Posted: 4/21/19 at 6:00am. Column by Ed Jordan.
Easter is here, and for many it is just another holiday. For people with children, it is a time to have Easter Egg hunts with the kids or grandkids. As a kid I always enjoyed egg hunts, but they seem to miss the true meaning of Easter.
Easter is the day when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Many today live as though Jesus, his death, and his resurrection are irrelevant. Others go so far as to say that Jesus’ resurrection is a myth.
While Christmas revealed to us that God is real, and that Jesus was God who became flesh, Easter celebrates the power of God to give us death-beating eternal life. Those who deny that Jesus really did come and live among us—or deny that he died on a cross, was buried, and three days later rose from the dead—live a very tenuous existence.
Without the hope of resurrection and life after death, life lacks meaning, purpose, hope, and value. Such a live is lived in continual denial of the reality of death.
Death is something most people don’t want to think about. However, death is one of the sure realities of life, since we all will die physically.
In my family, all of our grandparents and our parents have died, as is the case for many families. Some have lost sisters, brothers, or their spouse to death. Unfortunately, some have even lost a child to death. Each of us will face death and will indeed die ourselves.
Since death is an unavoidable event for each of us, we really need to discover the way to assuredly continue living, even after we physically die. If such a way exists, why aren’t people discovering it, embracing it, and making arrangements to conquer death?
We take advantage of cancer treatments in the hope of defeating death. So if there is a way to resurrect out of death, why would one ignore that option? Why would one spend their life denying that they will die, when they know for a fact that we all will die?
If you know that God has provided a proven way for us to pass through death and come out of death alive in the presence of God, why don’t people seek God in order to connect with him and have eternal life?
I remember the first time I came to grips with the reality of death. I stood next to a coffin of a person I had ministered to during his life’s last six months. I was asked to do his funeral, which became the first funeral I ever presided over.
As I looked at my friend lying in the casket, I made the amazing discovery that the soul and life of my friend were gone. That which had made my friend alive and personal, had left his body. I could plainly see that what made him to be him was gone.
This led to my next thought: Is this all there is? Is it really plausible that something as sophisticated, complicated, and multi-faceted as a human being only has this short physical existence and then ceases to exist? I find it inconceivable and not likely. Such a perspective leads to emptiness and despair.
However on that first Easter, when Jesus rose from the dead, he showed that there is much more to our lives than merely the time we live on Earth. Jesus’ resurrection shows that there is a God who can give life to our mortal bodies, who can transform our physical bodies, and who can infuse us with the power and life of God.
In John 11:25-26 (ESV), shortly before Jesus died, he told his followers: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Jesus died but rose from the dead three days later, just as he predicted he would. He appeared to hundreds of people over the 40 days following his resurrection.
Jesus said that whoever entrusts their life to Jesus can be sure that although they die physically, they will continue to live. The big deal is that eternal life is available free and to all who will commit their lives to Jesus. Why would anyone not take advantage of such a great deal?
Are you living in denial of death, or are you living in the hope and reality of eternal life available in Jesus? Take advantage of the big deal!