There were some in Corinth who denied the fact of Christ’s bodily resurrection. In so doing they were undermining the very foundation of the Christian faith of the Corinthians. Therefore Paul wrote to assure them that their faith’s foundation is eternally secured and rock solid. It is based upon the validation of Old Testament prophecies, the eyewitness accounts and the testimony of the life-changing power of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-11). There were others since then who would reject Christ’s resurrection. For example, in the 20th century, Rev. Alfred Ackley overheard a famous liberal preacher in New York on a radio broadcast, “Good morning-it’s Easter! You know, folks, it really doesn’t make any difference to me if Christ be risen or not. As far as I am concerned, His body could be as dust in some Palestinian tomb. The main thing is, His truth goes marching on!”
Earlier, Rev. Ackley was rebuffed by a Jewish friend who resisted the Christian faith by saying, “Why should I worship a dead Jew?” That question – and a dreadful sermon – inspired Rev. Ackley to pen one of the church’s most triumphant Easter hymns, “He Lives”!
I like this hymn very much. I remember my younger days whenever this hymn was sung in church worship, I would be inspired and my young faith bolstered by its words:
“I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world to-day; I know that He is living, Whatever men may say; I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer; And just the time I need Him, He’s always near.
He lives, He lives! Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. He lives, He lives! Salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.”
I pray that we will not take our Lord’s resurrection only as Easter holiday or a historical event. It should be celebrated every day in our hearts! Let us then hold firmly to the truth of God’s word and the resurrection of Christ! Let us rejoice because He lives, we too shall live. Let us live by His resurrection power so that others will be drawn to Him. Let us boldly proclaim the good news that He died for all and rose again to give us hope and eternal life.
Rev. Mark Tay