Christ is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed!

When Christians around the world utter those words of Easter triumph, it’s safe to say that there’s an increasing proportion of the population that listens to those words with more than a touch of skepticism.  Fewer and fewer people say they believe in Christ.  If I’m remembering correctly, one scholar on a recent NPR broadcast reported that in the last decade, the United States has become a minority Christian nation.

There are more than a few reasons why there’s been this shift in belief, including some like these:  younger generations generally don’t trust institutions like the church and so aren’t fanning the flames of faith through traditional vehicles of worship, Bible study and service; believers’ explanations of faith and experience of Christ don’t resonate with those who are looking for data driven explanations and outcomes in life, and growing skepticism about the story of God and Christ and the “supernatural” qualities of their relationship with the world.

The famous Christian author, C.S. Lewis, had a word to say to the skeptics of his day.  In his book Mere Christianity, he penned words that still apply to those who are leery of the faith, reject Christ, or see him as someone less than divine.

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. . . . Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God. (Mere Christianity, 55-56)

If we don’t believe that Jesus was a crazy talking lunatic—that he wasn’t the Devil incarnate—but believe Jesus was and is who he said he was and continues to reveal himself to be, then the reality of his resurrection should influence our lives, thereby making a statement to the skeptic, the lost, the searching.  And if we believe Jesus is God’s Son, risen from the dead to save us and give all who believe life now and forever, then how can we be pedestrian in our faith?  How can we neglect putting him first in our lives and our neighbors in a close second place, and our own needs a distant third?   In a world marked by division and violence and disinterest, if not disbelief in our God, how can we stand on the sidelines, choosing not to be Christ’s hearts and hands in the world?  How can we remain silent, when the single greatest truth in all of history needs to be declared?

Christ is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed!