We weren’t there, but the one event that completely changed the world happened in Jerusalem about 1,985 years ago. Now, of course, it hasn’t yet changed the world we were born into. It is like when a dandelion seed gets blown into your yard: the change has come. Or like when light begins to define the eastern horizon, you know that the night is ending and the day has come. This one, unique, event brought just such a change to the whole cosmos. A completely new day has dawned!
What event was that, you ask? Does it have to do with Jesus? Yes. Was it the birth of Jesus? No. Was it the life of Jesus? No. Well, what was it then? It was the death and resurrection of Jesus! This historical 3-day event, like no other event, marked the end of the world as we know it. This event began a new existence, a new form of life, that all will be as it should be.
All of us grieve over the evil that is continually perpetuated on the earth. We work hard to rid our world of evil, but it is still here. It is well known that Jesus died for our sins, and that in some way Jesus’ death on the cross was the event that granted us forgiveness by God. What is not so well understood is that Jesus’ death was also the beginning of the end of evil itself. Think of it: no more war, no more broken homes, no more PTSD, no more cheating, no more illness and death. “Ah, that’s just wishful thinking,” some would say. “Such a hope can’t be realized.”
Nor can someone rise from the dead. What Jesus did is considered impossible. Many people reject it without ever considering the evidence. But for those of us who have encountered the living Jesus, who have seen with our own eyes what Jesus can now accomplish, we know that he is not dead.
The apostle John once wrote, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us — what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may also have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:1-3 CSB) These folks, like John, personally saw Jesus after his resurrection and wrote about it.
John said that they saw the “life revealed.” Here is the crux of the matter: Jesus’ resurrection brought into the world the life that we have all wish we could have. An eternal life, a life lived in love. But way too many fail to take advantage of this gracious provision of life. Too many, even Christians, just get their “get-out-of-hell-free card” and never find the life provided by Jesus’ resurrection. Follow Jesus! He is LIFE!
The Rev. Steven Ganz is pastor of Clover Pass Community Church
Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.