“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” I Corinthian 15:17
Rick Warren posted a video tease this week with the title “Easter is Everything.” That’s what Easter means to me. It means everything. As Christ followers, all that we believe, all that we hope for, all that we rest our dreams and ambitions and plans for the future on, is dependent upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ. His teachings are noble. His miracles are amazing. His love for all humanity is unparalleled. But if Jesus did not come back from the grave, if Easter did not happen, then all of that is vanity and foolishness. Easter means everything.
C. S. Lewis said, “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” (Mere Christianity)
Everything that we believe and hold dear stands solidly on the foundation of Easter. Jesus was exactly who He said He was. Jesus did exactly what He said He would do. He died. He was buried. And on the third day He rose again. Easter means everything.
Now, because that is true, and Easter is true. Easter means everything. It means people who are sick beyond hope have the possibility of getting well. It means marriages that are wrecked beyond any possibility of restoration are able to be restored. It means that too small paychecks can be stretched, dilapidated old cars can keep running, jobs can be found, kids can be safe, depression can be lifted, fears can be calmed, and hope can be had. Easter means that broken families can come back together; that drunken fathers can get sober; that cancer can be conquered; that wives who have fallen out of love can fall back in love; that ministers who have failed can minister again. Easter means everything.
Easter means that I can face any situation, any situation, ANY SITUATION in my life and say, “If God can raise Jesus from the dead then God can do this.” Easter is my hope, my faith, my ability to keep going, my strength, my peace. Easter means everything.
“But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who died.” I Corinthians 15:20