Jesus, the Son of God, has risen from the dead! He physically died and he physically rose again. This is not a side issue to the Christian faith, it is absolutely central. If we find that people do not like it or relate to it, this is not something we move on from or try to replace with some obscure church ritual or liturgy.
Without this incredible reality then, Christianity has nothing really to offer. In the words of 1 Corinthians 15, without the death and resurrection of Jesus, ‘our faith is futile’ and we are still ‘dead in our sins’. If Jesus is still dead in the grave, ‘we are to be pitied’.
The death and resurrection of Jesus is central to the Christian faith but it is not the ‘wood of the cross’ that makes it central. To think this means you have never really understood Easter.
This is why the cross is central. Jesus, the Son of God, took on human flesh and died in our place to pay the debt of our sin in order to offer us forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God. Jesus also rose physically from the dead to offer us eternal life.
All too often, church leaders fail to mention both the reality of the cross and the significance of the cross for all humanity. They speak in empty flowery words that say nothing and give the listener or reader nothing more than warm fuzzies. No wonder those outside the church fail to be interested. If the leaders of the church cannot clearly articulate the central fact of the Christian faith, why would those outside the church want to come to them seeking understanding?
Which brings us to ourselves. Can we articulate the Christian faith? If someone asked you why Easter is so important to Christianity would you be able to explain it to them?
Here is some great verses from God’s word that help us explain the the death and resurrection of Jesus is central (there are plenty more but space is limited).
Man is destined to die once and after that to face judgement. Hebrews 9:27
Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous to bring you to God. 1 Peter 3:18
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given us new birth, into a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil of fade. 1 Peter 1:3
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, whoever rejects the Son will not see life for God’s wrath remains on him. John 3:36
If you would like to unpack these verses more why not grab one of the “Two Ways to Live” brochures on our notice stand. If you grab two then you can have one ready to share with others.
By the way, if someone tries to encourage you to “move on from the cross” or say it is no longer relevant they are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Have nothing to do with them.