GodReflection: My Contract with Jesus Reviewed
I’ve never witnessed a dead person return to life among the living. Jesus knew resurrection was a difficult concept to get across. With odds greater than a lottery win all humanity arrives at terminal death.
I think of the unique story of the prophet Elijah who prayed to God and raised from death son of the widow from Zarephath. Eventually however, the boy died again at a later point in his life.
The Gospels record at least three occasions when Jesus raised the dead. When the Baptizer send his inquiry to Jesus from a jail cell, Jesus responds with: “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk . . . the dead are raised . . .” (Matthew 11:4-5). I assume over the three years of Jesus ministry he raised others from the dead not chronicled in the Gospels.
Then, when I turn to Jesus teaching, I see him tell the disciples multiple times about his own resurrection after three days in a tomb. I read also that not one of them expected him to return to life after they witnessed his crucifixion.
It’s a fair conclusion to draw that first century followers of Jesus found resurrection a difficult concept to grasp. Even in the presence of Jesus it wasn’t a daily reality.
So here I stand two thousand years later why should resurrection be important to me? Why should I, one who never witnessed resurrection, believe Jesus conquered death and returned to life? Yet, I do.
This is something I don’t want to get wrong. His resurrection is important to me because it is a proof offered by Jesus to validate my contract with him. Not only was he raised but he still lives.
If his resurrection didn’t happen then I’m walking the wrong trail. If Jesus wasn’t raised my walk will hit a dead-end of nothingness.
I think of the thoughtful testimony of Paul the apostle:
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 first fruits 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 (1 Corinthians 15: 17-22).
As last year near closure I came across a book by Andy Stanley with the title: Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World.
It was a rich read. His thesis was both interesting and, in my view, correct. My faith in Jesus depends on the validity of his resurrection. My salvation does not hang on my complete understanding of the book of Genesis or the book of Revelation. My salvation is summarized by Paul’s witness of early followers. Their witness is strong. My contract with Jesus is certified by Jesus’ resurrection.
Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born (1 Corinthians 15: 3-8).
Jesus signature is strong. His own red blood from the quill remains bold and clear. It is easy to read—Jesus The Christ Son of God (risen from the grave). His grace filled signature covers all my sin. It covers every misstep whether intentional of not. He reads my heart not the list of my mistakes.
On one signature line of our contract his blood red signature honored by the Holy declares that he returned from death to live again. His witness affirms my own resurrection. If you have not signed a contract—all heaven yet pleads for you to accept Jesus’ signature and place your own by his as your gift of submission.
I would love to hear from you. What role does his resurrection play in your life?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: His Resurrection Validates My Contract