The Resurrection is one of the most challenging claims that the Christian faith makes. It takes a lot of faith to believe that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world, rose from the dead three days later, and has continued to remain alive, active, and at work in the world. Yet billions of people throughout the world believe just that and experience a palpable hopefulness about the direction of their lives and of our world.
In today’s passage, the apostle Paul claims that the faith of Christians would be useless if Jesus had not risen from the dead. What does it mean for us in 2022 to say that Jesus Christ is risen from the grave?
I believe that the hope of the Resurrection for us in the modern world is twofold. First, if Christ is risen then we have hope that we too will rise from the dead. If Jesus is alive, then we have a strong reason to believe that our lives will extend beyond this reality when we die. Such a belief not only helps quell our fear of death but gives us an imperative for living well. Resurrection means that what we do in this life matters. Second, if Christ is risen, then we are not alone in this world. The Spirit of Christ is at work, even in moments of darkness and tragedy.
As Paul says, “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead.” We then should be a people of hope—hope for our lives, hope for our world. Thanks be to God for that hope!
Risen Christ, breathe new life in me today. Open my eyes to see you at work around me, and stoke the flame of hope within me that I may live faithfully in the light of eternity. Amen.
God wants us to be rooted firmly in our faith. Jeremiah contrasts those who put their trust in themselves with those who trust in God. The latter are like healthy trees with deep roots and a constant water supply, never in danger of drying up or dying. The psalmist uses the same image to describe those who meditate on God’s teachings. Thus, as you do these daily readings and reflect on them, you are sinking deep roots into fertile soil. Agricultural imagery is continued in Paul’s letter. Paul describes Jesus Christ risen in the flesh as the first fruit, meaning that he is the first of many who will be resurrected. In Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, worldly success is not necessarily an indication of God’s blessing.
Read Jeremiah 17:5-10. Examine your heart. Do you place your trust in “mere mortals” or in the Lord?
Read Psalm 1. How do you seek to meditate on God’s Word day and night?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-20. How has your understanding of the resurrection of the dead changed your living?
Read Luke 6:17-26. How do you understand the paradoxes of Jesus’ blessings and woes?
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