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The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

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Introduction

Now, Something happened 2000 years ago, something that has changed the course of history from B.C. (Before Christ) to A.D. (the Latin Anno Domini--the year of our Lord).

That “something” was so dramatic it completely changed 11 men’s lives, so that all but one died a martyr’s death.

That something was an empty tomb? An empty tomb that a 15-minute walk from the center of Jerusalem would have confirmed or disproved. But even after 2,000 more years of history, a large portion of mankind hasn’t forgotten that empty tomb and the historical record of the resurrection appearances of Jesus Christ.

If you wish to rationalize away the events surrounding Christ and His resurrection, you must deal with certain imponderables.” (McDowell, The Resurrection Factor, p. 64)

By imponderables, McDowell is talking about historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The body of evidence is so great it has led millions throughout history to put their trust in Jesus Christ, many of whom were skilled in evaluating historical evidence. We make this emphasis because many theories have been advanced that attempt to show the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a fraud or nothing but a myth concocted many years later.

McDowell writes:

“I believe that many of the people who came up with these theories must have had two brains--one lost, and the other one out looking for it. Historians have to become anti-historical to invent some of their ideas. “ (p. 76)

With this in mind, let’s consider the testimony of a few outstanding historians. These are testimonies of men who are some of the greatest minds of history--men who were specialists in gathering and evaluating historical evidence. Note the following six testimonies from The Resurrection Factor, pages 10-12:

1. Roman history scholar

I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.

2. Textual critic

Brooke Foss Wescott, an English scholar, said, “Taking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no historic incident better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ. Nothing but the antecedent assumption that it must be false could have suggested the idea of deficiency in the proof of it.

3. Professor of ancient history

Dr. Paul L. Maier, professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University, concluded that, “If all the evidence is weighed carefully and fairly, it is indeed justifiable, according to the canons of historical research, to conclude that the tomb in which Jesus was buried was actually empty on the morning of the first Easter. And no shred of evidence has yet been discovered in literary sources, epigraphy or archaeology that would disprove this statement.

4. Legal authority

One man who was highly skilled at dealing with evidence was Dr. Simon Greenleaf. He was the famous Royall Professor of Law at Harvard University and succeeded Justice Joseph Story as the Dane Professor of Law in the same university. The rise of Harvard law School to its eminent position among the legal schools of the United States is to be ascribed to the efforts of these two men. Greenleaf produced his famous three-volume work, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence, which still is considered one of the greatest single authorities on this subject in the entire literature of legal procedure.

Greenleaf examined the value of the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ to ascertain the truth. He applied the principles contained in his three-volume treatise on evidence. His findings were recorded in his book, An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice.

Greenleaf came to the conclusion that, according to the laws of legal evidence used in courts of law, there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for just about any other event in history.

5. Attorney general

An Englishman, John Singleton Copley, better known as Lord Lyndhurst, is recognized as one of the greatest legal minds in British history. . . .

Upon Copley’s death, among his personal papers were found his comments concerning the resurrection in the light of legal evidence and why he became a Christian: “I know pretty well what evidence is; and I tell you, such evidence as that for the resurrection has never broken down yet.

Lord Chief Justice of England, Lord Darling, once said that “no intelligent jury in the world could fail to bring in a verdict that the resurrection story is true.

6. Rationalistic lawyer

Dr. Frank Morison, a lawyer who had been brought up in a rationalistic environment, had come to the opinion that the resurrection was nothing but a fairy-tale happy ending which spoiled the matchless story of Jesus. He felt that he owed it to himself and others to write a book that would present the truth about Jesus and dispel the mythical story of the resurrection.

Upon studying the facts, however, he, too, came to a different conclusion. The sheer weight of the evidence compelled him to conclude that Jesus actually did rise from the dead. Morison wrote his book--but not the one he had planned. It is titled, Who Moved the Stone? The first chapter, very significantly, is, “The Book That Refused to Be Written.”

We covered some of the evidences for the resurrection in the lesson Evidences for the Resurrection, and this has been done by others in great detail. An outstanding book on this subject is Josh McDowell’s book, The Resurrection Factor. He also covers this in his book, Evidence Demand’s A Verdict. There are many others as well.

