The Significance of Easter
Apr 21, 2011 by Alex Mekonnen | 0 Comments
“If Christ is not risen then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Cor. 15:14). With this strong statement Paul accentuates the fundamental significance of Christ’s resurrection for Christian faith. Peter several times has said “We are witnesses” after he spoke about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The apostles were witnesses because they have met the risen Christ, spoke, walk, and eat with him. The risen Christ “…presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them[the apostles and other disciples] during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1: 3). Paul adds, “Moreover; brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and died for our sins according to Scriptures, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that he was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as one born of out of due time.” (1 Cor. 15:1-8). All these eye witnesses were not hallucinating. They have seen the risen Christ. Without resurrection, the authenticity of the Christian faith and the credibility of Jesus Christ as the incarnated God are in question. What makes Christianity unique among other things is the resurrection of Christ. By conquering death and its power, Jesus gave us hope beyond the grave.
Different religions and philosophies have made an attempt to understand the meaning of life between our entrance and before our exit in the terrestrial journey. There is no one like Christ who spoke about his death and resurrection in no uncertain terms and proved it three days after his burial by being alive. Jesus said; “As the father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom he will” (John 5: 21). “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me has everlasting life” (John7:47). Knowing that our corruptible body will be incorruptible, the temporal will be replaced by the eternal, and we will stand uncondemned before the righteous judge. With unshakable and glorious hope waiting ahead of us, we stay focused and press towards the mark. The power of resurrection has enabled us to live a meaningful and purposeful life seasoned by the grace and mercy of God. Life is more than birth and death, more than eating and drinking, merrying and worrying, war and peace, prosperity and poverty. The end game of human history is in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 22:12-13). With the apostle Paul, I conclude by saying, “…[I]do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what are the riches of his glory, of his inheritance in the saints, what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power which he worked in Christ when he raised him for the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:16-20). May God enlighten the “eyes of our understanding” to comprehend and enjoy the significance of Easter.