Holy Week and Easter are upon us. Soon we shall be confessing the ancient Christian liturgy of praise: “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!”
The resurrection of Jesus is the linchpin of the Christian faith. Without it everything falls apart. Saint Paul recognized this back in I Corinthians 15. “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins…. If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
Or as Saint John put it in his first letter: “No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.” If we misread the life of Jesus we will miss the entire plan of the Father to make us righteous and worthy of eternal life.
The fact that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead is a historical fact. The evidence is just as great for Jesus being raised from the dead as any ancient historical event. And that is not simply looking at the Bible with a naïve eye. Archeology, historical documents, eye-witness testimony, and stone cold logic attest to Christ’s physical resurrection.
Why dwell on this? Because we must know the Son in order to know the Father. We cannot come to God without the invitation of the Son. We cannot understand God’s call upon our lives without hearing the voice of Jesus. We cannot even begin to fathom the life of the world to come unless we see the first fruits in the resurrection of our Lord.
We need Jesus. We need Jesus raised from the dead. We are not entitled to our own personal beliefs or opinions about Jesus. The Bible makes very specific claims about Him (I John 1:1-3). He makes very specific claims about Himself (Luke 24:44-49). One may not simply believe whatever they wish about the Christ and remain a Christian.
In this Easter season let us rejoice in the resurrection of Christ our Lord. His words are confirmed. He is who He claimed to be, the One True God in human flesh. Our sins are forgiven! Those who do not have this knowledge need it. If they are our friends or neighbors they need to know Jesus for who He really is.
May our risen Lord and Savior fill you with the joy of His resurrection unto life everlasting.