This Easter Sunday we’re planning to join the majority of God’s Church in celebrating the Resurrection. This central doctrine, this fundamental Truth, this focal point of our preaching and teaching, this historical fact in which we find our hope and courage, our strength and our assurance, is the proof of our salvation from God. It’s in the Resurrection that sin is defeated, death is conquered, and eternal life is guaranteed. The reality of God’s promises are all manifest in the Resurrection. Our Holy Scriptures tell us clearly and unapologeticaly that without the Resurrection our preaching is useless and so is our faith. Without the Resurrection, we’re without hope. Everything rides on the Resurrection.
Our baptism is what connects us to that Resurrection. Going into and coming up out of that watery grave in faith is what ties us to Jesus’ Resurrection and what gives us the power of God’s Holy Spirit that raised Jesus on that first Sunday morning.
I’m afraid that we have many, many more songs in our Christian sacred song canon about the crucifixion of Jesus than we do his Resurrection. Why is that? A lot of our songs mention his coming out of the grave in a second or third verse here and there. But how many of our songs are actually centered around this foundational Christian doctrine? I know we have “Low in the Grave He Lay” (up from the grave he arose), but not too many others. In fact, I can’t think of another song other than “Resurrection” (#241 in Songs of Faith and Praise) that is primarily centered on the Resurrection.
There was a time in the early centuries of Christ’s Church that people would wait until Easter Sunday to be baptized. That was the preferred day for baptisms. The connection with Jesus’ Resurrection was important, the symbolism there was huge. Living a resurrected life in Christ. Living as a new creature. Being alive in Jesus. Baptism, as the entrance rite into the Church, has much more to do with Resurrection than crucifixion. So everything about the Church’s worship and life had more to do with the Resurrection than the crucifixion. (Even the table. Especially the table. But that’s another blog. Or forty.)
We’re anticipating at least two baptisms here at Legacy this Sunday. We’re going to personally witness at least two resurrections. Up close. We’re going to see it. Two lives being raised from the dead to walk in newness of eternal life. How cool.
Dead unto sin, alive thru the Spirit,
Risen with Him from the gloom of the grave,
All things are new, and I am rejoicing
in his great love, his power to save.
Sin hath no more its cruel dominion,
Walking “in newness of life,” I am free –
Glorious life of Christ, my Redeemer,
which he so richly shareth with me.
Dead to the world, to voices that call me,
Living anew, obedient but free;
Dead to the joys that once did enthrall me –
Yet ’tis not I, Christ liveth in me.