Pastor Driscoll - I'm just joining the bandwagon on this one*