‘The resurrection is our real hope’

Scripture: Romans 7:31-39

A recent study here in the UK found more church members than not disbelieve the resurrection. One can imagine then that their religion and faith finds Jesus inspirational, but little else. Indeed, society often tells us that there is no way we can know that Jesus really rose or that any miracle actually occurred, we must take these things by faith-blindly, hopelessly. Better yet just chuck out the extraordinary bits of Bible because there is simply no proof. But the Bible says faith isn’t the absence of evidence, actually faith fully trusts where the evidence leads. This Easter Sunday as we’ve considered the death and rising of Jesus we ask ourselves why would we believe in what seems so extraordinary?  God doesn’t call us to blind faith, rather he tells us that our hope in the resurrection is provable, personal and powerful.

The resurrection is provable: The things in the Bible have been shown to be historical and not fairy tales. First century scholars, most of whom don’t believe, must concede that Jesus lived, died, was buried, the tomb empty, and the followers of Christ changed people believing him risen. They have no choice but to concede that less than 10 years after Christ’s death, a litany of people claimed Him risen and paid for that claim dearly with a shortened lives and execution for their faith. But why?  Is it really a plausible argument then that they were wrong, lying or stupid? Isn’t it more logical that they really actually saw a dead man alive again and this explains their resolve to hold onto there faith? All the other explanations for the empty tomb and changed lives require bigger leaps than the straightforward evidence that they must have all(i.e more than a thousand different souls) seen something.

The Resurrection is personal: It’s not just a man dying painfully long ago, but a man dying on your behalf. Romans eight shares a courtroom scene. Your life is to be judged. But God pronounces you just, and Jesus through the resurrection stands always defending you–there is no way you will lose. Jesus is God’s way of showing that he personally loves you, after all Jesus is punished in your place.

The resurrection is powerful: It’s the only means to get to heaven, and it never fails to bring all who trust in it safely there as well as shape and change their lives. The Resurrection is proved in the countless lives that it has turned around. Turning losers into winners, desperate into hopeful, has beens into haves. The Resurrection isn’t fairy tales, its a factual and logical conclusion that we can rest on.

Tim