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The Rest of the Story (Easter)

• Greg Boyd

This Easter morning, Greg preached about the power of Jesus’ resurrection to revolutionize our lives. To introduce the power of this new life in Christ, he contrasted it with a life not marked by the resurrection.

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This Easter morning, Greg preached about the power of Jesus’ resurrection to revolutionize our life. To introduce the power of this new life in Christ, he contrasted it with a life not marked by the Resurrection.

Numerous references in the Bible describe life without the Resurrection. Genesis 3:19 states that humanity’s bodies are made from dust and will return to dust. In Ecclesiastes 1, the author describes life as a pointless task of “chasing after the wind.” As much as we attempt to hide this reality, all temporal things are simply “dust,” they will not last.

Is this the whole story? If so, then life is empty. It holds no meaning. But why is this so hard to believe? If life is this way, why do we crave purpose? Why do we desire fulfillment? Why does this “dust” perspective seem so unnatural?

It is because it is unnatural! The reason for our restlessness is that we have alienated ourselves from God, the source of our existence. Our individual and collective sin has built a barrier between God and us. In our sinful existence, we wish for something more because God has created us for something more. The “echo” of this greatness persists.

So what is the rest of the story? The rest of the story is that God pursues us. His desire is for a reconciled relationship between himself and humanity. What we celebrate during the Passion Week leading to Easter Sunday is that God in Jesus Christ has taken on our “dust nature.” By going to the cross and dying, he takes upon himself our sin and the punishment for that sin. Through his death, he breaks down the wall of hostility that separates us from God. On the third day after his crucifixion, he arose from the grave. The Resurrection tells us that there is more to this story. Death does not have the final word. Our “dust” existence is not our final state. Instead, God through Jesus Christ has secured the victory over Satan, sin, and death. The final word is glory. 1 John 3:2 states that in the end, “we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.” In addition, Paul writes that our mortal bodies will put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53).

If any of us are discouraged or disappointed, we can find encouragement and hope from the fact that our tears of pain will not last forever. Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). The last word is about God’s victory, glory, and goodness through the resurrected Jesus Christ. We need to keep our eyes fixed upon him. He has great things planned for us as Paul states in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, nor the human heart conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Some critics may say that Christianity’s focus on an otherworldly reality is too good to be true. Greg countered that the alternative, that our existence is only characterized by this world, is too miserable to be true. The feeling of emptiness that marks a person once they realize that everything in this world will turn to dust illustrates the validity of the Gospel.
Our desire to transcend the finite world indicates that we seek what Jesus offers.

When we turn to Jesus and accept the new life he offers, it changes everything. When we fix our gaze on him, death will not scare us. We will be able to say with the apostle Paul, “Living is Christ, and dying is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

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Focus Scripture:

  • Genesis 3:19

    19 By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
    until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
    for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”

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