Easter declares what happened in history; Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Easter invites the rest of us into new creation; the same power that raised Jesus heals our brokenness and empowers our righteousness.
Easter bears witness to the world; the Spirit's power is free to all who will receive it.
We can argue ourselves blue in the face about the historical event of resurrection. There will still be people who say, "All the tests and measures we know deny it." There is no arguing, however, with joy and gentleness, kindness and patience, concern and generosity. Hearts yield to such gentle virtues.
To say it another way, the church is God's embodied apologetic to the world. It announces and models new life... or at least it should.
The world needs to be made whole. By "made whole," I simply mean that all of us want a better life, a sense of genuine peace, and courage to deal with painful realities. We have lots of technology and gadgets. We live longer and are generally healthier. Yet our hearts yearn for something more than 80 years, the Internet, hip replacements, and HD television.
We want to be connected with people by mutual respect and concern. We all want to love and be loved. We want an authentically spiritual life. The Bible has a couple of words to describe it. In the Hebrew Bible, it is shalom; in the language of Jesus, it is eternal life.
Now we live the reality of resurrection. Jesus did not triumph over death so the church could have a doctrinal tenet to declare. He defeated death for the sake of the human race in its hopelessness and despair.
With Easter Sunday past, you are part of God's purpose to put hope on display. And that is a lifestyle, not just an annual day to circle on the calendar.
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called — his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:18-20 NLT).