It’s September already. Time seems to whiz by at a rate that is dizzying these days.
I remember the long wait for my 16th birthday. Then I remember how long it took for graduation to come. And then there was the wait for my wedding day. But now, I want to scream “Wait!” because everything is happening at a much faster rate. The birthdays and anniversaries fly by, and I can’t seem to catch up.
I may have mentioned this before, but I think it is highly optimistic to be called “middle aged” at 53. The truth is that I probably passed middle age — if, by that, we mean the middle of life — about a decade or so ago. And that is a sobering thought.
None of us likes to speak about death. It is a fearful thing. Because we have never died before, we wonder what it is like on the other side, or if there another side at all.
I know there are those who say that you best get all of your living in here, because there is nothing else.
But the Christian faith teaches that there is a resurrection. That is the thing that sets Jesus apart from all other religious leaders.
The Bible claims that he rose from the dead, and because of that, his followers will do the same.
Now, there is at least one thing that must be said about the previous sentence. It is either true, or it is false. It cannot be true for you but not for me.
There are no shades of grey in that idea. Either the resurrection is or it is not.
I believe that it is true, and it is the supreme fact of our faith. On it hang all of the other truths of Christianity. It has been said that if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then it does not matter. But if he did rise from the dead, then nothing else matters.
I’m hanging my hat on the resurrection. I trust that God has told us the truth in his word, the Bible. I believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were reporting facts when they described the resurrection appearances. I am confident that Paul was correct when he wrote, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:20). And I am certain that because of that fact, those who trust in him also will be raised from the dead.
Because of that, we can say with Paul, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” Indeed, God has given us the victory in Christ. Keep on trusting. Keep on believing.
I know that it is not Easter, but we can still say with confidence “He is risen.” And that makes all the difference in the world.