Gary E. Mueller
Bishop of the Arkansas Annual Conference
We will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead this Sunday. I have no doubt there will be more people in sanctuaries worshiping than there have been since the beginning of Covid. Not only will most of them be able to tell you why Christians celebrate Easter, but the majority will really believe it. This is something to shout ‘Amen!’ about because believing in the reality of Jesus’ resurrection is mandatory as well as why Jesus has called us to help as many people as possible.
But there’s something you need to understand. Believing is not the end. It’s the beginning. God did not resurrect Jesus so that you would believe. God resurrected Jesus, so you can live in a brand new way that is possible because he conquered sin, defeated death, and overcame anything and everything that destroys God’s holy vision for creation.
I guess that’s why my heart hurts. Sadly, too many Christians sell short what God has done and, therefore, never experience the phenomenal difference Jesus’ resurrection makes. And yes, in case you didn’t know, this includes you. Want a closer relationship with God than you’ve ever had before? Discover the reality of the resurrection. Want to see the healing of a relationship that seems irredeemable? Explore the reality of the resurrection. Want people to live free of the oppression of the poverty that is crushing them? Lean into the reality of the resurrection. Want to live a life of sobriety that breaks the chains of addiction and sets you free? Embrace the reality of the resurrection. Want to face every day with a hope that can’t be extinguished, regardless of what’s happening around you? Trust the reality of the resurrection.
The most important thing you can do with your life – and, yes, I’m absolutely serious, is to immerse yourself in the reality of the resurrection. And that’s why you need to know what I’m going to do this Holy Week. First, I will pray that you will believe the truth of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead more powerfully than you ever have before. But, then, I’m going to add a bonus prayer that you begin to experience how the reality of the resurrection touches every part of your life so powerfully that you – and others – say, “My God, what’s going on here?”
After all, what else can you expect once you’ve immersed yourself in the reality of the resurrection?