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Jesus’ Resurrection:  On Bending and Breaking the Truth

This Sunday the world will celebrate what is known as Easter. Many people who believe in Christ celebrate it as the day Christ was raised from the dead. A whole litany of special activities baptized with religious meaning now surround the Easter holiday and lead up to "Easter Sunday"celebrations in many if not most churches, supposedly aimed at commemorating and honoring the resurrection of Christ. While we thank God when people seek to honor and remember Christ, we need to hold fast to the fact there was no practice of such an annual holiday in the New Testament church while it was under the guidance of the apostles of Christ. The New Testament is silent as to such an annual celebration. Nora B. Kathrins reminds us there are times when humans find it convenient to bend the truth — -Mirror, mirror, on the wall, You're not pleasing me at all. I know you cannot lie, forsooth, But can't you slightly bend the truth?" We must not bend the truth about the resurrection of Christ, popular as it may be to do so.

While many bend the truth to celebrate Easter as a special holy day, many more attempt to break the truth by denying the resurrection! The Bible is silent about the so-called religious holiday of Easter, but it is out and loud about the resurrection of Christ! New Testament preachers and writers saturated their preaching and teaching with the news that Jesus rose from the grave. Jesus' resurrection is to Christianity what a hard drive is to a computer — without it, the whole system crashes and becomes useless. For 2,000 years the New Testament church has sought to remember and commemorate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus not once each year in the spring — but every first day of the week in the observance of the Lord's Supper. Why? Because that's what the Lord directed His church to do (see 1 Corinthians 11:23ff). In that Supper we rivet our minds on the cross and through it we proclaim that Jesus died, was buried, arose, and is coming again. We do that 52 times each year! We receive and pass on a weekly reminder of the soul-quaking truth the apostle Paul proclaimed in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 — For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." Some in Paul's day, like many in ours, denied the idea of resurrectionand in 1 Corinthians 15:12 Paul came out swinging against their blatant attempt to break the truth "Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?" He goes on in verses 13ff to forcefully remind them of the frightening consequences and domino effects that follow if it were true there is no resurrection. — ". . .then Christ is not risen... our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.... we are found false witnesses of God ... your faith is futile... you are still in your sins.. . those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished." His summary is that If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable." Concerning Jesus' resurrection, let us not bend it or attempt to break it. Rather let us proclaim it by practicing what the Lord taught us to do.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