Pretending… We usually think of it as a child’s game. Pretending that you are someone or something you’re really not – acting like something is true or a reality, when it isn’t. Can you think of some of the things children have pretended to be and do – things they have pretended are real when they really aren’t? Their pretending usually brings a smile, a wink, a snicker or a Facebook pic or post.
But tragically pretending has also been an adult coping mechanism with some very sad and tragic “acting out” and deep disappointment… people denying who they really are, refusing to accept what they have done, denying the reality of a situation, or living life in a fantasy land that is completely removed from reality!
What about Easter? Christians celebrate it today, you know! Is belief in the resurrection a case of Christians pretending – or is it a reality? Is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead about as real as the “Easter bunny?”
Apostle Paul would answer that question with a resounding “NO!” (In fact, he already answered it in 1 Corinthians 15 – I read his answer this morning in the Bible…)
“But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there is no resurrection of the dead? For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And all of us have been lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead! … So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man, Jesus! … If there is no resurrection, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!” (from 1 Corinthians 15:12–33 NLT)
Can you imagine Christians who have staked their eternal future on the truth of the Gospel “pretending” about the resurrection? Well it’s happening among professing “Christians” today – questioning that Jesus actually rose from the dead! Well, let me say it clearly… NOT ME! And I hope not you! I intend to take Paul’s words very seriously! Easter is about the actual death, burial, AND RESURRECTION of Jesus from the dead! I’m pinning my eternal hope on that reality! It’s not a pretend truth to make people feel good – It’s a historical reality! It gives us “HOPE!” by the Biblical definition – confident expectation!