This past weekend we celebrated the defining moments in our existence.
On Friday, we remembered the scene of the crucifixion. On a wooden cross hung a man who was born to an obscure family, lived in an obscure part of the world, and made obscure claims about himself - that he was God, that he had come to save the world from sin, and that he was establishing a Kingdom that would outlast time.
On the cross hung a man who was so bloody and beaten that he was beyond recognition. When he died, he was all but abandoned. Many revolutionaries before and after him have amassed a large following, but their deaths effectively ended their movements. Their influence lives on only in memory or ideals.
His was no different.
On Sunday, we remembered that death could not contain him. On Sunday, he was seen alive again. No revolutionary before or after him has ever done this. On Sunday, he validated everything he said about himself.
His is not a religious figurehead.
His teachings are not a philosophy.
He is God.
He is the source of all hope in a destructive world.
He is the Eternal King.
The one thing we all have in common is that we have hated the God of the universe. We have all chosen to reject our infinite creator. There is not a single person since the dawn of time who is not guilty of this rejection.
And he promises that all who trust in him will be reunited with the Maker. He promises that all who cling to him will be saved from the punishment we have earned.
We will be saved from the wrath of an all-powerful God.
We will be saved from the eternal fire and agony of a literal hell.
We will be saved from our decaying bodies.
We will be saved from all pain, frustration, hunger, and hatred that is in this world.
There is no other way. If he did get tortured and killed on Friday to appease God's anger over our sin and did emerge from the grave on Sunday, then we must listen to what he has said.
There is meaning to this universe.
He is that meaning.
So from here, if you believe that this is true, you have no other choice but to follow him at all costs.
The Christian life is not easier.
The Christian life is not safer.
But the Christian life is worth it.
Through faith you are united to God through Jesus Christ, and through faith you are secured until the age of ages.
He rose from the dead.
He will raise us from the dead.
He will live with us forever.
If you believe this, then your life is no longer yours. You are no longer the center of your universe. You are no longer under the illusion that you control your destiny. And you are no longer alone, because there are millions just like you who have been plucked from imminent death and placed in a Kingdom that will never be usurped.
Jesus Christ is your savior, and Jesus Christ is your king. From this moment on, live like you believe that.
Serve, because he served you.
Pray, because in prayer he speaks to you.
Give, because you have already been given an eternal reward.
Learn, because the Word of God pierces your soul.
Proclaim, because the church exists to spread the message of his eternal Kingdom.
And in everything you do, remember this: To him be the power and glory forever and ever.