Jesus Christ is Alive!
We are a dying world. Men whose names are mentioned only in fear or reverence march along with the millions of nameless nobodies to the silence of the grave. Death takes the rich and the poor. It is the great leveller of all men. "In the democracy of the dead, all men at last are equal. There is neither rank nor station or prerogative in the republic of the grave." But breaking through the gloom of death and the grave is the certainty of the resurrection morning.
The symbol of Christianity is the cross; but it is inseparably linked with the empty tomb. Without the resurrection, our Lord's death would be a symbol of a lost cause, and there would be no gospel to preach. If Christ were but a victim of tragic circumstances and a good but mistaken man, there would be neither the promise of the life to come nor real meaning for the life on this side of the grave. Christ rose again from the dead! He is alive! This makes Christianity unique and different from every other religion in the world. Buddha is dead; Mohammed is dead; Confucius is dead; Zoroaster is dead; Lenin and Marx are dead. Jesus is alive! The resurrection is not a myth but a fact!
When Christ died on the cross, His disciples scattered all over. They were disillusioned and frightened. Their dreams were smashed by the hammer blows that nailed Jesus to the cross. After the resurrection, the picture changed dramatically. These same disciples became courageous men. Their lives took on new dynamics. Instead of returning to their fishing boats on the sea of Galilee, they went out to preach the gospel. They were changed men! They knew that Jesus was alive. They had met Him and talked with Him.
Easter is a special day! Special because spring has arrived and the dreary winter months are behind us? Special because of the new hats and Easter lilies? No! Easter is not for everybody! Easter is a special day for all who believe in the risen Saviour. The resurrection is for those who have come into the Kingdom through the way of the cross. They have made their death-march to life through surrender to the living Christ. They were dead in sin but are now alive in Jesus Christ!
To believe in Jesus' resurrection, though essential, is not enough. When a man says that he is a Christian but lives and walks no differently than his unbelieving neighbour, - he denies the resurrection. Only when Christ is in full control of our lives will we know and experience the meaning of the resurrection. Once Christ is Lord ; of the life, the believer submits his choices, his desires, his ambitions, his work, his mind, his everything to the will of Jesus.
Jesus Christ is alive! He is risen! Whether the power and the blessing of that resurrection can be seen in the Christian's life remains to be answered by each of us this Easter.
Johan D. Tangelder