Belief, Work, and Resurrection

resurrection abstract art

Everything I believe about Christianity hinges upon one event in history.  It is the deal breaker of my faith.  This event, this cosmically, life-altering, world changing event is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Paul wrote, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14).  If Christ was not raised to life then what I believe and how I live because of what I believe is an utter waste.

Worse yet, I would still be left in my sins, rendered guilty before a holy God.  “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17).  Christians would be a pitiful lot hoping in a dead “savior” who could never really save them.

But…

“in fact Christ HAS BEEN RAISED from the dead…” (vs. 20).

We know this.  Jesus appeared to hundreds of people following his resurrection.  There is still an empty grave and no body.  His followers died for their belief in a risen Christ and Christianity is still spreading to the uttermost parts of the earth for over 2,000 years.  No. Our faith is not in vain, for we do in fact serve a RISEN Savior.

And because Christ has been raised, we who believe in Him will also be raised to eternal life with Him.  The perishable will put on the imperishable and the mortal body, immortality, and we will realize the victory that is ours through Jesus Christ.

The empty tomb is not only for faith for eternal life, though.  The empty tomb is also for the work and business of this life.  And what is our work and business?  To proclaim Christ and work unto Him.  We are in fact “HIS workmanship created in Christ Jesus FOR GOOD WORKS, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).  So we walk.

But sometimes we pout…
Or complain…
Or get lazy…
Or get anxious…
Or work too much…
Or idolize this work of creating rather than worship the Creator…

Because we lose sight of the purpose of our work.  I am not talking about the earthly, logistical, practical purposes, but the intangible, spiritual, eternal purpose of work.  Of all peoples on earth, Christians should be the most courageous, the most joyful, the most at peace, and the most hopeful group of people on the planet.  But sometimes it seems like we forget that we know the end of the story, clocking in and out each day with a gray cloud over our heads.  We forget that God has given US the victory through Jesus Christ.  We are not bystanders in the Christian faith, but participants- VICTORS- in the faith.  We allow a recession, a volatile election season, terrorism, or secularism to unnerve us as if we may not see victory at the end of the line.

Oh, but we will.

And we must believe, mindful of the truth that we do not hope in vain.

And so we do not work in vain, either.

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58).

The empty grave gives purpose to our work because we have victory through Christ, the Victor.  If there is any age when Christians need to be steadfast, immovable, and abounding in the work of the Lord it is now.  We get discouraged, we really do, but we can be encouraged knowing that there is purpose to our work, which we may never fully be able to understand this side of eternity.  So, as we approach Resurrection Sunday, let’s remember that we are in fact victorious, because we serve a RISEN Savior.  We believe and we work, not in vain, but with purpose to a hopeful destination with the One who died for us and yet lives.

 

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