Because of the Resurrection
But the angel said, "Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body."
Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!
Without the resurrection, the cross of Jesus really wouldn’t matter much.
Without the resurrection, we’d never have known about Jesus’ prayer on the Mount of Olives, where he submitted to the will of his Heavenly Father.
Without the resurrection, Judas’ betrayal of Jesus would have been long forgotten.
Without the resurrection, the Sanhedrin who condemned Jesus would have been seen as largely correct in their estimation of him as a blasphemer who needed to be silenced.
Without the resurrection, Peter’s denial of Jesus might seem like a judicious way to preserve his own life.
Without the resurrection, we’d probably never have heard the name of Pontius Pilate, unless we happened to take a class in Jewish history in the Roman Period.
Without the resurrection, the fact that Jesus was scourged and crowned with thorns would seem to be a sad but fitting end to one who pretended to usher in the kingdom of God.
Without the resurrection, Jesus would have been one more nameless individual who took up his cross on the way to dying a cruel death.
Without the resurrection, Simon of Cyrene would have disappeared into the dust of history.
Without the resurrection, the women who mourned for Jesus would have continued to mourn for a long, long time...not for only two days.
Without the resurrection, most of us would know very little about crucifixion, unless we had seen the movie Spartacus. (Of course, there would be no Passion of the Christ film.)
Without the resurrection, the promise of Jesus to the thief, that he would join Jesus in Paradise, would seem like a bad, sad joke.
Without the resurrection, the presence of Jesus’ mother at the cross would be painful in the extreme, without a hint of meaning or hope.
Without the resurrection, the cross would be largely forgotten, and it would not appear on millions of buildings or around millions of necks.
Without the resurrection, the tomb would have been the final resting place of Jesus, until his body was exhumed so his bones could be placed in a ossuary (box for bones).
Without the resurrection, there would be no Stations of the Cross.
Without the resurrection, there would be no Christian church.
Without the resurrection, there would be no assurance of salvation.
Without the resurrection, there would be no reason to hope.
Without the resurrection, there would be only death.
Because of the resurrection, we reverence the cross.
Because of the resurrection, the cross is one of the best known symbols in the world.
Because of the resurrection, what was once the sign of horrific death is now a sign of life and hope.
Because of the resurrection, the death of Jesus is remembered, cherished, even celebrated.
Because of the resurrection, the Stations of the Cross lead, not to death, but to life.
Because of the resurrection, we are reborn into a living hope.
Because of the resurrection, we know that we, too, will live anew.
Because of the resurrection, everything is different.
Because of the resurrection, new life has begun.
Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!
QUESTION FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How does the resurrection of Jesus make a difference in your life?
Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
Hymn lyrics by Charles Wesley, 1739.
Mark Roberts is the Executive Director of Digital Media and the Theological and Cultural Steward for Foundations for Laity Renewal. He is the author of eight books, including No Holds Barred: Wrestling with God in Prayer. He lives in Boerne, Texas, with his wife, Linda. Their children spend most of the year away at college on the East Coast.
"Upheaval" is something most of us dislike, especially when it applies to our work situation. When the corporate structure changes or we're forced into an uncomfortable position, how do we respond? Maybe we cope by denying anything's wrong and carrying on as if we're not upset. If we're a "Ready, Aim, Fire!" kind of person, we might strike out at people around us before seeking God's wisdom. Either approach can backfire, leaving us in more of a chaotic situation than before. In our series Keep Calm, The High Calling offers stories full of hard-won wisdom and practical ideas for coping with extreme—and often unwanted—changes in the workplace.