“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17)
My dad was the spittin’ image of John Wayne. Large, powerful, low scratchy voice two solid octaves lower than mine. He was a gold-mining, Harley-riding, up-with-the-sun-rising kind of guy; one of those guys that seemed to have everything figured out. He seemed to have a deep contentment in his own ethic and way of life. There was zero interest in anything pertaining to the Lord or the afterlife. “It all turns black,” seemed to be his idea of future grace.
As a believer, I spent fifteen plus years pouring out my heart to God, begging Him to save my Dad. I think down deep I didn’t really believe “John Wayne” could be born again, but I still cried out. As it is with any dead heart, it was going to take a miracle for my Dad to believe. God was going to have to somehow make a camel go through the eye of a needle, and my family and I had absolutely no grid for how that could ever happen.
So there we were, sitting around the table on an Easter Sunday - my brother, his wife and kids, my Mom and I - when the impossible happened. Dad wanted to lead the prayer. We all bowed in about the 10 longest seconds of awkward silence ever when Dad’s low, scratchy voice broke through with the only audible prayer I can remember him praying. It was only six words… six words that would be good for us to remember today.
“It’s too good to be true.”
Translation: HE IS RISEN!
Jesus is alive! It is the reason we sing! It is the reason we can face tomorrow. The power of sin is broken! The sting of death has been taken away! Christ has beaten down the pathway to Zion. He has made a way where there was no way. We need but follow Him in life, follow Him in death, and follow Him in resurrection.
Maybe you are like me in that you know this to be true; but in the week after week of singing it and saying it, the resurrection of Christ can seem to lose it’s power. It can begin to seem normal.
Be reminded today that, “if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11)
Be reminded that the resurrection is NOT normal! The Gospel is not powerless. It can save men like Dave Barnard. It can save men like Shane Barnard, the worst of sinners. Folks are going to walk in the doors of our church buildings at the end of this month quite possibly for the first time in their lives. Maybe to try to relieve some guilt, pay their once-a-year penance, maybe because it just happens to be a day when someone actually invites them, or quite possibly just because they are tired and thirsty. All of those scenarios are under the banner of a RISEN Lord drawing their heart to His. Jesus is ALIVE!!! That makes everything different! That makes our songs different from every other song in the world! We aren't just doing Christian karaoke on Sunday mornin! NO! Our words are rising to the ears of a risen Lord. Our words (His truth) are landing on human ears with the power to save! Let's go y'all!!! He is able to save to the uttermost.