The Challenge of Easter

I refer to the Straits Times’ 21st March article, “Youth Shunning Religion,” which asserts that more and more youths today are turning away from religion. In it, the author also mentioned about a young person disavowing her family religion and later also becoming disinterested in Christianity altogether. For her and many young people as well, God most probably never existed. My concern is that the youths of our church must know what and who they believe while living in a world influenced by liberal ideologies. This leads me to share about the challenge of Easter. 

It is the one event which proclaims Jesus Christ’s resurrection. It is also the heart of our Christian faith. In the early days of Christianity, her faithful followers have affirmed that Jesus, after his shameful death, was raised to life again. Of course, over the course of history, people tried to discredit the resurrection of Jesus Christ but to no avail. As we turn to Paul’s account of the resurrection (1Cor. 15), we will discover his grounds for believing in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is my sincere prayer that his grounds will become ours too. 

1. Jesus’ resurrection was the moment when God fulfilled His ancient promises to Israel, saving them from ‘their sins’. It also initiated the ‘last days’, at the end of which the victory over death, begun at Easter, would at last be completed. 

2. It involved the transformation of Jesus’ body: it was neither a resuscitation of Jesus’ dead body, nor an abandonment of that body to decomposition. Paul’s account presupposes the empty tomb.

3. It involved Jesus’ being seen alive in a limited early period, after which He was known as present to the Church in a different way. These early sightings constituted those who witnessed them as apostle. 

4. It was the prototype for the resurrection of all God’s people at the end of the last days. 

5. It was the ground not only for the future hope of Christians but for their present work as well. 

As we consider these five certainties of Easter, let us fully affirm and accept its truth. If our youths wholeheartedly believed that Jesus Christ died and lived again, then their faith will stand them in good stead not only in this age but also for the age to come.
 
Rev. Mark Tay