By Bob Russell
Life after death is a realistic promise. Since the will to live is arguably the strongest human instinct, there is no more relevant question than, “Is there life after death?” If the biblical account of Jesus’ bodily resurrection is accurate, then his resurrection is the pivotal event of history.
When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and returned safely to earth, there was no longer any need to speculate about the possibility of man flying to the moon. Armstrong’s demonstration ended the conjecture in the minds of reasonable people.
When Jesus appeared to his followers three days after his brutalized body had been placed in a guarded tomb, life beyond the grave was no longer a matter of speculation. The reality of an afterlife had been undeniably demonstrated. Jesus promised, “Because I live you shall live also.”
That’s huge! That means the grief-stricken parents in Newtown, Connecticut can find hope in their heartache if they trust in Christ. They can envision themselves one day embracing their children in Heaven. They “sorrow, but not as those who have no hope.” It doesn’t get any more relevant than that.
Right and wrong have been firmly established. Some argue that morality is subjective; that right and wrong are determined by personal feelings, cultural norms, majority opinion, or leading experts. But Easter establishes a firm foundation for universal truth. Before he died Jesus declared, “I am the truth.” The resurrection validated his claim. Before ascending into Heaven, Jesus affirmed, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.” God’s truth does not change like shifting shadows. It is based firmly on the life and teaching of the risen Christ who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Are we here by intentional design or random evolution? Jesus said, “At the beginning the Creator made them male and female.” That settles the issue for those who believe in their hearts that God has raised him from the dead.
Is marriage to be exclusively between a man and a woman or can it be redefined to include same sex couples? There’s no need to debate the issue for those who believe the living Jesus has all authority. He said, “For this cause a man shall leave father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two become one flesh.”
Are there many ways to Heaven or is Heaven going to be granted only to those who trust in Jesus? Oprah Winfrey insists there are many ways to God. However, Oprah hasn’t risen from the dead; Jesus did. He said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Is it okay to eat meat? To divorce because of incompatibility? To accumulate wealth? Jesus Christ, the living Son of God, has spoken clearly about these and many other relevant questions. His Word is truth.
I once saw a bumper sticker that read, “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” That sounds disgustingly simplistic and dogmatic to the post-modern mind. However, for those who sincerely believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, God’s Living Word is a relevant source of hope for tomorrow and truth for today.
Bob Russell is the retired senior minister of Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, Kentucky.