Addicted to Joy

IMGP1560 (1)The Women Speak study concluded last week with celebration.  A celebration of our true hope in Jesus, and of our sure place at the wedding feast that the Father has prepared for His Son and The Bride, no longer separated by sin and death.  Last Sunday we rejoiced because of the Resurrection, which is the highest moment in the Gospel story:  Christ died, he was buried, and he rose again.

In February 2019, Emily Levine, a well-known writer and comedian, said “Good bye” to life. Her commentary on life, and death, was entertaining. One must admit she faced death with courage and good humor.  Her Ted Talks are hilariously funny…and a little sad.  She celebrated death, and she found comfort in death because she looked forward to becoming—well—fertilizer.

Solomon even admits, “All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return” (Ecclesiastes 3:20, ESV). But he realized this “reality” was not the end of the story.  Despite the paradox of what we can see and understand with our own eyes, the “Preacher” knew that the physical reality was not the whole story.  He concluded:

The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.

The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.   The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:10-11, 13).

Paul further elaborated on the end of this life when he wrote to the Corinthian Christians:

For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power (1 Corinthians 15:16-24).

Paul knew Jesus had resurrected because he had seen him with his own eyes, and he had heard his voice.  On that Easter morning Jesus said, “Hello life.”  Knowing that the world would not want to believe his resurrection, he meticulously provided evidence that we could only reject by resolute denial.  He appeared to more than 500 people, including his enemies.

Josh McDowell looked at the evidence, which you can find in his article, Evidences for the Resurrection (http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/josh2.html).  He concluded:   “After more than 700 hours of studying this subject, I have come to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is either one of the most wicked, vicious, heartless hoaxes ever foisted on the minds of human beings–or it is the most remarkable fact of history.”

But just learning the facts falls short.  Only a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ that comes from making him your Lord and Savior will put your name card on that banquet table.  So, until that day, may you be addicted to life.  Life in Christ!  See you there.