Category: Church

Easter: What’s it to you?

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Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons @Claudi Ungarl

“If Christ is risen – then nothing else matters. And if Christ is not risen – then nothing else matters.”
-Jaroslav Pelikan

On this Easter Sunday, we celebrate the most important event in human history. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead. I’m struck by the profundity of Pelikan’s quote. Because the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is either the most important event in human history or it is utterly meaningless. There is no middle ground, no gray area with the resurrection. It happened. Or it didn’t. Jesus died and rose, or he didn’t.

The American Gospel and the meaning of Easter

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Originally posted April 6, 2012
Statistically, we know that the vast majority of Americans believe in some form of a higher power. There are relatively few who are atheists. Since people do believe that there is something, and since it’s so easy to think of the majority of Americans as Christians, many simply attach themselves to Christianity.

But what does it mean? Christianity?

For so many, we call ourselves Christians but then never pray, or read the Bible, or go to church, or experience fellowship with other believers, or show any actual desire to have a relationship with Jesus. Without these, how can a person be Christian?

Why did Jesus have to come in the first place?

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Why did Jesus have to die? For years, this puzzled me. I could get on board with the idea that I fell short of God’s perfect standard. But why did Jesus need to die? Couldn’t God have just forgiven me? Like some sort of Spiritual write off?

One of the best explanations I have ever read for this comes from a fourth century bishop named Athanasius in a work he produced entitled “On the Incarnation.”

Risen: the hunt for Jesus

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Risen is the story of a Roman soldier named Clavius (played by Joseph Fiennes) who has been given the task of tracking down the body of Jesus after it disappears from the tomb where it was placed after his crucifixion. I appreciate the symbolism of the search for Jesus.

The film takes you into the Roman world. The pressure is high in Jerusalem as there is the threat of insurrection against the empire. People believing in a resurrected Messiah could bring that to a tipping point. As Clavius searches for the apostles and interviews people in the hope of finding Jesus’ body, it felt somewhat like an episode of Law and Order.