Easter changes everything. More precisely, resurrection changes everything.
Samuel Johnson wrote, “Man is born crying, lives complaining, and dies disappointed.” As April 15 approaches, the dreaded tax day for Americans, we hear the inevitable facts of life oft recited as simply, “death and taxes.”
But writing to a struggling group of Christ followers in the metropolis of first century Corinth, Paul writes, “'Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The victory is resurrection.
The good news Christians proclaims, the simple gospel, the key point that drives all we hope upon against a world that sees only death and taxes is articulated by Paul (1Cor.15:2ff): “By this gospel you are saved . . . Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, he was buried, he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. . . and then to more than 500 . . . and last of all to me.“
The purest nugget of Christianity is Easter. Jesus died for our sins, and rose again from the dead. There were witnesses. The resurrection, for Christians, is not the witness of a spiritual entity or mass hallucination or early conspiracy or simply wishful thinking. Our faith is predicated upon a man who claimed to be the Son of God, acting on God’s behalf to pay the steep penalty for our sin – death itself – and able to conquer the greatest enemy – death itself – through a physical and real resurrection.
Through faith we are united with this power that changes everything. Even me. Even you. We do indeed die. We do indeed pay taxes. We may indeed by disappointed from time to time. But we walk in the joyous knowledge and true experience of receiving and offering love, kindness, hope, truth and an absolute certainty that death does not have the final say.
Resurrection changes everything.