If you were pressed to find one image that encapsulates Christianity, most people would probably think of the cross. The cross is central to almost every church sanctuary in America, and we have adopted it as the center of our faith.
And yet, while the cross is certainly a central theme in the story of how God saves us, it is one aspect of a greater story.
Yes, Jesus died for our sins. But even more than that, He lived -- that we might live with Him. And Christ’s resurrection is the inaugural event of the new creation. Paul even goes so far as to say in 1 Corinthians 15:17, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”
So if the resurrection is the real crux of our faith, what does it mean to live in light of the resurrection?
In his book Surprised by Hope, N.T. Wright notes, “The point of the resurrection ... is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die ... What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it. What you do in the present -- by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself -- will last into God's future.”
In other words, the resurrection changes everything. The Kingdom of God is here and yet it is coming. God has chosen His resurrection people to be change agents in their culture; to proclaim this coming Kingdom through how they live, relate and work.
-- Chris Johnson, from an article in RelevantMagazine.com entitled "How the Resurrection Changes Everything"