In the past few weeks we have been looking at the idea of, “So That…” in reference to the Resurrection of Jesus. Everything we do is, “So That…” something else can happen. Think about your life as you “toil in the vineyard” daily. You work, “So That…;” you prepare the soil for your garden, “So That…;” all you do is, “So That” something else may take place.
The resurrection of Jesus is the most significant event in all of history. Without the Resurrection Jesus’ dying in our place; Jesus paying the debt we owe would have been futile. Therefore, the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus must be viewed as two events in one. One without the other would ineffective.
The Resurrection of Jesus takes place in a world of death and dying. That is to say, we live in the “Land of the Dying.” Psalm 116 has 13 references to the threat of dying. Yes, Jesus’ resurrection is a life giving event to those who believe in the “Good News” of the “Gospel of Jesus.” As true Christians gather each Sunday they are taking a respite from the “war zone” of the world. Christians live in a world where toil, trouble, tribulation and death are the order of the day. Consider how many of your friends and family have died. Yes, we live in a world of the dying.
Death is the launching pad for understanding the importance of the Resurrection event. Please know there are many “so-called” Christians who deny the physical Resurrection of Jesus. A survey by the Barna Research Group found that 30% of those who call themselves “born again” do not believe Jesus came back to physical life after he was crucified. This is not a new revelation of the dead faith of some. Paul in
1 Corinthians 15:12-19, addresses the heretic faith of those in his time who denied the Resurrection of Jesus, “…if Christ has not been raised our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
Is belief in the Resurrection necessary? Yes, it is definitely necessary to believe in the Resurrection for eternal life. What do those who do not believe in the Atoning death of Jesus and his physical Resurrection preach? I do hear a number of them talk about their “feelings.” In fact, I grow weary of those who want to preach “feelings” and the “goodness” of humanity, while ignoring the truth of Jesus Crucified and Risen.
Now to the title of this article, “Do You Know Who You Are?” The crisis in Christian Identity is the result of what the Apostle Paul calls, “foolishness.” It is the Resurrection of Jesus that gives us our identity as the “people of God” who follow our Lord Jesus. Our identity as “eternal people” is destroyed when we get our identity from therapists, entertainers, sports figures or any other than Jesus. It is a curious thing for Christians to begin strong and then gravitate to every false teaching that comes along.
Jesus said in John 8:51; John 11:26; Luke 23:43 those who believe in and obey Jesus will “never see death.” When we forfeit our Resurrection identity we have lost our way. Our lives; our identity; our very existence, now and forever rests with the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ. This loss of identity is why so many churches are losing people out the back door never to be heard from again in these churches.
In the book of Acts Christians were first called “People of the Way.” That Way is through the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus. Lose that and you lose it all. Live that and you have it all. The old, beautiful hymn, “Trust and Obey” is true and reliable words for those who hearken unto Jesus.