A few months ago I was in the ER when we got a call about a 5 year old girl who was found face down in a pond of water.
As the story unfolded, we learned that this autistic girl was playing on her iPad and strolled out of the house, not paying attention, and eventually walked into a freezing pond where she was eventually found face down.
We tried desperately to resuscitate her. It soon became evident that she wasn’t going to make it.
Her family had shown up by now, and it was a bad scene all around.
Despite the loud groaning it didn’t take long for me to pick up on the fact that the family was praying.
In the chaos around me I was reminded that I was a Christian too.
I believed in miracles.
I believed in prayer.
I put my hand on the child and prayed as sincerely as I could: “God, please raise this child from the dead. Restore her life where it seems gone.”
The child’s heart had stopped.
A few seconds later, I called the code.
Time of death, 3:36pm.
Two years ago my father died after a tough battle with kidney failure.
His death wasn’t a surprise but it was just as unwelcome.
Suppose you had run into me the week after his death and I told you that I had just seen him and had dinner with him.
You’d have thought that I was crazy or deluded with grief.
Then if ten other people told you the same story you’d have thought us all crazy.
And rightly so.
As hard as it is to swallow, death is so final.
Except for the one time that it wasn’t.
Two thousand years ago, a man named Jesus was crucified on a cross.
Because he had claimed to be the Savior of the world and promised to rise again from the dead, the Roman government made sure his tomb was sealed and guards kept watch at the place of his burial.
Yet three days later, His body went missing.
Pretty soon a handful of people claimed that they had seen this man who had been crucified.
They claimed he had risen from the dead.
One might think so except that pretty soon a few hundred more people were saying the same thing.
Most of us today would call this a cult. A bunch of loonies. Hashtag wacky.
Today we call it Christianity.
And because of this resurrection a family burdened with grief thinks to pray to a God who might heal their dead.
And because of this resurrection I can stand by my father’s grave hopeful that this is not the end.
Yeah, the resurrection changes everything.
It is the cornerstone of Christianity and without it we have nothing.
The apostle Paul used to murder Christians before he too saw the resurrected Christ and eventually penned these words in 1 Corinthians 15.17-20:
“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
But in fact.
Because of the resurrection anything is possible.
Because of the resurrection hope is alive.
Prayers can be answered.
Change is possible.
Are you holding a sick child, wondering what might happen to him?
Are you sitting at the bedside of your ailing parent afraid of the future?
Are you burdened by the cares of your own life? Are you stuck in a cycle of hopelessness?
Turn your eyes to the cross.
Follow the blood stained road.
Look inside the tomb.
You’ll find it empty.
Jesus is alive.
Anything is possible.
And here’s a featured video from Simply Jesus Gathering: Hope With Jesus.