By David Kobedi.
At Easter time, we remember the one thing that changed everything: that a man called Jesus walked the streets of Palestine, was crucified by the Romans, and around the 6th of April 33 A.D, came back to life. A group of 11 men claimed to have seen Him alive and were willing to die for that claim. The resurrection of Jesus Christ changed everything for them. That small group of men changed the course of history as we know it; and it should completely change your life.
I think we all know what it means for our lives to be changed. When something momentous happens, life cannot go on as normal. When a pandemic hits our world, it changes everything. Major sporting events get cancelled, spending behaviours change and the whole world comes to a standstill. Suddenly, the things that matter most to us change and something else begins to govern. In our case, the desire to curb the growth of a deadly virus is what governs us and what has kept us in our homes. I am careful to make this comparison, but in a much bigger and more constructive way, the resurrection of Jesus was more momentous. Through the resurrection, God the Father established Jesus the Son as the King who would govern your life and my life.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul explores two possibilities: the implications of the resurrection being true, and the possibility of if it not being real.
- The implication of the resurrection not being real.
32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
If the resurrection didn’t happen, then those who died defending it wasted their lives. Moreover, proclaiming Jesus as Lord is a wasted effort. All that is left is for one to indulge in pleasure and binge drinking; to make the most of it all, because it will end in death. But of course, it is real, and life has purpose because of that.
- The implications of the resurrection being real.
34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame
Jesus has opened a new way of living for us. The resurrection is proof that our sin-ravaged world has been destroyed with all of its patterns of life. So, those who have trusted in Him need to walk in this new life that Jesus has opened for them: to stop living in the sinful patterns of our world and live as people who anticipate this new life. So, it is possible to turn away from sin, because Jesus has made it possible.
Chapter 15 ends with this exhortation:
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.
Jesus is alive. Life has meaning, purpose and hope. So, stand firm and trust HIM!