The day Jesus vanquished Death, man’s greatest foe, represents the apex of God’s patient, brilliantly executed, redemptive program. In other words, the event we commonly call the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most significant ever to transpire on this or any other world.
Christians of every creed and culture readily affirm this assertion with a “Yes, amen,” yet most would be hard-pressed to explain precisely why, or in what way. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was dead and buried, and then He was alive again. “Of course, He’s alive,” we think. “He was the Son of God!” This is the story of Easter every eight-year-old Sunday schooler knows.
Yes, but what made the Resurrection the linchpin of God’s grand design to wrest control of the earth away from that ancient deceiver? Why did divine justice demand not only the death of an unblemished innocent but also the conquest of the grave? What really transpired in those hours between that late Passover Friday afternoon and that Sunday morning? Was the spirit and soul of the Lamb of God sleeping?
If not, what unseen drama unfolded in that seemingly silent span between the moment witnesses watched Jesus of Nazareth expel His final labored breath and that extraordinary Sunday morning when He entreated a delirious Mary Magdalene, “Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father”?
These questions represent profound mysteries to most believers. Our understanding of the Resurrection is a mile wide and a quarter-inch deep. Were we to truly grasp the answers to these questions—if the eyes of our understanding were opened to what really happened that weekend and what one man, in one tomb, on one Sunday accomplished for us—it would transform everything in us and around us.
It would revolutionize the way we think about our lives, turning our priorities upside down and causing us to “leave our nets” (our ideas and agendas) to follow Him, just as the disciples did!
It would change the way we worship, moving us to push aside every hindrance and pour out every ounce of adoration and adulation we could muster upon heaven’s Crown Prince as we remember and reflect on His furious love toward us and the dear price He paid to redeem us. It would change the way we believe, invigorating our faith and infusing every fiber of our beings with holy boldness. We would tolerate no more status quo Christianity as we flowed in a current that is forever contrary to anything and everything ordinary.
It would change what we expect, filling us with confidence that God’s mercy and favor flow toward us, and that we are instruments to be used by Him for His glory. We already know that the atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground of miracles!
It would change what we experience, transforming our lives into ongoing public demonstrations of God’s divine power. We would contract a heavenly contagion and become carriers of a communicable disease called Holy Ghost power! It would change the power of our witness, sweeping us into the highways and byways of this sin-sick culture, proclaiming the truth of the gospel with the power to shake whole cities and even entire countries into revival as we lift high the name of Jesus to rescue a generation, restore a nation, and revitalize a civilization.
In other words, I am suggesting that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not only the apex of redemptive history, it should be the apex of our faith.
Rod Parsley is the author of more than 50 books, including his New York Times best-seller Culturally Incorrect, and his most recent Gone: One Man…One Tomb…One Sunday. He is an international speaker, a frequent guest on numerous media outlets, and host of the daily television broadcast Breakthrough, viewed by millions worldwide. He is the founder of various ministries, including Valor Christian College, Bridge of Hope missions, and the World Harvest Ministerial Alliance. The role closest to his heart is that of senior pastor and founder of World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio, where he resides with his wife, Joni, and their two children.