HAL BRADY: Christian church built on the promise of Easter

Jesus' response to their disbelief in so many words was "It's me!"

You've heard people say, "I believe in God, but I just can't go along with organized religion".

One can not think of too many evils greater than the sexual abuse of a child. What would have happened if Jesus did not forgive our sins and take so seriously the disaster sin is, and was crucified and died and, as God, forgive us our sins?

Instead, the greeting: "Abandon hope, all you who enter here" if Christ has not been raised.

What's more, as verse 18 states: "Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished". Are we lying when we call ourselves a Christian?

But there's a nagging problem out there: While God's law may be fulfilled, God's vision for the world is not. That which challenges us often strengthens us. We can not fathom this mystery. It is God continually working in you. That's the Facebook post my friend Sam, a professional organist for a Presbyterian church in Tennessee, posted after Easter Sunday. I still misuse my time. "I thought it was your dog!" And I am still hopeless without his grace. He responds with incredulity when told about Jesus' appearance - so much so that he says, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe" (John 20:25). But if a man has enough to live on, and yet when he sees his brother in need shuts up his heart against him, how can it be said that the divine love dwells in him?

I suggest that we begin by keeping the faith.

In verse 18, we find the fifth contrast which gives us hope for the future for those who are in Christ. Thus, when we cast our faith to Him, he will give us strength and lift us up when we feel so weak. Poof! The disciples freaked out (literally "startled and frightened") thinking they'd witnessed a ghostly apparition. They were preparing to have him present to them differently.

What a joy, comfort and rest this truth brings into our lives. The Question Jesus asks in verse 26 is still valid today. Jesus showed them his hands and feet. By and large more Christians will dress up a bit more for church on Easter. The offering, though, is unique to each of us. If that weren't the case then we'd all be dead now.

"In these days of Easter, we carry this cry in our heart", the pope concluded, "And if they ask us the reason for the smile we give and for our patient sharing, then we can answer that Jesus is still here, and continues to live in our midst, that Jesus is here, in the square, with us: risen and living".

Most Christians around the world will celebrate Easter in Church. But we are still in this valley of tears. I was at home with my aunt one night and I was brainstorming about things I had been through and I said to my aunt, let's talk about the church. He is risen, but we are not. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, "You must not eat from any tree in the garden"?"2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"4 "You will not certainly die", the serpent said to the woman".

It should go without saying that a Christian will not steal, defraud, get drunk, swear, or commit adultery, but if one must know where the bible speaks against these things, here are the specific scriptures (James 5:12, Eph. 4:28, I Thes. 4:6, I Cor. 6:10, Matt. 5:27-32). Maybe you're going through one now.

  • Leroy Wright