Saturday Sermon: Truth was meant to change our lives
By By Mike Singenstreu
Jan. 18, 2013 at midnight
Updated Jan. 17, 2013 at 7:18 p.m.
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
- John 14:6
Jesus of Nazareth was by all estimations the most extraordinary man ever to set foot on this earth. He didn't preach a religion, as so many after Him have sought to do. He proclaimed the truth because He is the truth. He did not found a political state or build an earthly nation as men do, but by His death and resurrection to life, He confirmed that He is the ruler over all creation.
The world changed that first Easter in a way that could not have been accomplished by any other. He didn't come to coerce us into following Him but to show men the way, the truth and the life. He came to fulfill a promise made thousands of years ago by God the Father to send one who would rescue men and to enable us to fulfill the purpose for which we were made: to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
In history, we see that force and fear are often used in other religions to grow and sustain them, but Jesus did not use force to spread His message and no other message has grown and been sustained like the message of Christ. It is the truth of His resurrection from the dead that has caused Christianity to grow. This truth brings with it an assurance of eternal life in the presence of the holy one that continues to attract others by His grace.
The French positivist philosopher Auguste Comte once told Thomas Carlyle that he planned to start a new religion to replace Christianity. "Very good," replied Carlyle. "All you have to do is be crucified, rise the third day and get the world to believe you are still alive. Then your new religion will have a chance."
Jesus is alive. The tomb is empty. Hundreds saw Him alive. His followers went to their deaths proclaiming His resurrection. It is a fact. Notwithstanding recurring attempts to disprove the bodily resurrection of Jesus, it remains an undeniable truth and essential element of biblical Christianity. Paul said in I Corinthians 15, "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins." This is the truth. It is meant to change our lives.
Many people will move on from Easter Sunday to an ordinary Monday, unaware of the significance of all they heard about the previous day. They'll continue to fight sin in their own strength, think the meaning of life lies somewhere outside God's provision in Christ and battle a nagging fear of death. The resurrection will fade into the white noise of their lives, having no discernible impact. Let's not make the same mistake.
Remember these words from Jesus, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." He is alive. He keeps His promise and He is reigning today. No one else can make that claim, because as God incarnate, He still is the most extraordinary man to ever walk this earth.
Mike Singenstreu, pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church.