I’ve been working on another manuscript about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the implications of that truth to all matters in our own lives and that of history. The title is taken from a quote by Church Historian Jaroslav Pelikan, evidently said on his death bed:
If Christ is risen, nothing else matters.
And if Christ is not risen, nothing else matters.
This is absolutely true.
In a time when worries and fears have risen, where is truth to be found? Where can hope be found? How do we tell others this truth without seeming, well, weird? We follow a man who died a horrible death by the Roman executioners’ hands and was buried in a cold, dank and dark tomb sealed as sure as the religious leaders could and guarded, by many historians’ accounts, at least four Roman soldiers who would lose their lives if they slept on duty or somehow lost what they were guarding. However, Jesus didn’t stay dead and buried but rose again having conquered sin, death and the devil.
Friends, this is the truth we have to tell them and proclaim to all we know whether friend, family or neighbor close to home or around the world.
For everyone around the world, if Jesus is NOT risen, then really nothing else matters. Nothing matters. Not our being loving or neighborly, kind, generous or even sacrificial in our giving because it will come to naught when we face death only to find out there is nothing on the other side. Nothing we say or do would really matter, except maybe to just make us comfortable in life. However, if nothing matters, then we would be uncomfortable in death knowing there was no eternal life and nothing to look forward to except that we just vanish.
This is what many in the world believe and, to be honest, it brings me to tears even thinking that if in this world only we have hope, as St. Paul says, then we are to be pitied and many reflect this by being miserable about life. In the ESV version, Paul says “your faith is futile” (1 cor. 15: 12-18). Then he says that if it is only true in this life, meaning, Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then other people should pity us. Wow!