By Dr Dominic Kuek
Recently, my non-Christian friend and I studied John 20 together, and I was struck afresh by the significance of the empty tomb on that very first Easter morning. It got me thinking about how I normally take the resurrection for granted. Although Jesus’ death on the cross is something that I regularly give thanks for, I rarely find myself thanking God for his resurrection as well.
Yet, Jesus’ resurrection has always formed the bedrock of Christianity. Paul himself recognized this and said, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Cor. 15:14). For if Jesus did not physically rise from the dead, it would mean that our sins remain unforgiven, since we have not been delivered from the condemnation of death. If, however, Jesus did rise from the dead, then the consequences are massive for all of us.
As those who believe in Jesus’ resurrection, how should we let this historical reality shape our lives? Let me highlight two responses that Luke 24 shows us: firstly, the disciples responded with great joy (vv. 41, 52). In Jesus’ resurrection, they saw that our rescue from sin is completed, and that his resurrection body is a foretaste of our glorious bodies in heaven. And so, they rejoiced! But what about us? Are we, like the disciples, those who rejoice in Jesus’ resurrection? Or are we instead finding our joy in the things of this world?
Secondly, the disciples responded by proclaiming Jesus’ resurrection. In Luke 24, after someone meets the risen Jesus, they always run off to proclaim this good news. The women did so (v. 9), the two disciples did so (vv. 33-34), and the apostles were commissioned to do so (v. 48). They were so overwhelmed with joy that they had to tell someone about it. Is this also a description of us? Are we likewise so filled with joy at Jesus’ resurrection that we can’t wait to tell it to others? Or have we grown lukewarm in our eagerness to proclaim Jesus?
In the words of C.S. Lewis: “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” Either we are wholehearted in our devotion to Jesus, or we have taken our eyes off him; there is no middle ground to be in. This Easter, as we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, let us recommit ourselves to him, and be filled with renewed fervour in proclaiming Jesus to the world.