Always Remember, And Never Forget
Posted on April 5, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
Far too many contemporary scholars try to explain what the Resurrection is: Oh, it’s a myth, it’s a legend, it’s a symbol, it’s a sign that Jesus’ cause goes on, that he’s a great man that now lives with God. … Come on! Nobody in the first century would have found any of that the least bit convincing. Can you imagine Paul tearing into Corinth, Athens, and Philippi and saying, “I want to proclaim a dead man who’s very inspiring.” No one would have taken him seriously. Besides, if I were there, I’d be laughing at Paul’s face for being too sentimental. But instead, what Paul said in Corinth, Athens, and Philippi over and over again was, “Anastasis, Anastasis! Resurrection, resurrection!” … That was the first great Christian message. What prevents us from saying that Jesus wasn’t simply a failed revolutionary? An inspiring idealist, yes, but as Albert Schweitzer said, “Ground under by the wheel of history.” What prevents us from saying that is the stubborn and unnerving fact of the Resurrection. … The New Testament scholar N.T. Wright says, “Simply from a historical standpoint, it’s practically impossible to explain the emergence of Christianity as a messianic movement apart from the Resurrection.” ~ Notes from Robert Barron’s presentation, “Amazed and Afraid.”
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. … For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
~ paul, The Least of The Apostles, in 1 Corinthians 15
Oh beloved, it is true.
Our faith is indeed based on, well, faith. Much of what is communicated to us in the 3,000+ promises of Scripture, are things that may not come true unless we are willing to engage them with an active faith; proceeding as though the promise is true.
And so much more…
Require us to take G_d at His Word. There are indeed some leaps we need to make to see the promise for what it really promises. And this, if we are not careful, can get us into a predicament. First, we can begin to believe that it is our own faith that makes the promise happen.
And this first thing; this leaning upon our own faith, rather than engaging the trustworthiness of of our Savior, leads to us experiencing less and less of what G_d has promised for us. And, in experiencing less of the fulfillment of His promises, we can begin to believe that the whole thing is just too unbelievable. The promises of G_d can begin to look like a bunch of fairy tales that exist only for the purpose of helping people get through situations…. Like a child’s belief in Santa Claus usually fades, so can our belief in His commitments to us.
But, there is a way through. There really is.
Jesus did indeed write us hundreds of ‘checks’ in the gospel. He then signed them – showing His sincerity – with His very own Life Blood. And these two things are vital, but if we stay there, this is where we can fall into the dilemma of us thinking that all of this is about our own faith.
Can we see it?
Jesus cashed the checks.
He validated His authority to write them, and proved His intentions through His death. But, in His resurrection, Jesus proved His ability to follow through on everything He said He would. Jesus took on the most difficult problem, ever, and He reigned through the whole thing – totally victorious.
Oh, you say, “that’s nice, but what if the resurrection is just another story, too?” Well, yes. If the resurrection is not true, Jesus was a bad guy. He lied and got a whole bunch of people worked up enough to trust a liar. And, if He is a liar, we are in trouble. We are to be pitied.
There’s just one problem with that line of thinking. It’s wrong.
Jesus did indeed resurrect from the dead. He did not just reanimate, and live on the earth for a few more years. No, Jesus rose from the grave as the FirstBorn among many, who will now live eternally, joyfully, and powerfully with Him. Really. This really happened. There is no other valid explanation for the explosion of the Church in the first century. Even a number of extra-biblical sources – by guys that did not like Jesus one little bit – admit that the resurrection was much more than a rumor. It really happened.
But, what does this mean in regards to His promises? Everything. We can sanely, clear-mindedly, and rationally come to believe the hardest thing to believe about Jesus. And this goes amazingly far in pushing back the boundaries of our doubts in all other areas.
For, when one knows they are actually in communion with the Same One who spoke the promises centuries ago, we can move from mere belief, into experience. We can, said Carl Jung, stop believing in G_d. We can, instead, know Him personally – and begin to see that all the promises and yeses and amens are in Him. He Himself is the fulfillment of the 3,000 + promises in Scripture. The promises move from being conceptual, to being tangible and experiential within the context of a loving relationship with our Creator.
So, are you doubting? That’s OK. But, don’t stay there. Always remember, and never forget. The resurrection of The L_RD Jesus Christ is the key to believing all the other promises. Tonight is your night. Submit to reality. Jesus is Alive, and He has a number of promises, that He wants to go about fulfilling in your life if you would but put your trust in His Trustworthiness!
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Daily Quote: Christians, always rejoice, for evil, death, sin, the devil and hell have been conquered by Christ. But when all of this is conquered, is there anyone in the world who can bring our joy to naught? You are the lord of this eternal rejoicing as long as you do not give in to sin. Joy burns in our hearts from His truth, love, resurrection, and from the Church and His saints. Joy burns in our hearts all because of sufferings for Him, mockings for Him, and death for Him, insofar as these sufferings write our names in heaven. There is no true joy on earth without the victory over death, but the victory over death does not exist without the Resurrection, and the Resurrection does not exist without Christ. The risen God-Man Christ, the founder of the Church, constantly pours out this joy into the hearts of His followers through the Holy Mysteries and good deeds. Our faith is fulfilled in this eternal joy, insofar as the joy of faith in Christ is the only true joy for human nature. ~St. Justin Popovich
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4