Welcome to this Easter Sunday edition of Our Daily Bread. Our reading, titled This Changes Everything, was written by Wynn Collier. Yeroslav Pelikan, longtime Yale professor, considered one of his generation's preeminent authorities on Christian history, was renowned for his extensive academic career.
He published more than 30 books and won the esteemed Kluge Prize as a lifetime award for his voluminous writings. One of his students, however, recounted what he considered his teacher's most important words, spoken from his deathbed, If Christ is risen, nothing else matters, and if Christ is not, nothing else matters. Pelikan echoed Paul's conviction in 1 Corinthians 15, If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless, and so is your faith. The apostle made such a bold statement because he knew that the resurrection was not merely a one-off miracle, but rather the pinnacle of God's redeeming work and human history. The promise of resurrection wasn't only his assurance that Jesus would rise from the dead, but his bold affirmation that other dead and ruined things, lives, neighborhoods, relationships, would also one day be brought back to life through Christ. If there is no resurrection, however, Paul knew that we are in deep trouble. If there is no resurrection, then death and destruction win. But of course, Christ has indeed been raised from the dead. Destroyed by the victor, death loses. And Jesus is the firstfruits of all the life that will follow. He conquered evil and death so that we could live bold and free.
This changes everything. Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from 1 Corinthians 15, verses 12-26. But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if, in fact, the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.
If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn, Christ the firstfruits, then when he comes those who belong to him. Then the end will come when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death. Let's pray. Father, give us eyes to see how Jesus' resurrection changes everything about life now and forever. May the sacrifice of his life cause us to sacrifice our lives in service to you, that others may know of your great love and saving power. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-30 17:01:04 / 2023-04-30 17:02:54 / 2