If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. (1 Cor. 15:13-14)
If the Father hadn’t raised Jesus from the dead, we would never have heard of Jesus. Without the resurrection, there would’ve been no Christian faith because there would’ve been no reason to remember, believe in, and celebrate a man who had simply died like any other criminal.
As important as it is to believe in the resurrection of Jesus, I also believe that we must do more. In other words, I believe we need resurrection hope and life at the end of our days, and we also need resurrection hope and life all of our days.
The poet Wendell Berry says what I’m conveying very simply: “Practice Resurrection.”
What would it mean to “practice resurrection?”
It would mean choosing hope over despair, light over darkness, love over hate, equality over prejudice, hospitality over hostility, civility over coarseness, kindness over meanness, generosity over stinginess, sharing over hoarding, coming together over blowing apart. It would also mean leaning into issues and challenges in our world that we could not begin to accomplish unless we knew that the resurrected Jesus was at our side.
Just as the resurrection of Jesus on the first Easter was stunning, surprising, and startling, so we need the risen Jesus to work through us in stunning, surprising, and startling ways for the good of others.
Today I encourage us to not only believe in the resurrection but also to live it, act it, and practice it. The resurrected Jesus wants us to translate what we believe about Him into how we live for Him. If we both believed in and practiced the resurrection, I bet our lives, our work, and our relationships could look and feel different than they do right now.
- Is Easter, the feast of the resurrection of Jesus, a yearly festival, or a daily way of life for you?
- Where do you need the resurrected Jesus right now? Do you need any part of your thinking, feeling, believing, acting, dreaming, or speaking raised up or revived? If so, what?
- Specifically and concretely, how could you “practice resurrection” right now in your relationships, work, and home?