God uses St. Paul to help us get all kinds of things right about faith. None of St. Paul’s teachings are more essential than what he tells us about Easter. He said:
“Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.”
(I Cor. 15:12-14)
There are plenty of people who speak of Jesus as a wonderful model for living. That is true. He teaches us how to not give up on people and this world. We are called to be “little Christs” in this world and we, says Paul, can do it.
There are people for whom Jesus’ instructions on living the moral life make him the great Rabbi. That He is. There are those in Jesus’ time who spoke of him as prophet. He did speak of things to come and the will of God.
But, the only way we can speak of Jesus as Savior is for this Son of God to have gone ahead of us into death, dealt with the great enemy, and risen after three days to invite us into the Promise. Do we remember the promise? From the very first words of the New Testament—angels to shepherds—our hope has been tied to the fact that there is “good news of great joy for all people, that unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior…” (Luke 2:10-11) The first descriptive words to be spoken regarding the essential nature of Jesus are that had come to save. And, come to save us from the trials to come he has done. Which argues St. Paul, makes Easter not just something, but everything.
I look forward to the four worship services of Holy Week. These are all sacred gatherings within which we remind one another that Easter—the fulfillment of a Savior born—is all we need. (Please read the following page for complete details about our Maundy Thursday through Easter morning schedule.)
Pastor Greg Johnson