The Resurrection of Christ
I am sat at my computer listening to the sounds of the rain drops of on the roof and I then looked out across the open fields struggling to be seen above the tall red brick buildings and the bleaker environment. The fight is on for status I chuckled. I looked skyward filled with darkened clouds, and wondered how many got caught in the rain. Then I began to wonder more like marvelled at the uncertainty of the weather, just on the weekend it was burning hot and bright one day, the next cold, rainy and dark. How many people I asked myself, do appreciate the rain the blessings it carries, and how many see it as one of those disruptive and unwelcomed feature of life? The rain is good I concluded, so very good, yet we spend so much time complaining about it. We often look forward with eagerness and anticipation for a sun filled summertime when most things look better and hope fills the air. Its over now, a new season has dawned bringing with it a change in the climate coupled with low feelings and pessimistic overtures. The high upbeat feeling of summer is replaced with dropped faces, and long lingering sighs. There are people, whose lives reflect the changing seasons of the year, sometimes down, another time up, bright one day, sad the next, filled with hope for a time then driven into hopelessness when circumstances change. I introduce you to one who offers timely hope, moving from death into life, His death ensures our life His resurrection, opens the way.
Three Day and Nights
What place does three days and night’s plays in our hope of eternal salvation in Christ? I felt moved in the hope of the resurrection of Christ and that all will engage with it and really study the narratives of Scripture to understand the significance of the three days and nights. I am conscious that in Christendom there are teachings in the churches which cause problems when compared with the messages of scripture. While the subject of the three days and three nights is a key study in verifying the validity of the messiah-ship of Jesus Christ, I will concentrate instead on the hope this great phenomenon brings to humanity. Pushing the issue of complete knowledge of Scripture to save is misguided, knowledge puffed up, God’s grace saves. That injunction however, is indeed the one sure sign Christ specifically gave to the people to prove who He was, notwithstanding His miracles and His teachings. I have hope and desire many will study the biblical text and subject matter and objectively affirm with me this significant scripture message to us about the resurrection of Christ and its importance in the fate of humanity. Many people dismissed Paul the chief promoter of the message of Christ resurrection in the New Testament, as a heretic.
The Gospel St Paul preached is etched in the fundamentals of the resurrection of Christ and of eyewitness confirmed reports. His assurances to the Corinthian brethren are soundly based on that premise that it was no fable, but in fact what they received, stand in and are saved by, the unshakeable truth of Christ returning to life. He declared, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures”, (1 Cor. 15: 3-4NIV). To prove that his arguments were not based on fables Paul presented a list of evidence, a number of eyewitnesses testifying of their confidence in what they personally saw and reported. People see things from time to time which are not confirmed, and especially if they suffer from mental illusions or have a little vodka moments before. In a law court witnesses are usually called upon to testify about the accuracy of a charge in order to convict or free an accused. Having a group of separate and individual sightings of this stupendous phenomenon does add a little bit more weight to the arguments. Sometimes when people are not present at an event it takes a leap of faith for many to fully accept that it is so. Some people will go out on a limb and accept it could’ve happened, relying more on hope rather that witnessed fact. Paul’s argument was not a hopeful one, but after his own personal encounter (Acts 9), he proclaimed “and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born” (1 Cor. 15: 8NIV). Paul in showing his understanding of the art of hermeneutics went about searching, gathering all the available evidences reached a personal verdict which is now universally accepted.
Why did Paul find it necessary to defend his gospel to among the Corinthian believers? Certainly they previously believed his arguments and accept salvation in Christ and a church, troubled sometimes but a thriving congregation was now established in Corinth. This congregation of mixed cultures seem to have been infiltrated by hardened trouble makers who followed him around from Jerusalem, anti-Christ, anti-gospel anti-Paul’s message. The representatives of hate followed him wherever he travelled or preached with the aim of building strife, and encouraging people to reject the hope he preached in Christ. While Paul was absent the trouble making doubters got into the consciousness of the Corinthian brethren causing many to doubt to their faith and question the pure message Paul delivered there earlier. Paul wrote, “But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (1 Cor. 15: 12NIV). What proportion of the church began to doubt the message, we are told, but clearly it reached a troubling point which caused Paul to act. This kind of infighting caused schism in a unified body, people start to take sides until the neutrality and centrality of Christ becomes a distant memory. To rekindle the fire, the hope the Corinthian saints once possess in Christ, Paul declared, “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” (VV 13 – 19NIV).
Two thousand years hence the message of Paul’s gospel still rings true today that the resurrection of Christ is our guarantee of hope in God. Christ did not survive death, he died a cruel inhumane death and was buried in the sight of many, but He conquered the sting of death, He was “resurrected” giving hope to millions who would otherwise be hopeless. The message to mankind is, we are never beyond hope! Satan slams the door of hope in the face of our first human ancestors, and continues today beyond the Corinthian brethren. He spreads his negative energy, his message of a hopeless situation when nothing seems to click for you. But no temptation, power of sin, guilt, affliction, or wounded spirit should separate or rob you of your hope in Christ. Broken dreams, misplaced hope, shattered and broken lives, Christ can restore, it is for your tears that He dies, and His hope brings life. Christ emphatically declared, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). This kind of hope is not about holding on to possibilities but, a certain expectation in the promises of God through Christ. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Heb 6: 19).
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The Resurection of Christ
The Resurection of Christ
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