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On Good Friday, March 21, I along with 4 other ministers gave a sermonette or devotion.  Mine is given below.  It is based on 1 Corinthians 15 in the Christian Bible.

When my kids were younger, Santa often needed me to assemble my kids’ larger toys.  I vividly remember assembling a red Radio Flyer wagon and tricycles.  The wagon and the tricycles have one thing in common: both have a long rod for wheels.  The rod has a tiny hole at both ends.  Once the wheels are placed on the rod, they are held in place or secured by feeding a hitch or cotter pin through these tiny holes.  These pins gave me assurance that tricycle would be safe to ride; with the cotter pin in place I had confidence that the wagon would hold up and not crumble.

Jesus’ bodily resurrection is like a hitch pin – this historic event gives me assurance that Christianity is true truth in an age of counterfeit gospels.  Without this event, our Christianity falls apart, it crumbles! 

On the Today Show recently, Al Roker (the beloved weatherman), was on the plaza and he approached – with microphone in hand – some screaming college girls who were probably on spring break.  They were standing behind a banner which read, “Can’t have journalism without OU.”  I think OU is for Oklahoma University and its initials (OU) plays off the “ou” in journalism, I believe? However, this banner gave me the idea for this banner: “Can’t have Christianity without the resurrection.”

Without Jesus’ bodily resurrection which was by the way attested by an empty tomb, attested by Peter, attested by James, attested by Paul, attested by over 500 brothers at one time:

  • Our preaching is useless, empty, without a basis; we are wasting our time.  We are liars.  We need to find another calling!
  • Our faith in God is useless, empty, without a basis; we are quite stupid and deluded.  Our faith is all a sham; we’re a joke.
  • We are still in the pitiful state of being in sin; I have no power over sin.  Christ’s death meant nothing, nada, zero!  This means of course that Christ’s pre-existence, incarnation, life, death means nothing, nada, zero!  Big goose egg.
  • Loved ones who died in Christ have perished forever, no hope of seeing them again! 

If hope in this life is as good as it gets or if our best days are behind us, we (Christians) are hopelessly deranged and to be pitied more than all men – including unbelievers.  In other words, if Jesus’ resurrection did not happen pagans are better off than we are.

Yet, the good news is that Jesus’ resurrection did happen.  James is a witness; Peter is a witness; Paul is a witness; over 500 brothers are witnesses; the empty tomb is a witness.  This event exhibits God’s amazing grace in this way – in an age of skeptics and cynics and doubters: I have a blessed assurance, a confidence, a holy swagger – that Christianity is true, God is trustworthy, and my Christianity holds together; it’s hermetically air tight.  The best part? I didn’t lift a finger!  My preaching is useful; my faith is built upon the integrity of God; I have power over sin; and I will see my loved ones again who died in the Lord: Mama Jane (my maternal grandmother), Bobby (my step father), and my paternal grandmother, Willa Mae.

I firmly believe the crowning achievement of Christ’s first advent was His resurrection; without it, the gospel of the Christ falls apart; with it, the gospel of the Christ gives me unbelievable hope, joy and security!

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