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Is the Resurrection Fake News of Good News?

By Pastor John Mateos Ong

Do you know how important the resurrection is? If Christ did not ressurect, Christians are the most pathetic people in the world. You go to church and give your tithes for nothing. Your beliefs have no basis and your sins are not forgiven. If you believe in Jesus, your sins are forgiven and erased. But if Jesus did not rise form the dead, then all are still sinners. The hope that someday, you are going to heaven, is not real.

John 11:17-27 says, “On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.

If you were told that somebody has an emergency, what will you do? Surely you will drop everything and go to the person involved. But not in the case of Jesus. He took His time and did what He needed to do. But when I think about it, Lazarus was already dead when they told Jesus about Him. He left 2 days after they told Him about it and then He travelled for 2 more days. If you do the math, Lazarus has already been dead for 4 days when Jesus got there. So he was already dead when they told Him. But it did not faze Him. He did not even to go the tomb of Lazarus. He simply called Him forth. And then He told Martha and Mary that He is the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Him will never die.

When you think of the word :live,; you always think of it as natural life (bios).  When you read that Jesus will give you life, you ask why a person has to die. But Jesus is not talking about our natural life. He is talking about your spiritual life (zoe). And while you want life to be longer than what God intends it to be, Jesus wants you to also be blessed spiritually. The afterlife is more important.

Jesus waited 4 days to show people that even if Lazarus is dead, He has power over it. Eventually, it will lead to the cross. The body that you see can be destroyed but after 3 days, I will build this temple. The temple is His body.  1 Corinthians 15:14 says, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” If Jesus rose from the dead, we can hold on to His promise that some day, he will raise us from the dead too. If the enemy will want to destroy something in us, it will be your faith. And he will say that Jesus did not really rise from the dead. For without the resurrection, there is no faith. All religions have a god. But what makes Christianity unique is the fact that our God is the only one who died and rose from the dead.

How will you prove that the resurrection is real?

There are eyewitnesses. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 says, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.” There was Cephas and the more than 500 believers who saw Him, James, His brothers and sisters, the apostles and Paul.

There are also historical accounts. Not everybody believes in Jesus and not all are Christians. But if there is no resurrection and Jesus was not real, why did time change because of Him? There was a time Before Christ (B.C.) and the year 00 was the time Jesus was born.

There is also common sense. Hebrews 11:35-40 says, “Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” If you look at the apostles of Jesus, they continued on even if they did not receive the promise. It does not really matter if you receive the promises in this life, although it can benefit you. But there is another aspect of life that can affect you. It is the mental (psuche) aspect. Your emotions are at peace. It is your soul life. If you receive Christ but do not receive the blessing, your “psuche” is still good. If you look at the lives of the apostles of Jesus and how each and every one of them died, they would have buckled if they knew that they were just telling a lie. If they did not experience Jesus, their willpower would not be that strong. But they held on to the promises of God.

So what if the resurrection is real? If you do not believe that he is real and He is not,  you only waste your time doing the motions. At least you become a good person. But if He is real and you do not believe in Him, you have so much to lose and you will go to hell.

That is why the 10 commandments ere given: for you to realize that you have so many mistakes. Because of your mistakes, you will go to hell. And because you do not want to go to hell, God gave you an answer. That is Jesus. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Hell should not push you to believe in God. It should be because God so loved the world. God loves you.

But before you can believe that God loves you, you need to know that there is a God. Belief should be real. Many people attend church and still do not believe. The reason why there are lukewarm Christians is because their faith is not 100%.

If you truly believe 100%, you should have hope. This hope should not be based on circumstances. Your hope should be based on Jesus Christ. And Jesus does not change. Circumstances and people do. In Philippians, Paul says, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” You do not need situations to make you happy because your happiness is in Jesus Christ. A true believer does not lose hope. Hope is not circumstantial. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 says, “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.” The cry of a believer is different from that of a non-believer. The cry of an unbeliever is a cry of despair and loss. A believer is careful about the people around him. He does not want people to think that he has lost hope.

Do other people see hope in you?

If you truly believe, then you should trust the word. If you trust the word, then you should read the word. Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” People will think that you are wasting your time reading the Bible. But if you believe in Jesus 100%, then it should follow that you believe the Bible is God’s word. And it should be important to you just as water and food is important to your body. If your spirit is alive, it should look for the Word of God. But if your spirit is dead, the word will not matter. If the last time you read your Bible was a week ago, you should ask yourself how you survived. Is your spirit fasting? How can you claim something you do not know? No wonder many Christians are stressed. They do not have the word in them. You have to feed yourself. If you read the word, you can receive God’s blessing, claim His promises, and know God in a more intimate level. Because what matters is not what other people say about God. How much time do you spend in the Word?

Obey fully. Obey God 100% of the time. Being a Christian is not part-time, selective or conditional. John 14: 15,21 says, “If you love me, keep my commands. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” God showed you unconditional love. You should return the same. People who believe 100% in the resurrection obey. How will you know what to obey? Read the Bible. Hebrews 13 tells you a tiny summary of what to obey. God wants continuous worship from you. How are you in your obedience?

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