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How Big is Easter? The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything

Well, we’re about halfway through with Lent. Where does the time go?

As Eric Metaxas spoke about on BreakPoint a few weeks ago, Lent is traditionally a time for Christians to examine our lives, practice self-denial (by the way, how are you chocolate lovers getting along?), engage in acts of charity, and recommit ourselves to living as Christ would have us live.

All of this, of course, is to prepare ourselves to celebrate the most important day in the Christian calendar: Easter. Or, as Chuck Colson preferred to call it, Resurrection Sunday.

And, of course, the reason Easter is the most important day on the Christian calendar is because the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, from the dead is the most important event in the history of this world and the entire universe. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, “it’s what the whole story has been about…”

This is why all of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, reach their climax with the empty tomb. “He is not here, for he has risen, as he said" (Mt 28:6, see also Mk 16:6); “Why do you seek the living among the dead? Remember how he told you ... that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise" (Luke 24:6); “Go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God" (Jn 20:17).

Beginning this week on Re-engage, which I hope you’ll watch at BreakPoint.org, I begin a five-week teaching series on Easter. What I hope to accomplish is seeing Easter and the resurrection of Jesus as big as it actually is. We are far too often tempted to make the resurrection only about our salvation and our forgiveness. That’s all true, and thank God, for it. But the resurrection is cosmic in scope.

To put it another way, I want our worldviews big enough to comprehend all that the resurrection means, not just for you, not just for the church, but for all mankind everywhere and at every time.

To do this, we’ll walk together through the five key events of that Holy week. We’ll start with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday. Why did the crowd, who celebrated with palm branches and shouts one day, turn viciously on Jesus within the same week? And what does that have to say about us today? Hint: A lot.

Then we’ll look at what’s called Maundy Thursday — the day Jesus gave his disciples a new command: That they love each other as He has loved them, that they show it, as Jesus did by washing their feet. This day Jesus also established the Lord’s supper. We’ll talk about how his command to “take and eat” reverses the serpent’s temptation of Eve to take and eat. And then I’ll make the case that this event forever unites truth and love. Despite what our culture says, we can, and must, embrace both.

To tease out the rest of the series, let me throw this at you: We’ll see how the resurrection is the answer to both modern optimism and post-modern pessimism. We’ll talk about how true hope is established by the resurrection and how it’s not an airy-fairy exercise in wishful thinking. Finally, we’ll tackle head-on the secularist dualism that has crept into the Church that would separate this world from the Kingdom of God that Christ came to establish.

It’s a lot to take in. But it should be! The resurrection of Christ is that big. So please, visit BreakPoint.org to catch the first installment of the Re-engage Easter series. We’ve also packaged the videos — along with a study guide into a DVD teaching series called “He Has Risen: the Worldview of Easter.” It’s a wonderful tool to help your family, your small group, and yourself prepare for Resurrection Sunday.

Again, we’ve got all the details for you at BreakPoint.org.

John Stonestreet, the host of The Point, a daily national radio program, provides thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.

BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.

Publication date: March 7, 2013

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