I enjoyed a sign I read recently. It said FYI ( For Your Information) the tomb is empty. What a timely message for every Christian-we are serving a risen Savior. Paul had a personal encounter with the risen Christ while in the midst of persecuting as many Christians that he could. The Apostle never forgot that turning point in his life. He summed up the impact on his life when he wrote in I Corinthians 15: 14: “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” There are some great benefits to all who like Paul surrender to Jesus Christ.
First, we can be forgiven. The resurrection is God’s stamp of approval that Christ’s death is a sufficient atonement for our sins. John writes in his first letter in Chapter 1 Verse 7: “…and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Paul could be forgiven of all that he had done. All of us as well can be forgiven of anything that we have done. We are not to sin intentionally, but if we commit a sin, there is forgiveness through God’s amazing grace.
Second, the resurrection assures us that we will never be forsaken. The Bible declares in Hebrews 13: 5: “…I will never leave you…” Jesus is no longer limited by an earthly body. He can be all places at all times. He knows what each of us face, and He will make a way for us. He can be just as real to us as He was to anyone throughout all of history. Our God is for all generations and for all of the people from any part of the world.
Third, the resurrection offers us hope of living forever. Jesus came to this earth to provide us with eternal life. II Corinthians 5:8 says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Just as Jesus will never die again, we too have Him as our example. We can rejoice of living in a place where there is no death, no sorrow, no crying, and no pain. (Revelation 21: 4)
The New Testament lists many along with Paul who witnessed the living Christ. They were motivated to do all they could to spread the good news that indeed He is risen. The resurrection is a powerful manifestation of God strength. Paul writes in Romans 8:11 of the fact that the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us. We all have much for which we can be thankful. One is to praise God that Jesus is risen.
Ron Swiger is the chaplain at Greene Memorial Hospital.