All this wonderful evidence exists in spite of the security precautions taken by both the Jews and the Romans to make sure Jesus was dead and remained in the tomb. These included things like the Roman seal that was broken, the heavy stone that covered the door but was removed, and the Roman guard of soldiers who were there to guard the tomb. All this makes the evidence that much more remarkable.

Ramifications of the Resurrection

What does all this mean to us? How should it affect our lives? How should it cause us to live?

Illustration:

“There ain’t gonna be no Easter this year,” a student remarked to his friend.
“Why not?” He was asked incredulously.
“They found the body,” the student replied.

Despite his irreverent humor, his friend displayed a measure of insight often not shared by modern theologians. Many theologians are perfectly willing to assert that Jesus died and rotted in the grave, but that the resurrection still has value as a symbol of ‘newness of life’ or ‘new beginning,’ so that Christianity can go on quite nicely as though nothing changed. The friend’s joke implied that without the resurrection Christianity is worthless (William Craig, Knowing the Truth About Resurrection, Our Response to the Empty Tomb, p. 125).

And this friend was dead right. Listen to Paul’s commentary on this from 1 Cor. 15:14-19.

And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found {to be} false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

Note this observation:

Dr. J.N.D. Anderson, professor of oriental law and the director of the Institute of Advance Legal Studies at the University of London, concluded his research on the resurrection by saying, “It seems to me inescapable that anyone who chanced to read the pages of the New Testament for the first time would come away with one overwhelming impression, that there is a faith firmly rooted in certain allegedly historical events, a faith which would be false and misleading if those events had not actually taken place, but which--if they did not take place--is unique in its relevance and exclusive in its demands on our allegiance (McDowell, p. 14).

These observations by Dr. Anderson serves to stress the kind of results one’s faith in the resurrected Christ should have on us.

As to the Person of Christ

No other religious or philosophical leader of any of the worlds religions or philosophies has ever been proclaimed as a risen Savior. Instead, many have shrines at their crypts. They lie decayed with nothing remaining but their dust and their man-made philosophy or religious sayings and ethic.

Christ’s resurrection proves He was from God and spoke the truth--He is the way, the truth and the life. The resurrection proves Jesus was unique, one of a kind, and it marks Him out and authenticates Him as God’s Son.

Romans 1:4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Acts 17:31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead. “

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 20:26-31 And after eight days again His disciples were inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst, and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” 30 Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

  • He is declared both Lord (deity) and Christ (Messiah of Old Testament prophecy and expectation) on the basis of His resurrection (cf. Acts 10:36-43; Acts 2:22-36).
  • In Romans 1:4 Paul shows that the resurrection is the final and convincing proof that Jesus was the Son of God. Please note here that Paul’s subject is the gospel, the good news, of God. The Resurrection proves this.
  • In Matthew 12:39-40, Christ Himself pointed to His resurrection as the final proof of His person.

It proves that Jesus Christ was more than just another religious leader, idealist or philosopher. It dramatically marks Him out as the Son of God and authenticates His own claims to divinity. As Colossians 2:3 says, “in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

As to the Work of Christ

The resurrection likewise marks Christ out as the one and only redeemer and the one means of access to God. It authenticates His own claims that He was the way, the truth, and the life, and that He came to give His life a ransom for many.

Romans 4:25, 5:1 He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. . . . 1 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.”

Acts 3:26 “For you first, God raised up His Servant, and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”

Acts 4:1-10 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees, came upon them, . . . 10 let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead-- by this name this man stands here before you in good health.

    Christ’s Past Work

(1) It is the proof of the value of His redemptive work for us as our substitute.

Christ was raised on account of our justification, that is, to prove He was a worthy substitute and that we might be declared righteous by God (Rom. 4:25). Therefore, if He is risen, we become justified sinners through faith in Christ. The only proof or evidence we have of pardon, and acceptance, of justification and peace with God is the risen Christ. Faith’s question is not how we feel, but is Christ risen. No sinner can have settled peace except on the ground of the death and resurrection of Christ (Cf. Romans 5:1).

Without the resurrection our faith is worthless and we are still in our sins-- and of all men most miserable and to be pitied (1 Cor. 15:17-19).

(2) It is the basis of our sanctification and victory over sin

Because He is risen, we can walk in newness of life. His resurrection proved He has conquered sin and Satan and released us from the domination of sin (Rom. 6:4f).

