On Easter Sunday morning a Sunday School teacher was trying to communicate the significance of Easter to her 3rd grade students. She told them the story of Easter and then asked if anyone wanted to guess what the first words of Jesus might have been after coming out of the tomb. A little girl very excitedly raised her hand. So the teacher asked her…. “what do you think was the first thing the Lord said? The girl jumped out of her chair – spread her arms wide and shouted, “Ta Dah!”
Jesus knew His resurrection was the “TaDah!” moment of the church – and for you and me.
The tomb is open! Jesus lives! He has been unsealed. But I’ve been thinking. Do you and I really consider Christ alive? Really alive?
What’s the big deal? Jesus died on the cross for my sin, isn’t that enough? I say, “No!” Christ’s shedding His blood for me is absolutely important. But without Christ breaking that Roman seal and coming out of that tomb you and I would have no promise of an eternal life in fellowship with a living savior. Paul phrases the importance of the resurrection this way,
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” 1 Corinthians 15:3–4
and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 1 Corinthians 15:14
and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 1 Corinthians 15:17
Right after Easter Sunday in 1902, Alliance Life Magazine contained this perspective;
“It has been said that probably more than three-fourths of the preaching one hears in the pulpits of Christendom is about the earthly life, ministry, example and teaching of the Lord Jesus as recorded in the Gospels… And yet, if we read with care the Acts of the Apostles and The Epistles of the NT we will find that it is not the earthly Jesus but the risen Christ who is the object of their worship and contemplation, and the subject of their constant testimony. We are not united by faith to the Christ who was born in Bethlehem, but the Christ who was raised from the dead.”
Looking closely we discover that the resurrection was indeed the passion of the first century church.
The word “resurrection is used 43 times in the New Testament, with the phrase “raised from the dead” mentioned 10 times, and “raised Him” an additional 11 times. So it’s obvious the resurrection is an important truth of the Christian faith. The apostles changed from hiding cowards to passionate proclaimers of the Gospel all because of Christ’s resurrection. Jesus had been unsealed from the tomb and so had the faith of the first century believers. That brings us to the question…
Is Christ’s resurrection a truth in our lives today?
Many people in the church today consider Jesus a dead historical figure sealed away in the dusty tomb of history. Some church attendees even prefer to keep him a tragic figure of injustice and malice. They keep Jesus hanging on the cross as a dead religious teacher or locked away in the grave of a martyred philosopher.
But as Bible-believing Christ-followers we must keep it foremost in our hearts that Jesus is not sealed on the cross, or locked in a theological tomb, but He is alive and sealed within each believer.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11
Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. 2 Corinthians 1:21–22
If you believe in the resurrection as a fact, what are you doing about it?
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. Colossians 3:1–2
Following this Easter celebration let us each keep the risen Lord unsealed, alive, and active in every moment of every day. Let us each “keep seeking the things above.”
What does “seeking the things above” look like in today’s world? We’ll talk more about this in the weeks to come. One thing I know for sure… it all starts with a “TaDah” moment.
Think about it…