Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK FOURTEEN
ORBIT – DAY SIXTY-FOUR
Hello and welcome to another week of Orbit, the weekday devotional from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. If you’re just joining us for the first time, Orbit is a daily Bible reading, with some thoughts to help you put it into practice in your life. We hope this is useful – if you like it, please do spread the word!
BIBLE READING – 1 Corinthians 15: 12-19
But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 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.
This Easter, a well-known humanist caused widespread offence by posting a rather malicious tweet on Good Friday. “Just a reminder” it said, “dead people don’t come back to life.” There was quite a lot of uproar in response, much of it from non-Christians who felt that the secularist’s timing was wholly inappropriate. But she isn’t entirely wrong… dead people tend not to come back from the dead. It’s just that that’s not always true.
In fact, that’s what makes the Christian faith so special. Not only did God come to earth in human form, but after he was killed, he came back to life – in one action destroying the barrier between God and man, and also proving his divinity beyond doubt. After he was raised from the dead, he appeared to over 500 independent witnesses. There is more evidence for the resurrection in historical terms, then there is for the existence of Julius Caesar.
And yet, even in Paul’s time, there were many people who like the tweeting humanist, could not believe that anyone could ever be raised from the dead. They simply couldn’t get their heads around the idea, even factoring in the mystery and power of God himself. There was even a group of people around at the time who defined themselves by believing that there is no resurrection of the dead – they were called the Sadducees – and to them the whole point of knowing and serving God was contained to this life alone.
Here, Paul confronts that belief system head on. He says, if there is no Resurrection, and no eternal life, then “we are of all people most to be pitied.” But we don’t need to worry about that, because not only did Jesus come back from the dead, but in doing so he ensured that we would all come back from the dead too. Not in the style of a cheesy zombie movie, but in eternity, and in new bodies that don’t wear out, in a world without darkness or pain. This is the great hope of the Christian faith, and if we forget it, then the gospel is just about being nice to each other.
Jesus beat death on Easter Sunday – Not just for himself, but for all of us. The Resurrection is the single greatest and most important event in human history. Of course our militant atheist friends would want to convince the world that such a thing is impossible – but their ability to do so has no bearing on the truth. It happened then, and when we die, it will happen again.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
Lord God, I praise you for the truth of the Easter story. I thank you that you loved me enough to send your son to die for me, but I thank you too that the story didn’t end there. Help me to live in the light of the glory of the Resurrection, until one day you call me to be resurrected too. Amen
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge:
Imagine that you’re sitting in front of someone who tells you – very plainly – that dead people don’t come back to life, and that this is why the claims of Christianity don’t stand up. Make a list of all the things that you would say in response, to explain why you believe what you do. Perhaps even role play that conversation in your head. What are the reasons you have for your hope in Jesus, and why do they hold water, even when someone else is disagreeing with you? You could keep this list, and add to it as you think of more reasons for that hope.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit tomorrow. Thanks for taking part today!