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Sunday, March 23, 2008

The resurrection

There are some things, I suppose, of which the faith that is in Jesus could be stripped and legitimately questioned. None, I can state unequivocably, amount to anything of consequence. As an example; were the last verses of the last chapter in the gospel according to Mark removed because, as has been amply proven by scholars, those verses do not appear in the most ancient manuscripts. Nothing lost. There is nothing contained in those verses that is not elsewhere stated by other New Testament writers.

Were the same scrutiny applied to religious holidays it would become evident Christmas, Easter and all religious holidays considered by the world as "Christian holidays", are absent in the entirety of the New Testament. Nothing lost. There is nothing of any consequence concerning holidays. According to New Testament writers, Christians who opt to celebrate a holiday are neither more nor less pleasing to God. The defining point: Do not allow another to impose their holiday observance on you and don't you impose your refusal to observe a holiday on another.

If one would image an inverted pyramid balanced on its point and it contained the vastness of everything that makes up the faith that is in Jesus the final point on which ALL hinges is: The resurrection. Were the same scrutiny applied to the resurrection and it failed then the entirety of faith in Jesus and living for Jesus would be a fraud.

I will not go into the book, chapter and verse nor how much sense it makes, because. . .it doesn't. I will direct anyone with the slightest curiousity to skip from Genesis all the way through the gospel according to Matthew to the closing chapter. Do likewise with the other gospel accounts of Mark, Luke and John to read the closing chapters. Therein one will find every conceivable, let me rephrase, every common objection and ridicule posed by men and women, against the real and greatest event in the history of the world, thus far.

The significance of the resurrection (whether one believes it or not) as put forth in scripture is: Death is not the final stop, and, Jesus is Lord. The further significance of that as concerns Jesus should concern all who would follow him. Namely, that his ascent to the position of Lord he attained, and so instilled on his disciples, had no ties whatsoever to a piece of dirt, or territory, or relic, or special day, or, taking of another's life because their unbelief. These "ties" are what all "religious conflicts" have in common. It is a travesty when Christians find themselves tied up in "defending" Jesus by fighting for those things with which he had no part.

The beauty of the resurrection is the transformative power it affects in the life of the believer who has grasped its significance. It is a life with meaning and purpose. It is a life which finds fulfillment in loving God through worship, being of service to to God through service to others. The reality of the resurrection in the life of the individual brings a perspective to troubled marriages, a stressful business environments, a view of world matters and more. Furthermore, it makes Jesus more than a "nice man" or "a prophet" (not one, by biblical definition).

Jesus was declared by the power of the resurrection to be the Son of God. Jesus is Lord.

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