    Christ’s Present Life and Work

The resurrection not only proves the past value of Christ’s earthly life and work on the cross, but it also is the doorway and proof of His present life and ministry in heaven for us as our advocate, intercessor, indweller, and the sender of the Holy Spirit. In other words, the resurrection which resulted in the glorified Savior is the means for the Lord’s ascension and exaltation to the right hand of God on high.

Two key verses on this are Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 13:20-21. Romans 8:34 shows that because the Lord was raised, He is now at God’s right hand to intercede on our behalf. The point of the Hebrews passage is that because of the resurrection, Christ was able to become the Great Shepherd who cares for and provides in every way for His sheep.

This includes:

  • The indwelling of Christ Himself--His life within ours was dependent on the resurrection (John 14:18-20). In Colossians Paul declares “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Our hope of divine enablement, of a new kind of life now, is Christ dwelling within us, but this confidence depends on the resurrection.
  • The sending of the Holy Spirit as our enabler--Over and over again, the Lord promised that He would send the Holy Spirit, but this too was contingent on His resurrection and return to glory (John 7:37-39; 14:26; 15:26; 16:7). So, compare Acts 2:32-33. The resurrection was the means of continuing Christ’s ministry to us today. The major feature of this present age, the indwelling Holy Spirit, was vitally dependent on the resurrection.
  • The gift of eternal life--In John 14:19 Christ said, “because I live, you shall live also.” Christ was thinking of His resurrection as the basis for the gift of eternal life.
  • The Head of the church, the new Creation--It was only through resurrection that Christ became authenticated as the head and preeminent Lord of the church (Eph. 1:20-23; Col. 1:17-18). As head, He forms the body of Christ, the church, via the Holy Spirit whom He sent to place believers into union with Himself (1 Cor. 12:12-13). Without the resurrection there would be no church.
  • The present work of Christ as our advocate and intercessor (Rom. 8:34).
  • The bestowal of gifts to the church (Eph. 4:7-11). The basis of gifts are twofold, the cross where He defeated sin and Satan, and the resurrection, the glorious triumph and proof of His victory.
  • His preparation of a place for us as the bride of Christ (John 14:2-3).
    Christ’s Future Life and Work
  • It is our guarantee of resurrection with a resurrection body like His (1 Cor. 15:20-23, 51-53; 1 Pet. 1:3; Phil. 3:20-21; John 5:25-29). In John 11:25 He said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me shall live even if he dies.”
  • The resurrection marks Him out as the eternal ruler of the earth. He will one day rule as God’s perfect king and because of His resurrection and glorification, His rule will go on without end (Luke 1:32-33; Psa. 2:7-9; Rev. 5:1-10; Psa. 22:28).
  • The resurrection marks him out as the judge who will judge all men. This is an awesome thought. a) For believers, it involves their examination before the judgment seat of Christ, the Bema (cf. 1 Cor. 3:12f; 2 Cor. 5:9; with Rev. 2:1-2). b) For unbelievers, it involves the judgments of tribulation (Rev. 6-19), the judgment of the Jews and Gentiles at the end of the tribulation (Matt. 24-25), and the judgment of the GWT (Rev. 20). So, compare Acts 17:31 and 10:40-42.

As to Mankind

It guarantees to men that:

  • Through faith in Christ they can find redemption from sin and peace with God.
  • They can know the peace of God and personal fellowship with Him through a living Savior.
  • Death means to be in God’s presence.
  • They will also one day experience a resurrection like the Lord’s and live eternally with God.

In other words, the empty tomb authenticates all the claims of the Bible and all that Jesus Himself declared as truth. The ultimate issue, then, is what should be our response be? What difference should this make in our daily lives?

As to Other Religions

Alone of all the beliefs of mankind, whether religious or political or philosophical, “Christianity (including its Old Testament foundations) is based upon historical acts and facts. Other religions are centered in the ethical and religious teachings of their founders, but Christianity is built on the great events of creation and redemption” (Henry Moris, Many Infallible Proofs, Creation Life Publishers, p. 10).

The Moslem faith is based on the teaching of Mohammed. Buddhism is based on the teachings on a man who was called Buddha. Confucianism on the teachings of Confucius. Marxism on the teachings of Karl Marx, and evolution on the teachings of Darwin. Not one of these is based on the observation of historical data or facts, but on the teachings and theories of men. Remember, evolution is based on theory and not on observable data.

