Post Mortem

The Resurrection Effect

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 4/3/2021 1:16:05 PM IST

 Larry King, the delivery boy who became one of America’s most famous TV interviewers, was once asked which of ten historical figures he would like to book an interview with. “Christ,” was his immediate answer. 

Christianity hinges on the death and resurrection of Jesus - a statement that is often heard during this Easter season. The Apostle Paul could not be more emphatic when he said, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (1 Cor. 15:14) It is a powerful claim that Christianity makes, that ‘Jesus Christ died and then was raised from the dead’.   Believing in or reconciling with the resurrection is absolutely central to our faith. With-out Good Friday and Easter, there would be no Christmas!

 Blind Faith? Can we believe in anything without understanding it? What is the difference between faith and blind faith? Faith is critical and essential but blind faith is offensive and objectionable. As Christians we need to know why we believe what we believe. In 1 Peter 3:15, we are urged to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 

The evidence for the resurrection is overwhelming. As Dr. Antony Flew, a noted proponent of atheism, had to admit, “The evidence for the resurrection is better than for claimed miracles in any other religion. It’s outstandingly different in quality and quantity.”

 Check and Double Check: Faith in the resurrection of Jesus is intelligent, sensible, and verifiable. Paul the apostle says that after Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to “Cephas [Peter], and then to the Twelve.  After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all He appeared to me.” (1 Cor. 15:5-8) All these people were eyewitnesses, and could scrutinize cross-check, verify and validate any of Paul’s claims on the resurrection of Jesus.

 The  Truth  will  come  out:  The veracity of the Christian faith has been on the anvil for a long time and is time-tested, proved and approved. The incarnation (God becoming a man in the form of Jesus Christ) was essential but the bedrock of Christian faith comes not just from an empty tomb but from the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the resurrection. Clarence W. Hall shouts it loud, “Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there. You can nail it to a cross, wrap it in winding sheets and shut it up in a tomb, but it will rise!” 

 The day Death died: If there was no resurrection, the Cross would have been the final defeat of God. The Christian faith rises and falls on the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead. What the resurrection reveals is that Jesus was really who He said He was. He was not just a great teacher, but God Himself. Jesus came to give life, not death. The Resurrection says death is not the end: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55)

 Resurrection and Forgiveness: Karl Augustus Menninger, the world-renowned American psychiatrist and author of “Whatever Became of Sin?” once said that if he could convince the patients in psychiatric hospitals that their sins were forgiven, 75 percent of them could walk out the next day! What a difference forgiveness makes!

Only a resurrected person can forgive sins.  In Mark 2:10, Jesus says: “I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

 Resurrection and  Redemption: Resurrection and redemption are interconnected and intertwined. If there is no resurrection, we are of all people most to be pitied, but now we are to be envied! “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” - 1 Cor. 15: 17-20, NIV)

 Resurrection  and Reconciliation: Thanks to the Resurrection, a believer can enjoy a live, reconciled relationship with God. “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” - Romans 5: 10-11, NIV

 The  Resurrection  Effect:  There is help, hope, forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption for even the worst of sinners, just for the asking. Timothy J Keller, founder of the Redeemer City to City mission which trains pastors for ministry, says, “Look at the deadness in your life... The minute you decide to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, the power of the Holy Spirit comes into your life. It’s the power of the resurrection - the same thing that raised Jesus from the dead.”

This resurrection season, let reconciliation, restoration and forgiveness be yours with this simple prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Your Name. Amen

Jose T Nithi

josetnithi@gmail.com

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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