Easter 2024: So What's Next

Mar 07, 2024

What Happens Next?

During the weeks preceding Easter, reflect on what Jesus taught in his longest and most famous speech, the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5-7. To help you grasp Jesus’ wisdom, consider reading Never the Same: A Fresh Look at the Sermon on the Mount.

This month, we will enjoy the thrilling truth of resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15. 

1 Corinthians 2:13 (NIV) "This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words."

Wisdom is essential not only for leaders of the church (Acts 6:3) but for all believers that they may perceive God’s purposes in redemption (Eph. 1:8–9) and may walk worthily of God (Col. 1:9; Jas. 1:5; 3:13–17) and discreetly before unbelievers (Col. 4:5). As Paul has taught his hearers in all wisdom (Col. 1:28), so they who are mature enough to understand this spiritual wisdom (1 Cor. 2:6–7) are to instruct others in it (Col. 3:16). [1]

Tomb Stones

My wife Tamara and I did something on a vacation that might seem weird to you. We visited cemeteries. We can only imagine the life lived from the inscriptions on the stones. Each marker notates the day they were born and the day they died. Like me, you too will die; what then? 

Easter gives us hope. Hope is the name of our sixth child who never lived outside of Tamara’s womb. But she lived long enough to be delivered, and we held tiny Hope. Her marker sits at Restland Cemetery in Babyland. It reads, “Our Hope lies with Jesus.” It’s the truth of Jesus’ resurrection that comforts us and sustains us. 

The chapter in the Bible on resurrection is 1 Corinthians 15, which we will explore this month. The Corinthians were confused about life after death. The dominant view taught the immortality of the soul, not a bodily resurrection. Many denied any afterlife. You just go into the ground, dust to dust. 

But without the resurrection, Paul says our faith means nothing. The resurrection is rooted in historical fact. If Jesus was merely a wise teacher who heroically suffered as a victim of injustice, he had no power to save.  

Paul points out three facts:

  1. Jesus rose according to the Scripture.
  2. Jesus appeared to hundreds of people.
  3. Jesus changed Paul’s life.

Multiple Old Testament passages and symbols anticipate the resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Many people claimed to see Jesus alive from the dead. At first, the disciples did not believe Jesus had risen. They had to be convinced. Paul radically shifted from attacking Christianity to defending it.

Without historical facts, how could we discriminate among competing religious claims of personal experiences? Even if you do not believe that Jesus rose, you cannot deny that Jesus’ followers were convinced that he did. Most of them died for their faith in Jesus’ resurrection. Would you die for a lie? Jesus’ resurrection gives us solid hope.

[1] Hubbard, D. A. “Wisdom.” Ed. D. R. W. Wood et al. New Bible dictionary 1996: 1244–1245. Print.


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