EACH year we make a New Year’s resolution.
Each year we live, however, we move closer to our deaths.
It may not seem a positive thought, but it is a true one, nonetheless.
I would like you to make it your New Year’s resolution to examine the resurrection of Christ in an open, honest and fair way.
Here’s a deep question for us: “Do we want to live on”?
Some, as expressed in the movie The Last Samurai, embrace death so long as it is a ‘good’ or honourable death.
Others, however, as in the movie Aeon Flux say that we were not meant to live forever and should desire to die.
The message of the Bible is that we were destined to live forever – note the “were”.
We don’t now because of what Christian teaching calls ‘the Fall’.
The Fall is the result of a rejection of God and the decision to rebel against Him.
Due to this, God decided to limit Man’s life span.
Unfortunately, this rebellion lives on.
Not many, to my knowledge, want to believe in Christ, or if they do, often it must only be on their terms.
This hardly counts as belief.
It is more akin to a redefinition of God.
The creature telling its Creator how they will relate to Him.
This we find is unacceptable with our own children – imagine our children defining the terms for our relationship with them.
Instead of listening to what we say, they decide for themselves how they will relate to us or even worse, how we should relate to them.
Why should it be different when it comes to God?
Shouldn’t He be respected on His terms?
We come back to Jesus.
He is referred to as a Saviour because He is able to change the outcome of a terrible fate – eternal separation from God and from what we all take for granted: the experience of His goodness in the world.
Jesus is an historical person and historians do not doubt that He is a real person.
The real question on peoples’ minds is the existence of the miraculous, especially, the resurrection of the dead.
I’m proposing that your New Year’s resolution is to examine the resurrection of Jesus, fairly and with an open mind. I, like most, was rather hostile to the thought of Jesus.
I knew that the ramifications of accepting Christ’s resurrection as true would be huge in how that would change my life.
It is definitely a fact that many people don’t just disbelieve because of the so-called lack of evidence.
They disbelieve because it suits them.
We have an existential stake in the outcome.
We want to live for the now and we suppose, rather than truly know, that believing in Christ would rob us of our independence.
It is said that “Heaven has a tight immigration policy, hell on the other hand has an open border”. The stakes could never be higher in the decision or indecision regarding Jesus.
We cannot afford to let ourselves get in the way of an honest inquiry.
Why not make this your New Year’s resolution?
Here’s a place to start: bethinking.org/did-jesus-rise-from-the-dead/resurrection-evidence
Echuca Community Church