By Mike Gilland
The most important week in the Christian calendar is here. Easter, Resurrection Sunday. Much more than any ordinary event in history, this is one holiday to celebrate, and it is worthy of any amount of pause to meditate upon its significance. The Cross of Jesus is not merely a symbol or an icon of our faith – it changed the world forever, particularly for those who belong to the Father as His dearly beloved children.
You see, Christianity wasn’t just helped by the resurrection. If Jesus hadn’t risen from the dead, theologian J.I. Packer says that “the bottom would fall out” of our faith. Here is where man would be – had Jesus NOT been resurrected:
First, to quote Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:17: “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”
Second, there is then no hope for our rising either; we must expect to stay dead too.
It wasn’t enough for Jesus to teach good things. He had to die for us, to become a curse for us, and to take upon Himself the guilt of our sin. He was willing to do that, though He Himself was sinless. But God so loved the world…that He gave His son for us…(see John 3:16).
And then, by raising His dearly beloved son from the dead, the Father declared that the penalty of our sin, our great sin against His holiness…was paid for by an even greater Savior! This is why Jesus is often depicted as a sacrificial Lamb. But His was no ordinary sacrifice. His death was powerful enough to cover the sins of the world.
In the first century church, believers in Jesus would greet each other in a very special way…”He is risen!,” one would say. ‘He is risen indeed” would be the answer from the other. And because He lives, our faith is the secure…the bottom won’t fall out!
Mike Gilland is Operations Manager for The Shepherd Radio Network, a group of radio stations in Florida that features the “Christian Teach/Talk” format. Mike hosts a daily talk radio show in the 2 PM hour called “Afternoons with Mike”, talking to local pastors and newsmakers. In Orlando, The Shepherd is heard on WIWA, AM 1270. In addition to his broadcast experience, Mike spent 36 years in full-time ministry as a pastor and worship leader. As a guitarist, Mike performs at concerts, restaurants, private parties, etc. He is married to Cindy, the father of four grown children and grandfather to seven grandchildren.