Lifeway Research conducted a national poll on belief in the resurrection of Jesus, and published the results last week. They found that 66% of U.S. adults agree that Jesus physically rose from the dead. This is twice the number of Americans who attend church on a weekly basis. So what does this mean?
Christian author and apologist Rebecca McLaughlin commented, "The idea that someone would say they believe Jesus actually rose from the dead but that this belief would have so little impact on their life that they weren’t even part of a church is tragic."
There's the disconnect: "So little impact on their life." What difference does it make that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead? We say we believe Jesus, but do we follow him? We say “he is risen” on Easter Sunday, but is life any different on Monday?
For the first Christians the resurrection was like a bend in the universe. It changed their life in such a profound way that they were different people. Once a timid tribe of weary followers, the book of Acts describes a radically transformed army of courageous witnesses. You cannot see a dead man come alive and NOT be changed. No one can un-see that. You have to be different.
Especially given the last 12 months, Christians this Easter need to ask, "How is my life different because of the resurrection?"
Consider these answers from people I polled.
Connor: My life has purpose.
Eve: The impossible is possible. If God raises the dead, I expect surprises and mighty miracles.
John: No enemy is too great for God. So I don’t have to be afraid.
Amanda: The Christian life isn’t boring. Every day is a mission from God. Every morning is a divine assignment.
Phil: Right now Jesus is the King. I am more confident because he is interceding for me, working for me, defending and sending me.
Sarah: Jesus’ resurrection is a validation of my life. I matter. What I do in this life is of divine importance.
How would you answer this question?
A great read on this topic is N.T. Wright's Surprised by Hope. He explores the Christian hope of resurrection in Scripture, how it is unique among the world's religions, and why it matters for life today.
If the last year has done anything for you, let it wake you up. No more boring Easters! No more lazy Christianity! No more fearful living!
Jesus knocked the devil’s teeth out and he has no bite! GOD WINS! Jesus is the Champion! In the end, all is victory.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, Alleluia! Amen.