Something seems a little strange about the day after Easter being April Fool’s day. I have friends who are not Christians who might find that very enticing for hokes.
The other night one of the kids asked us what would it mean if God wasn’t real. What would it mean if we died and He wasn’t there…if there really was nothing.
We asked him what he thought…would he think he had lived a wasted life? Paul says if the Resurrection is not true, then we are to be pitied:
And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith…If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 1 Corinthians 15:14, 19
If Christ has not been raised, then our faith is just about living a good life. Golden Rule. That was what our son said…if we die and nothing is there, then at least we lived a good life. I have agreed with that statement, however, this morning it strikes me differently.
If Christ has not been raised…how much differently would I live? I guess if I realized this when I was in my twenties I might become more ruthless in trying to achieve status or financial standing. I would be more aggressive and live more for the moment. I doubt it though, I think I would pretty much live as I have.
That bothers me.
I would live pretty much as I have whether or not Jesus rose from the dead? I mean…I believe and I pray and I count myself a Christian. I try to live in a way that brings glory to God…a way in which God is present in my life and evident. I seek Him, I worship Him and I look at life through the lens of a Creator God who redeems His people.
Still….look at the comparison Paul makes to how he lives because of Jesus’ Resurrection:
30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord.
32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.” 1 Corinthians 15:30-32
Did you get that?! Paul faces death every day. Fights wild beasts. Because he has hope beyond simply human hopes. If Jesus is not raised….then let’s just give up.
Again, I can hear some of my friends who are not Christians saying…”Well, that’s great, but I live in a way that is compassionate and seeking good even though I don’t believe in God. I don’t just give up.” And that is true. The thing that catches me this morning is not how I would live if Jesus did not rise from the dead…but why do I not live more “alive” because He did?
I truly believe that He did. He conquered death. That is amazing. Astounding.
So on this April Fool’s Day….the fool has been me for living as if nothing has really changed. Believing, but being satisfied to just go on as normal. I do not know exactly what it means, to be honest…in this life I where I find myself, how it alters today. I have believed in Jesus and in the Resurrection for 30 years. Today it sits differently with me…at least in this moment with the sun shining through the window. Maybe that is part of it…the visual change from a grey weekend to the sun shining and the reality that things change.
The Resurrection changes everything. Our sins are dealt with. All of them. Our separation from God is dealt with. Completely. Our longing and ache to know who we are is dealt with; we are loved and sought and redeemed. Individually and personally.
The Resurrection. It takes more than one day for this to soak in to my soul. Maybe it takes a lifetime…but I long to live more like Paul. Maybe not battling wild beasts…but aware that life is dramatically different because God Himself died….and that should shake us…and Rose Again.
So…no pranks for me today. Reality that I play the fool far too often. Aching for the Resurrection reality to soak deeply into my soul today and unleash the freedom to live lightly in this world because the reality of eternity changes everything.
I am glad that I am not the only person who thinks about these things. I was contemplating this on my way home from work on Saturday. But for me, my answer was very different. You see, I have (in my mind) a really hard life. To do what I think is the right thing has caused me to receive scorn and unsolicited advice from friends and family. But I do what I feel is the thing that God would have me do, and submit to that which he allows in my life. And I go on, hoping that what I do is not in vain, and that there will be reward at the end, or at least ease of suffering and despair. I would choose a happy and easy life if I did not have that conviction and hope in what I am doing being the right way to honor God with my life. I mostly feel like I am barely scraping by, so I have no illusions of great reward in heaven, but as long as I am there, i will be the lowest of the lows.
thanks for giving me confirmation of what I am doing.
I’m so sorry that things are so tough right now. There are times I’ve had to do what I felt was right and it has not been well received…praying for you that you have peace that you are walking the way God has called you. Wish that meant it was easier…but praying that peace is able to bring you some strength as well.
thanks, this really plays into what (I think Michael) said this week about it is not that God won’t give you more than you can handle, but that he will give you the strength to deal with what comes your way. I totally identified with that.
And this has been going on so ling that it is just what my life is. I am not sure I would know how to cope if everything was rosey. 😉
Not your first blog I’ve read, but the first that has me thinking. I wonder why I don’t live life more fully, rejoicing in the fact that death was conquered and Jesus is the risen Lord?
Jill…I think there are a lot of us who feels this way. I think for me I just get caught up in life, and it is a good life…and I do not spend time truly focused on God as I could. I also think that since we are fairly self-sufficient, financially and with family and lack of any real hardship (thinking globally here…I know we all have our things that we bring us to our knees), it is easy to just make our way in our own strength.
I am thinking of reading through Eugene Peterson’s Practice Resurrection and posting some comments here. I have a few friends who want to do this…you are welcome to join in. It’s a great book, and I know I need the refocusing.