In the week leading up to Easter, I was reading two books that together made for a fascinating conversation. I referenced the first book on Sunday, a book stating that eternal life is not merely unattainable, but also undesirable. Contrast this with the second book: Tim Keller’s Hope in Times of Fear: The Resurrection and the Meaning of Easter. Keller was writing in the midst of a cancer diagnosis, a pandemic, and widespread unrest in the country. This was no mere intellectual exercise considering the truth of Jesus’ resurrection, but a pastoral engagement with real consequences. In the midst of suffering, we need the resurrection of Christ to offer us real hope. Keller helpfully shows the great benefits that come to us because Jesus is alive. Here’s one example of how the resurrection gives us real hope: “Perhaps the most ordinary, daily benefit of the resurrection is this. To follow not a dead, revered teacher, but rather a risen Lord is to have him actually with us. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says he ‘stands at the door and knocks’ and that if ‘anyone hears my voice and opens the door,’ he will come in and eat with them ‘and they with me.’ It is commonly thought that this is an invitation to nonbeliever to ‘open their hears to Jesus,’ but in the context of Revelation 3 Jesus is speaking to the church, to Christians. To eat with someone was and is to have fellowship with them. Jesus is saying to believers that there is a potential for rich, intimate communion with him, for knowing him and knowing his love…” (Hope in Times of Fear, page xxiii) No matter what you go through this week, I pray that the Easter message of the resurrection gives you much hope. Because He lives, Jesus is with you. And you can draw near to him in prayer, using all of the tools that we’ve looked at together over the past several weeks. But remember: the most important thing is not tools or techniques, but time. Spend time with your risen Savior this week, and get to know the benefits of the resurrection personally. He is risen! He is risen indeed!
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