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One Year Wonder of the Cross Devotional
Imagine being part of the early church. The power of the Cross has just been unleashed. Lives are being transformed. The Kingdom of God is breaking into the empires of the world. And the very name of Jesus inspires a shivering sense of awe and wonder. In The One Year Wonder of the Cross Devotional, popular devotional writer Chris Tiegreen delves into Acts, Revelation, and the New Testament letters to discover what we can learn from the radical commitment of the earliest Christians. In these 365 devotionals, he recaptures the excitement these believers felt in the newness of their faith . . . and invites you to experience the wonder of the Cross yourself.
1 Corinthians 15
"What I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins . . . that he was raised on the third day . . . and that he appeared." - 1 Corinthians 15:3-5
The Jews were split on the issue. Some believed that God would one day resurrect human beings, others did not. The Greeks believed in the immortality of the soul, but certainly not in a physical resurrection. For everyone, however, the issue was a mysterious, one-day-we'll-understand issue. No one - absolutely no one - expected to see a resurrected human in his or her lifetime.
Not until Jesus came, anyway. He raised a few people from the dead Himself - Jairus's daughter and Lazarus, to name two - but those were temporary resurrections. Everyone knew Jairus's daughter and Lazarus would die again one day. Still, the fact that they could be raised for a time gave hope to eyewitnesses that permanent resurrection was at least theoretically possible. And then when Jesus appeared after being in a tomb for three days . . .
This was the earth-shattering foundation of the church. Jesus' teachings were profound, His miracles spectacular; but they didn't define the church. The new movement that began in a small Roman outpost was based on a revolutionary, shocking truth: The specter of death had lost its power. A man, certifiably dead, was now alive. And He promised life to everyone who believed in Him.
It's impossible for us to understand, two millennia later, how utterly radical the idea of resurrection was. It was not an illusion of prescientific people; Jesus appeared to a lot of people, for many days, and displayed His eternal body. Many who saw Him were later martyred for admitting it. That doesn't happen en masse with illusions. It only happens with historical fact.
If you think about it, this fact changes everything. It changes how we live, how we think, how we plan, how we work - everything! Let it change you; no, let it define you. Resolve this year to live a resurrected life.
"Jesus has forced open a door that had been locked since the death of the first man. . . . Everything is different because He has done so. " C. S. Lewis
An Essential Sign
1 Corinthians 15
"If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." - 1 Corinthians 15:17
The Resurrection validates everything we believe in. Without it, the Bible is bold enough to say, our faith is worthless. Those who think Christianity is worthwhile for life in this world alone are disagreeing with Paul; he thought we were pitiful creatures indeed if our faith is only a this-world faith (v. 1 Corinthians 15:19).
No, God gave us the Resurrection - Jesus' and ours - for a reason. It's a promise, a pledge, a validation that our life on this fallen planet is but a tiny fraction of the life we were meant to live. While the rest of the world goes about living for the here and now, we live for eternity. While they make investments hoping for good returns in a matter of years or decades, we make investments hoping for good returns in a matter of timeless "ages." While they interpret their trials as things that will make or break the quality of their lives, we interpret our trials as events that are shaping us to understand God and inherit His riches. The Resurrection makes all the difference in the world. And beyond.
This, in fact, was the point of creation from day one. Genesis is the account of God's creation, but the cross of Christ and the empty tomb are the account of the re-creation. The early church was suddenly aware that they were living in the regenesis, the fulfillment of all God had promised, the Kingdom that does not pass away. And that knowledge guided everything they did.
We often think of the Resurrection as an Eastertime phenomenon - a past miracle that gives us faint hope for the future. It is so much more.
The Resurrection validates our faith in the redeeming work of our High Priest, who has taken away our sins. It allows us to live with a sense of risk and adventure, because it makes us part of a new order of creation that ultimately cannot fail - our lives are grounded in Someone who reigns in eternal victory.
"No resurrection, no Christianity. " Michael Ramsey
About the Author(s)
Chris Tiegreen has inspired thousands of people through The One Year At His Feet Devotional, The One Year Walk with God Devotional, and The One Year Worship the King Devotional, as well as through his books Unburdened, Fixing Abraham, Feeling like God, Violent Prayer, and Creative Prayer. His experiences as a missionary, pastor, journalist, and university instructor bring a unique perspective to his writing. He is currently an editor at Walk Thru the Bible.
Installed size (unless otherwise indicated): Approximately 494.875 KB. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Requires iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 5.0 or later. Download size: 494.875 KB. Android Requires Android OS 2.2 or later. Download size: 494.875 KB. Windows Phone Requires Windows Phone 7.5 or later. Download size: 494.875 KB. Windows Store Download size: 494.875 KB. Windows PC Requires Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, or later. Download size: 1000.875 KB. Mac OS X Download size: 494.875 KB. Windows Mobile Requires Pocket PC / Windows Mobile version 6.5 or earlier. Download size: 574.375 KB.
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