Hello members and friends of VP,
We are one month away from Easter Sunday when we celebrate the greatest event in the history of mankind. That is, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of our faith and reason for our devotion to Jesus Christ. It is the one thing that has happened in history that confirms confidence in hope beyond the grave. It is the one thing Jesus did that confirms without a shadow of a doubt that He has authority over the things of this world. It is the single most important reason why we should believe in Him and seek to live life as a Christian.
The reason for this is that no one conquers death. The dominion of death over human beings is unchallenged apart from the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ. While many people believe in the possibility of life beyond death, there is no objectivity underlying this belief without some proof that it is possible. The resurrection of Jesus is that proof. Death is not the end. Death is a new beginning.
We should be skeptical because resurrection is impossible according to science. Are the eyewitness accounts to be trusted? Did Jesus really appear to His disciples after crucified, eat with them and get touched by them? Was his body raised as immortal or was it simply revived? The resurrection of Jesus with an immortal physical body capable of enjoying fellowship and good food should not be believed without evidence.
We study the Bible to discern its integrity in communicating historical facts and revelation from God. I have personally invested countless hours getting to know the documentary evidence and the authors who wrote about the eyewitness accounts. I have come to enthusiastically embrace the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus as the most well documented event in history before the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg in 1440 AD.
The resurrection, consequently confirms for me that Jesus Christ is to be trusted as a person who knows how to protect my soul into eternity. If He conquered death and promises me that He can do the same for me, then I am going to entrust myself to Him. What other investment of my life could be more important. I appreciate this life so much that I want to extend my days into eternity by allowing Jesus to guide me and take care of me. Billy Graham, whose life was honored in Washington this past week, expressed his confidence it this way.
“Some day you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead persuades me that I can trust Jesus because He knows what I need. So I love the following statements of Jesus.
- “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture… “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:9-11
- “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” John 12:32
- “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6
- “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” John 11:25-26
The majority of people we meet in our daily existence do not have this hope and confidence in Jesus. They need to hear about it. If they have heard about it, they need to be reminded that it is “good news” and worthy of celebrating. Easter Sunday is our day of celebration.
Over the last month members of VP have shared a “14-day” prayer commitment for our community, friends, and neighbors. We have walked the streets surrounding VP to pray for individuals, households, and businesses. On Saturday, March 17th, at 10 am we are going walk the same streets and leave “door hangers” inviting our neighbors to VP for Easter services. All of us should consider taking these door hangers to the neighbors on our own street and others we meet up until Easter Sunday. We want to extend the love of Jesus to those who might not know Him.
Let us join together in praying that Easter celebrations at VP will be of relevance to people who are lonely and hurting rather than simply to ourselves. Let us commit ourselves to being aware of the people we see and meet over the weeks leading up to Easter so that we might extend an invitation to “come celebrate with us if you have no place to go.” May we be encouraged to be joyful and an encouragement to others as we celebrate the Easter season and all that it represents.