Christianity, however is founded, not on what Jesus taught (and this distinction is vital for us to grasp) but on who Jesus is and on what Jesus did. Believers, of course, stand on Christ’s teachings. No one ever spoke and taught like Jesus, but the value of what He said was dependent on who He was and what He did. This gave the teachings of Christ authority and placed them all alone in the category of absolute truth.

All other beliefs are based on the teachings and ideas of men who were nothing more than men. No matter how brilliant or appealing they may be to some, there is no guarantee of their objectivity, accuracy, or ultimate ability to deliver what they promise (cf. Col. 2:20-23).

Christianity (in its beliefs and tenants) alone is based on historical and objective facts rather than the subjective ideas of man. Its truthfulness stands on the validity of historical records which are subject to investigation and examination.

Because the resurrection gives assurance to all, because it is the proof of His person and work, it also becomes the condemnation of all other religions, philosophies of men, and all who do not know the Lord Jesus as the their personal Savior by faith. The resurrection stands as either our proof of one’s justification or as one’s condemnation. It becomes a proof of a coming day of reckoning, a day when God will reckon with mankind on the basis of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ.

But for the believer in Christ, it is the proof of a coming day of examination and rewards to be followed by days without end of eternal bliss and joy in the presence of God.

Our Response
to the Resurrection

Faith in Christ

Obviously, it means we should put our faith in the Christ as our personal Savior. It means we should put our trust in Christ as the only one who can give us eternal life and bring us into a personal relationship with God. This is why Peter proclaimed the truth of Acts 4:12.

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.”

But once that is done, it means something else for the Christian.

Commitment to Christ

The empty tomb means we have a living Savior who, though seated and exalted at God’s right hand, is also with us and desires to have fellowship with us. As He tells us in Revelation 3:20, He stands at the door and knocks seeking the fellowship of those believers who have not been walking with Him. Our response should be one of opening the door and inviting Him in for fellowship by confessing our sins and by asking Him to come in and take charge of our lives because, as the exalted Lord, the God-Man Savior, He also has the right to lead, direct, and control our lives through that fellowship.

Our response should be one of total commitment to Him. The resurrection proves He is the Creator-God who is to have preeminence in each of our lives (Col. 1:15-18). Anything less is a contradiction, totally illogical, and pure rebellion on our part.

This means there is no place for complacency, or half-hearted devotion and submission to Christ because He is the Lord and God. Some people measure out their involvement with the Lord, with the study of the Word, and assembling together with believers with a teaspoon as though they were adding sugar to their coffee. In other words, a lot of Christians are what we might call “Nod-to-Goders.” They go to church occasionally in order to do their little nod to God.

With this emphasis in mind, let’s be reminded of three passages:

    Romans 12:1

Romans 12:1 I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

“Therefore, by the mercies of God,” is a call to total commitment and is made on the basis of God’s work for us in the person of His Son whom He raised from the dead to authenticate His person and work. As the risen Christ:

  • He sits in heaven as our advocate, but also as our Lord.
  • As our Lord, He walks amongst the churches examining our lives (Rev. 2:1).

Compare Rom. 1:4; 8:11-13; 14:10-12 with 2 Cor. 5:10 where Paul wrote of the “Bema of Christ” rather than the “Bema of God.”

    2 Timothy 2:8

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel,

In this context, Paul was challenging Timothy to give himself totally to the ministry God had called him to (vss. 1-7). As a motivation, he calls on Timothy to remember Jesus Christ as the risen one. Why? Because He is the Lord who is there for us no matter what our need, but also as our Lord to whom we will each give an account.

    1 Kings 18:21

And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word.

The great confrontation and the miracle of Mt. Carmel was designed not only to demonstrate that Israel’s God, Yahweh, was the only true God and thus their means of salvation, but also to call them, indeed, to challenge them to get off the fence of indecision and apathy. It was a call to repentance and commitment.

In God’s work in Christ on the cross and in Christ’s resurrection, God did done something many times more miraculous than he did on Mt. Carmel. This not only demonstrates that Christ is God and the Savior, but it calls for our full allegiance and the commitment of our lives. Anything but total commitment and availability to Jesus as our Lord, to follow Him and to give Him our lives, our families, our businesses, our everything is insane and utterly sinful.

