Easter: The Superbowl of the Church World?
I wrote the following for a post that appeared on the 2 Pillars Church blog yesterday.
On Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. A friend of mine calls Easter Sunday the “Superbowl of the church world.”
As with all metaphors, you can’t apply too much pressure or it will inevitably break. That said, the Superbowl reference does a decent job of illustrating the significance of Easter Sunday in a way that is easy to understand.
Superbowl Sunday is the most anticipated, most popular, and most-watched sporting event in the United States—by a long shot. The NFL season is a long road that leads to this single destination.
Similarly, Easter is the most significant, most anticipated day in the church world.
Surely Easter baskets can’t hold a candle to Christmas trees loaded with presents! So, what makes the Easter celebration of Jesus’ resurrection so significant?
The Resurrection Is a Miraculous Event
My ninth grade biology teacher began our first day of class by directing our attention to a dead frog floating in a jar of formaldehyde. He promised an automatic “A” to anyone who was able to bring the amphibian back to life.
As you have surely guessed, none of us collected on his offer that year. We all had to earn our grade the old fashioned way.
You see, despite all our medical breakthroughs and scientific advancements, humanity hasn’t managed to find an answer to the problem of death. As the saying goes, nothing is certain but death and taxes. Death is the inevitable, inescapable fate that awaits us all.
This is precisely what makes the resurrection of Jesus so extraordinary and miraculous. Following his crucifixion, Jesus was dead. Lifeless. Just like that frog in the jar in my ninth grade biology class.
The story doesn’t end there, however.
Jesus rose again! He rose in victory over death. This resurrection wasn’t metaphorical or figurative. It isn’t a fairy tale we tell our kids. It was actual. It was physical. It happened. Jesus defeated death.
The Resurrection Is Foundational to the Christian Faith
Not only was the resurrection a miraculous event, but it is also foundational to the Christian faith. In the Bible, the Apostle Paul explains:
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:12–14)
Paul is saying here, among other things, that if Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead, then the Christian faith is in vain. It’s worthless. In other words, if you’re a skeptic looking for the most effective way to undermine the Christian faith, then the resurrection is your point of attack. If Christ wasn’t raised from the dead, then Christianity crumbles.
So, on Easter Sunday Christians are celebrating the very event that defines and upholds their faith.
The Resurrection Is Essential for the Christian Life
The resurrection isn’t merely significant for the Christian faith in general, however, but also for the Christian life in particular.
By faith in Jesus, one is united with Him in His resurrection. Jesus’ victory over death and the grave becomes our victory over death and the grave. Jesus victory over sin and Satan becomes our victory over sin and Satan.
This victory allows the Christian to turn from the sin that once enslaved her and walk in joyful obedience to Jesus. It also gives the Christian hope—a hope that will not disappoint. This hope is the ultimate and eternal answer to the universal problem of death. Through faith in Jesus, we look forward to eternal life in Heaven with Him.
Jesus Is Risen
This Sunday at 10:00AM, 2 Pillars Church will be gathering to celebrate the miraculous resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s going to be a party!
Not a Christian? That’s okay.
If you would like to hear more about Jesus, His resurrection, and what it could mean for you, then I invite you to join us.
Jesus is risen. He is risen indeed!