Ephesians 1:20 …[The Father] raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.
It was the most important Sunday the world has ever known, the first Sunday morning after the Jewish Passover holiday almost two thousand years ago. The stone was rolled away, and the tomb was empty. The grave clothes were folded. Jesus was suddenly moving about the world as a flesh and bones man that would never again die or deteriorate.
We are talking about the resurrection of Jesus, God’s Christ. In my opinion, that Sunday morning event lies at the very center of meaning and human history. Like the ripples radiate outwards from the place where a small pebble is dropped in a pond, until the ripples reach every shore, so the importance of the resurrection reaches in every direction: back in time, forward in time, outward in scope, down into perdition, and up into glory.
First look down where the most damning answer is, “I didn’t believe in Him.” Why does that answer to the question, “What did you do with My Son?” send someone to hell forever? Because Jesus not only died for our sins as the gift of God to us. He rose from the grave to justify our faith. There is no excuse.
Look back. Why should we believe the Old Testament? If it was good enough for the One who conquered death, it should be good enough for us. He said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Who are we to question?
Look forward. The One whom death could not defeat is coming back “live” to rule the world. The new Jerusalem is on its way, and it won’t need sun or moon for “the Lamb is its lamp.” He rose, so He could come again.
Look out to the side. The following values have now become virtuous all over the world. They never were until Jesus’ teachings began to spread everywhere: marital faithfulness; sexual propriety; the value of honesty, truth, and promise-keeping; the value of all life; the equality of all people; public education; public health and hospitality; and personal humility.
Finally, look up. You will see Jesus at the right hand of Father God. Jesus is the one man who is worthy to take the scroll of destiny from the Father and open its seals. He is the hero of Heaven, the Faithful and True Witness, His eyes are a flame, His voice is like a Niagara.
Oh, Lord, may that ripple now reach more and more lives in Central New York.