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Christ is Risen: So What?

Christ is risen-so what

Today is resurrection Sunday—when Christians especially mark the historical fact that Christ was raised from the dead. This day is special, although every Sunday is a celebration of the reality that Christ is risen. It is both a reality and a fact because it indeed happened. On a certain morning before dawn, a man who had died from crucifixion and was buried on the previous Friday rose from the dead.

Christians across history have sought to provide evidence for the resurrection of Christ. Atheists who dismiss the supernatural, and consequently the miraculous, a priori, express their difficulties embracing the facts presented. As C. S. Lewis argues in his book, Miracles: “The result of our historical enquiries…depends on the philosophical views which we have been holding before we even began to look at the evidence. This philosophical question must therefore come first.”

The evidence isn’t the problem for the atheists. Their presupposition resists the evidence.

Likewise, Muslims are quick to dismiss the evidence even before considering it. Since the Quran argues that Jesus did not die on the cross, it follows that he did not rise from the dead. One needs to die before a resurrection. The latter requires the former.

Again, the evidence isn’t the problem for Muslims. Their presupposition resists the evidence.

The secularists also argue that one is free to hold any belief one wants as long as it is kept as a private matter. You may choose to believe that Jesus rose from the dead. Just keep that in your tiny, little heart. Do not bring it to the public square. One of the great Christian hymns might be guilty of arming the secularists with potent weapons:

“You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.”

Yet, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not a private matter. It is one with huge personal and public implications. It determines the eternal destiny of every individual. It is one that we must boldly proclaim to atheists, Muslims, secularists, pagans—Jews and Gentiles, poor and rich, male and female, young and old.

Many do not desire to consider the evidence. Their commitment to unbelief suppresses the truth. Thus, 21st-century Christians, just like their 1st-century counterparts, must seek to share the evidence of the resurrection but also press home its implications.

Paul reminds the Corinthians of the implications of Christ’s resurrection: the resurrection must transform the way we live today; the way we approach tomorrow; and our view of eternity. Furthermore, the resurrection is a reminder that Christ reigns today, tomorrow, and forever. Paul writes, “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” The implications are straightforward: the reigning King is Jesus Christ. You either submit to his kingship or you are crushed. You are either his friend or his enemy.

R. C. Sproul remarks, “It is a profound political reality that Christ now occupies the supreme seat of cosmic authority. The kings of this world and all secular governments may ignore this reality, but they cannot undo it. The universe is no democracy. It is a monarchy. God himself has appointed his beloved Son as the preeminent King. Jesus does not rule by referendum, but by divine right. In the future every knee will bow before him, either willingly or unwillingly. Those who refuse to do so will have their knees broken with a rod of iron.”

The resurrection of Jesus is an affirmation that he is Lord over all—he owns all, rules all, and will destroy all his enemies including individuals, nations, and ideas that resist him. These individuals include men and women who are alienated from him, suppress the truth in unrighteous, and hate him. Such individuals may also include rulers—kings, governors, presidents—who fail to recognize that their authority comes from him, they are his servants and must rule according to his law (the only objective, moral standard for good and evil).

Furthermore, the resurrection of Jesus is an affirmation that all other religions and contrary ideas—including Islam, Atheism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and African Traditional Religions—which oppose his rule are false and must be abandoned.

Christ is risen: so what?—he is King and we must submit to his authority. For “[God] he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). This man is the risen King, Jesus Christ.