Focal Passage: 1 Cor. 15:1-19
We called it The Blizzard of ’93.
It was March 13, and in our mountain town the daffodils were in full bloom.
Then it started snowing, and kept it up for three days.
A friend measured 42 inches of the white stuff in his yard.
The daffodils won, of course.
As the late snow melted their blooms began to reappear, one by one.
Old Man Winter gave it his best shot, but he couldn’t keep spring from coming.
Poet Charles Hanson Towne wrote:
If this bright lily can live once more,
And its white promise be as before,
Why can not the great stone be moved from His door?
If the green grass ascend and shake
Year after year, and blossoms break
Again and again, for April’s sake …
Faint heart, be sure, these things must be.
See the new bud on the old tree!
If flowers can wake, oh, why not He?
But Easter is not about lilies, or green grass, or new buds, or even daffodils. Those things are natural and normal and will surely come, even after Old Man Winter’s last gasp.
Easter is about the resurrection, and the resurrection was neither natural nor normal. It didn’t happen all by itself.
There’s a key verb in verse 4, in the passive voice: “was raised.” Jesus didn’t wake up. Jesus didn’t get up. Jesus was raised up.
The resurrection happened by the power of God. It wasn’t natural. It wasn’t normal. It was wonderful!
Maybe that’s why it was so hard for some of those at Corinth to believe, and for some people to believe today.
But it’s the heart of our faith, Paul said, the “most important thing” (vv. 3-8): Christ died, Christ was buried (He was really dead!), Christ was raised, and Christ appeared (He was really raised!).
Without the resurrection our preaching is in vain, our faith is in vain, our hope is in vain, and “we are of all people most to be pitied” (vv. 12-19). We aren’t asked to explain it, or even to understand it. We’re invited to believe it, and then to live by it.
The resurrection, after all, isn’t for April’s sake. It’s for Jesus’ sake, and for God’s sake, and for our sake, and even for the sake of the world.