Rembrandt's The Resurrection of Christ, c1635-39
Easter is an opportunity for Christians to affirm what the New Testament clearly declares, that Jesus Christ who died on the cross, actually rose again from the dead.
The apostles made clear that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the pivotal doctrine of the Christian faith, for without this truth, they said, “our faith is vain”. It proves that Jesus Christ is who he claimed to be, and that he accomplished what he claimed to have come into the world to do.
The fact that God raised Jesus from the dead has massive implications for how we live now. The Easter story is evidence that God’s new creation has been launched upon this broken, messed-up world, and it points forward to the renewal and rebirth of the entire creation.
Since God declares in the resurrection of Christ that he intends to overcome sin and evil, it means that Christians, in the power of the Risen Christ, should work for justice and righteousness in our present world. That means that issues like poverty and the massive economic imbalance of our world need to be addressed with energy and commitment. If God is going to renew all things in Christ, then Christians are called to engage in a programme for change so that every form of sin and injustice is challenged and overcome.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that we not only apply the gospel to the major problems of our world, but that we also apply it to the intimate details of our personal lives. Christian holiness means that individually we learn to live in the new world created by the Easter.
While there are many parts of the world we cannot affect, there is one part of the world which we can do something about, and that is the person we each call “myself”. In the power of the new life of Christ, we confront sinful attitudes and practices in our own lives, and begin to live in a way that honours and reflects our Crucified and Risen Lord.