Are you afraid of...
Whether we fear death or not, we ignore thinking about it. Especially for university students who have so much life ahead to live, dreams to pursue, and impact to make in the world. Actually, just passing the next assignment or paying for the next tank of petrol can be a much more urgent priority than contemplating the inevitability of death.
Yet death is a terrible reality of life on earth and when we or our loved ones encounter it, it’s horrible and can seem hopeless. These encounters are not just awkward as we wonder what to say or do, but full of anguish as we know life will never be the same. In our modern secular culture, there is no hope in the face of death. Whatever we decide to give our life meaning or purpose is destroyed by death. Death mocks the things we find security in, whether a degree, a job, or a relationship. Death tears us away from the things and the people we love most. Some will argue death is no big deal, it’s just part of life on this earth and you should accept it. Yet this doesn’t provide any hope and it does not change the grim reality which we all will face.
Jesus makes a difference as he offers hope even in the face of death through his resurrection from the dead! Is this just wishful thinking? A psychological crutch to help the simple minded through difficult times? Well, most of Jesus’ first followers were killed for this belief, they genuinely believed Jesus defeated death and willing gave their lives rather than renounce this belief.
An early Christian named Paul said that Christians should be the most pitied out of all people if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead. As not only would they have a false hope, but their lives would be based on a lie and their faith would be futile! But if Jesus was raised from the dead, death no longer has the final victory, there will be a day where the sting of death will no longer be felt. The resurrection of Jesus shows that God is committed to his creation, and he has begun his work of renewing it.
The resurrection of Jesus is a huge claim, yet if true enables one to live with an amazing hope even in the face of death. This year in Jesus Week, we invite you to look into the evidence yourself. Read a firsthand account of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection (Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John), and make your mind up for yourself.