March 27, 2016: Christ Is Risen!
He is not here, but has risen (v. 5).
Everything we treasure most about the Christian faith hangs on the resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus rose from the grave it is proof positive of all the staggering claims he made about himself and all those that have been subsequently made about him. If he did not burst the bands of death as the gospels report, then our treasured faith is as silly as a sitcom episode, our sins are in fact the controlling reality of our sorry lives, and those whom we have loved and lost are nothing more than smudges on the window of our fading memories. All of this was the logic of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins [and] those also who have died in Christ have perished” (vv. 17-18).
Think about this for just a moment. The women who first came to the tomb finally grasped the significance of the new life that was breaking in on them when they remembered what Jesus had taught them: “Then they remembered his words” (v. 8). You might say they moved forward by looking back. Christians interpret their experiences through the word, and not the other way around. Remember that, please, the next time your personal experience is at odds with the expressed teaching of scripture. Revelation always trumps experience.
Prayer: Give us the grace to interpret our lives through the promise of your word.
Today’s devotional was written by Tim Brown, president and Henry Bast professor of preaching at Western Theological Seminary. This Lenten series comes from Words of Hope, whose mission is to build the church in the hard places through media. To learn more about the organization or subscribe to Words of Hope’s daily devotions, visit www.woh.org.