Let’s look at Paul’s response to the risen Lord while on the road to Damascus?

Acts 22:6-10 6 “And it came about that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, 7 and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ 8 “And I answered, ‘Who art Thou, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’ 9 “And those who were with me beheld the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me. 10 “And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go on into Damascus; and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.’

Conclusion

As our risen Lord, Jesus is also our provider. Christians, however, so often fail to put their lives totally in His hands because they are afraid of what it will cost them. When we fail to do that, we do not really trust in His supply. We want to maintain as much control as possible because we think we can do a better job. Or we think if the Lord were to call us to sacrifice something, Christ Himself would not be enough. We fail to commit ourselves to Him because we worry about His supply. We fail to commit ourselves to Him because we believe we need other things for our happiness.

Personal Illustration

I was raised on a small cattle ranch in East Texas. Cattle, horses, calf roping, and all ranch life involved was my life. I loved it and the thought of having to give it up to go to seminary and then into the pastorate was a tremendous challenge for me. How could I be happy in anything else? Of course there were other fears like, could I handle the Greek and Hebrew? But I have to admit, the biggest issue was the life I loved. But God continued to work on my heart and one day I said yes and trusted that He would be more than enough. And you know, He was infinitely so. Thank God for His grace that is new every morning.

Illustration of Abraham and Isaac

Genesis 22:1-24 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 And He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship and return to you.” 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. 7 And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 And Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there, and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 And he said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” 13 Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.”

Isaac, Abraham’s son of promise, stands for the things we love and cherish. The things we think we must have to be happy. Remember, Isaac was God’s promised child and the means to fulfilling God’s promises to Abraham. He was God’s special gift to Abraham and Sarah in their old age. Though Isaac was a source of joy and happiness, their trust and primary source of happiness was not to reside in Isaac. It needed to reside in the Lord alone. Abraham finally learned this and so must we.

We must all be willing to surrender our Isaacs--whatever they may be. We must surrender and trust them into God’s hand. We too must make the trek to Mount Moriah where we demonstrate not only our total surrender and love to the Lord, but also our complete trust in God and His grace, believing that the Lord is more than enough.

In our actual experience, this surrender is not a one-time trek. While it must begin with a point where we come to realize this need (Rom. 12:1), it is something we each must face daily, from situation to situation as we renew our minds in the Word and are faced with the temptation to find our supply or source of security and happiness in things other than the Lord (Rom. 12:2).

It is in this total commitment and trust that the Lord manifests Himself as Yahweh Yireh, the Lord who Provides.

  • He is always the Lord who provides, but sometimes before He can do that, He must first reveal Himself as the Father who disciplines or as the Vine Dresser who prunes.
  • This suggests we really do not begin to fully experience God as Yahweh Yireh until we have placed our cherished possessions, our personal sources of trust for happiness, security, and significance, on the altar as Abraham place his beloved son.
  • Experiencing God’s supply begins with trust in Chris, and that begins when we stop trusting in other sources for salvation. But our dependence on the Lord is experienced to the max in our daily life only when we lay our Isaacs on the altar.
  • Until that point, as Abraham and Sarah did with Hagar, we will continue to resort to our own bag of tricks or personal strategies for happiness, security, and significance. As long as we are doing that, we really haven’t put our Isaacs on the altar and we really aren’t trusting in God as Yahweh Yireh or in Christ as our resurrected Lord.

Listen to this statement by the millionaire and super-star O. J. Simpson in People Magazine, June 12, 1978.

“I sit in my house in Buffalo and sometimes I get so lonely it’s unbelievable. Life has been so good to me. I’ve got a great wife, good kinds, money, my own health--and I’m lonely and bored. . . . I often wondered why so many rich people commit suicide. Money sure isn’t a cure-all.”

Fame and fortune not only do not lead to happiness, they can’t even begin to give one the capacity to handle life or live with integrity, as the more recent events in the life of O. J. Simpson surely illustrate. Jesus came to give people eternal life and the resurrection is God’s dramatic proof of that. However, it also proves that He came to give us the capacity to experience the abundance of His life in ours if we will allow Him to take charge as our Lord and as we live by faith in His mercy and abundant provision.

Related Topics: Easter, Resurrection