Expressing Your Easter Faith

Date: 4/12/2009
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Expressing Your Easter Faith

Text: 1 Cor. 15:14 - And if the [Anointed King] Christ was not raised [once for all], then futile is our proclamation, and also futile is your very faith! (GSv)

Express Your Faith as a Hope of ________________________________ over ____________________________________________.
The Resurrection faith of Lord’s Day worship is not explained by the disciple’s hallucinations of a dead Man. It is not even explained by the disciple’s hallucinations of once dead Man. It is explained by the (bodily) resurrection of a dead Man who continued to show up to break bread and to eat fish with broken-hearted disciples, until He empowered them as apostles to be witnesses unto death. The first people who believed their eye-witness testimony had excellent reasons for believing that God raised Jesus from the dead and therefore, Jesus is Lord.

Don't Express Your Faith as a Hope of Escaping from ___________________________ ___________________________________.
Growing up in a Southern Baptist church in the south and hearing the “gospel songs” and crusade-style messages, I got the distinct impression that salvation was to fleeing the bodily and earthly things to get into a non-physical “soulish” place called “heaven.” Even serious theology is often done as though we have a set of souls that are to be redeemed from the physical world and Jesus does this by becoming a human temporarily just prior to going to heaven and once again inhabiting a Platonic realm of pure Spirit. Or, we see the OT as “physical” and the NT as “spiritual” - Where's the place for a resurrection of Jesus? It is tacked-on later like the Lord's Supper. And last of all, the Resurrection . . .

Don't Express Your Faith as a Hope without __________________________________ ___________________________________.
We understand that Jesus “died for our sins” but we do not understand why he was “raised for our justification” (Rom. 4:25)? The resurrection is treated primarily as a miraculous evidence to prove Jesus was who He said He was. That does prove it, but much more is resting on the resurrection. Paul writes in a way that is striking to us in 1 Cor. 15:14. But couldn't we respond, “Well since Jesus died for our sins, we could still be saved without the resurrection - after all Jesus' soul went to heaven.” This reveals that our hope is without bodily resurrection. We would be more at home with Plato in an imagined spiritual dwelling, than with the resurrected Jesus at a fish fry or at a Table breaking bread and drinking wine.
Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more