Too often I think Christians focus almost solely on Jesus' death. It often sounds like we follow a dead Lord rather than a risen one. The cross is significant, but so is the empty tomb. We must not neglect the resurrection. Without it we would still be in our sins. If Jesus did not defeat death, the last enemy, then we have no hope of life beyond the grave.
On the other hand, it's very easy to want to focus on the resurrection, and skip over the agony Jesus faced, both physically at the hands of His creation, and spiritually as His Father turned His face away. The resurrection is happier. It is good news. It is often like this at Christian funerals where the focus seems to be almost exclusively on celebrating that the deceased person is with Jesus, but forgetting that death is still not a good thing, that there is a break in relationships between now and when Jesus returns. I've often felt like I'd rather just skip Good Friday services because they're too sombre, and go to Easter Sunday services instead. But we need to hear about Good Friday. We need to know the seriousness of sin which is rejecting our Creator, the depravity of the human heart. We need to know the awful cost of what God went through to be both just and merciful. He does not simply sweep sin under the carpet and say, "I forgive you in my heart." Forgiveness is expensive.
We need to hear the bad news (that Jesus died) before we can hear the good news (that He rose again).
Because Jesus rose again, all will rise again one day. All will experience a full bodily resurrection when He returns. The question is...will you rise for an eternity with Jesus...or eternal separation from Him?
|Image from here|