Sunday, April 24, 2011


I'm tempted to reflect here on the question, "What difference does it make that Jesus rose from the dead?" But thinking more about it, how could one even begin? This event is the historical root of the entire existence of Christianity. Without the resurrection, there would be no Apostle Paul, no Saint Augustine, no Martin Luther, no Joan of Arc, no Mother Teresa, not to mention millions of others -- billions of others -- whose lives have been transformed by the love and power of God because Jesus rose from the dead.

Our license plates would not have the number "2011" on them, but then we probably wouldn't have cars anyway because the entire scientific revolution that made the invention of the automobile (and so many other inventions, including the laptop I'm typing on) possible was itself made possible by a Christian worldview that saw the natural world as something consistent (due to God's immutable laws) and approachable (because Jesus was responsible for, but separate from, creation).

And I would likely not be living in a country with the freedom of expression to allow me just to write whatever I want ... Historians have made the claim (quite convincingly) that the American Revolution sprang from the translation of the Bible into English. So the very existence of America and its political foundations of freedom and individual rights owe their existence to the resurrection of Jesus.

What else? Think about all the hospitals that have been started by people who wanted to help others because they believed in the resurrection of Jesus. Think of the artists, poets, writers who have been inspired by Jesus. Think of thousands of people this minute who are living in small villages in Africa caring for AIDS and malaria victims and their orphans because they know the name of Jesus. Think of uncountable churches where Jesus' resurrection is lifted up week after week -- churches that provide a foundation for neighborhood involvement, for food shelves, for friendships, for neighbors caring for one another.

These things are chapter headings, but even so I haven't even begun to provide a beginning. Even thinking about just the changes I'm aware of in my own limited knowledge and experience, I could go on for pages.

It is staggering to try to get your mind (let alone your heart) around the impact of Jesus' resurrection. In the last decade or two it's become politically correct to bash Christianity as a "bad" religion because of the Crusades, or religious violence in Northern Ireland, or some other crime. These things are tragic and evil and should not be condoned. But that tide of political correctness often overshadows the inestimable good done day after day in the name of the risen Jesus Christ. Thank God for Easter!

No comments:

Post a Comment