Glencairn Methodist Church
St Paul, writing to the church in Corinth, said this (as paraphrased by Eugene Peterson in "The Message"):
"Now, let me ask you something profound yet troubling. If you became believers because you trusted the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, how can you let people say that there is no such thing as a resurrection? If there's no resurrection, there's no living Christ. And face it—if there's no resurrection for Christ, everything we've told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you've staked your life on is smoke and mirrors. Not only that, but we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ—sheer fabrications, if there's no resurrection." [1 Cor. 15: 12-15]
St Paul doesn't beat about the bush, he doesn't miss the door and hit the barn, he doesn't pull his punches, he tells it like it is, he calls a spade a spade, he hits the nail on the head!
If there is no resurrection for Christ, then everything Christians have staked their life on is simply smoke and mirrors, and we are to be pitied more than all. We might as well pack our bags and go home. We should just give in to the popular idea that God is just a delusion, that creation is just a happy accident . Jesus was just another man that tried to teach us to be good boys and girls. He sounded off with some dangerous, politically incorrect ideas and was simply done to death, dead, and buried.
The stone was rolled away, his body wasn't in the tomb, and people saw him, talked with him, shared meals with him, and their lives were utterly and completely transformed. And not just a few women and the twelve disciples, but, St Paul tells us, by 500 people, all at the same time. [1 Cor. 15:6] And for two thousand years, men and women across the world have believed that Christ is risen from the dead, that he is indeed God the Son, that his redeeming death on the cross purchased for us our salvation from the corruption of sin, and that God the Holy Spirit refreshes and enables us to follow Jesus. More than that, we can believe with confidence that when we die our resurrection is assured.
No matter what the detractors may say, we are not deluded, we believe with much justification in a God who created us and the world we live in, who loves us and redeemed us, who inspires us and who works in our lives to make us "people of God".
Fellow Christians, hold fast to this faith, don't be misled, grow daily in the Spirit, until at the last you attain eternal life.
And if you are not yet a Christian, accept this faith, don't be misled, grow daily in the Spirit, until at the last you attain eternal life.
Join in the Easter Acclamation:
Christ is risen
The Lord is risen
23 March 2008
NOTE - Previous "Monthly Messages" are archived at http://glencairn.connor.anglican.org/previousmessages.htm