Today’s reading: 2 Chronicles 10; Revelation 1; Zephaniah 2; Luke 24
Our family birthday tradition is that each family member gets to choose where they want to celebrate their birthday dinner. The locations have changed pretty significantly over the years. It started with places like McDonalds when my kids were young, and has progressed to places like Ruth’s Chris and Trulucks of late. (My wallet longs for $20 birthday dinners at McDonalds!) For my birthday last year, I decided we would go to my favorite fondue restaurant in Lincoln Park. We reserved a hotel, headed up to Chicago, got all dressed up, and took a cab to the restaurant. This was going to be so much fun…
After the first cheese course arrived, my 11 year old started in. “Hey, I thought this was going to be nacho cheese. This is nothing like I thought it would be. Nacho cheese would have been way better than this stuff Mom.” The second course came, and we had fun cooking our meat, seafood and vegetables. Other than a minor fire started from trying to fry the garnishing greens, the second course was a success. On to dessert – chocolate fondue. Who doesn’t like a huge vat of melted chocolate with pound cake, marshmallows and fruit to dip, right? Well, my kids were disappointed the dipping sauce was dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. As we got back in the cab after dinner Freddy summed up his sentiment well. Five spirited words – “YOU OVERHYPED THIS PLACE MOM!”
By now I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m telling you this story. Our assigned reading has us in Luke 24, the account of Christ’s Resurrection, today. As I was reading and reflecting on the story, I couldn’t get past its significance. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the focal point of the Christian faith. In fact, without it there wouldn’t be a Christian Faith. Unlike my favorite fondue restaurant, the significance of the Resurrection cannot be overhyped. Why?
It revealed Christ’s power over death – We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him (Romans 6:9).
It secured our victory over death – But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-7).
Today’s assigned scriptures also have us back in the book of Revelation. Remember, Revelation is a book of hope. It is John’s account of what he saw when God revealed his plan for Jesus’ return, the end of the world, and Jesus’ ultimate victory over evil. Think about it though – none of these plans are possible without the Resurrection – Jesus had to conquer death in order for him to stand in ultimate victory. Without Jesus’ Resurrection, we have no hope.
In 1976 the late SM Lockridge preached a sermon titled That’s My King! Do You Know Him? to a congregation in Detroit, Michigan. Forty years later, this message continues to be incredibly impactful. May I ask you to use one of the links below to either listen to or read an excerpt from this sermon? Please stop and reflect – is this someone who’s life, death and resurrection could EVER by overhyped?
That’s my King, I hope he’s yours too.