Over spring break I injured my foot and was forced to be off my feet for several days. To pass the time, I started watching a series on Netflix with my kids. It was based on a DC comic series in the superhero world. I’ve enjoyed my fair share of superhero movies over the years but am admittedly not a big fan of science fiction.
It wasn’t long before I found myself annoyed at how characters would die and then return alive, in later episodes. It struck me, however, when the hero was presumed dead, those who loved him and believed in him held out hope that he was either still alive or would live again.
When they believed that their hero would come back to fight alongside them, they fought with hope, with all their might. They had nothing to lose because they were confident that their hero would return full of power that would give them the final fulfillment of their goal.
Christ, Our Hero
I couldn’t help but see parallels to our lives, for those who believe in Christ.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Titus 2:11-13
Our Hero and Savior, Jesus isn’t physically living among us here on this earth any longer. Even so, we who remain here on Earth, continue the work that He has called us to. We must faithfully steward all that our Master has given us (Matthew 25:14-30), we must guard the good deposit that has been entrusted to us (2 Tim 1:14) and we must be found serving diligently without blemish (2 Peter 3:14).
Without the resurrection, none of that has any meaning. Without a living Hero, all our hard work is in vain.
The Power of Resurrection
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 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. 1 Corinthians 15:13-19
Without the resurrection, all that we do would simply be carrying on, in even the most well-intentioned busy work, to honor the memory of our fallen hero. We might still take up his mantle and walk in what he stood for, but it would be without hope and ultimately without power. However, since Jesus has been resurrected from the dead, He lives within us to fuel and guide our every move – defining purpose and mission for our lives.
Even our message has no hope without the resurrection. BUT we have the guarantee, promise, and the power of the Resurrection in Jesus Christ! Because Jesus died and was resurrected, the message of the Gospel can be believed. Forgiveness, redemption, and transformation are all possible because of the work accomplished on the cross. The work we put our hands to, all that we endure, every effort we make for the sake of the Gospel is all powered by the Resurrection.
I really like how I Cor. 15:30-33 reads in the Message:
And why do you think I keep risking my neck in this dangerous work? I look death in the face practically every day I live. Do you think I’d do this if I wasn’t convinced of your resurrection and mine as guaranteed by the resurrected Messiah Jesus? Do you think I was just trying to act heroic when I fought the wild beasts at Ephesus, hoping it wouldn’t be the end of me? Not on your life! It’s resurrection, resurrection, always resurrection, that undergirds what I do and say, the way I live. 1 Corinthians 15:30-33
Our Hero Lives
Let’s not leave our hope and joy in the resurrection only at Easter. Rather let it empower us daily, filling us with the knowledge that our HERO is not just coming again one day, but is actively working in and through us today because of His work on the cross and triumph over death at the resurrection!