This past Sunday, Christians around the world celebrated Easter as a memorial of Christ's resurrection. If Christians are correct about what happened on the first Easter morning, then the resurrection is the single most important event in human history. Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth to sacrifice himself for our sins, and those who accept him by grace through faith will have life for eternity in the presence of God.
Eternity is hard to fathom, hard to wrap our minds around. It's hard to conceptualize temporally or spatially. We are told that the universe is infinite in size, but can't really imagine it. Similarly, it is nearly impossible to truly comprehend life everlasting. You can't stop putting zeroes behind the number of years we'll rejoice in God's presence. It's incredible.
This promise of eternal joy should impact life in the present, or as the reformers said, it should cause us to live life coram deo, "in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God." In other words, believing in the resurrection should directly impact how we live our lives, how we relate to our neighbors, how we transact or business and personal affairs. As followers of Christ we are mere pilgrims passing through this present life, seeking not the things of this world but committed to storing up treasures in heaven.
Of course this view is mocked and ridiculed by secularists who believe in nothing but the here and now. Their material worldview ultimately results in a life without transcendent meaning, without purpose, and without hope for redemption. For the secularist, carpe deim ("seize the day"), not coram deo, is the watchword, and only a fool would fail to grab all the gusto he can get. Unwilling to wrestle with the bold truth claims of Jesus Christ –"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) – secularists try to obscure or avoid Christ's divinity by saying they simply regard him as a great moral teacher and nothing more.
Compare this mentality to that of the Apostle Paul, who tells the church at Corinth that "…if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men…" (1 Cor. 15:17-19) Paul understood the centrality of the resurrection to the Christian faith. He avowed, "…if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith." (1 Cor. 14:15) If all we have is this earthly existence, the Apostle affirms "let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." (1 Cor. 15:32)
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