The implications of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are inexhaustible. Literally, inexhaustible. There is one implication, however, that I think is relevant in our current cultural mess which deems repeating. Easter is public. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is public. The living Christ whom Christians around the world celebrate this Sunday, like every Sunday, is not merely confined to the conclaves of our hearts, nor can He be.
The fact that Christ is risen, which He is, means something specific. Christ was risen for a purpose, a reason. When Christ was raised, He was given all authority in heaven and on earth. Jesus was crowed King of kings; He is the “prince of the kings of the earth.” This makes Christianity a necessarily public faith, and it also directly opposes the idea of secular pluralism. There are not a bunch of kings, or gods, with equal say in society. The Christian only knows one, the Lord Jesus. This reality, to most folks, is an offensive and audacious claim.
It, however, is the claim of all history for history only knows one Lord. In the words of Spurgeon:
“Empires have risen up, and have been the gods of the era; their kings and princes have take to themselves high titles, and have been worshipped by the multitudes. But ask the empires whether there is any besides God? Do you not think you hear the boasting soliloquy of Babylon–‘I sit as a queen, and am no widow; I shall see no sorrow; I am god, and there is none beside me?” And think ye not now, if ye walk over ruined Babylon, that ye will meet aught save the solemn spirit of the Bible, standing like a prophet gray with age, and telling you that there is one God, and beside him there is none else? Go ye to Babylon, covered with its sand, the sand of its own ruins; stand ye up on the mounds of Nineveh, and let the voice come up–‘There is one God, and empires sink before him; there is only one Potentate, and the princes and kings of the earth, with their dynasties and thrones, are shaken by the trampling of his foot.’ Go, seat yourself in the temples of Greece; mark ye there what proud words Alexander once did speak; but now, where is he, and where his empire too? Sit on the ruined arches of the bridges of Carthage, or walk ye through the desolate theaters of Rome, and ye will hear a voice in the wild wind amid those ruins–‘I am God, and there is none else.’ ‘O city, thou didst call thyself eternal; I have made thee melt away like dew. Thou saidst ‘I sit on seven hills, I shall last forever;’ I have made thee crumble, and now thou art a miserable and contemptible place, compared with what thou wast. Thou was once stone, thou madest thy thyself; I have made thee stone again, and brought thee low.’ O! how has God taught monarchies and empires that have set themselves up like new kingdoms of heaven, that he is God, and that there is none else!”
Easter is not just about individual Christian’s hearts, though it is certainly not less than that. It is about far more.
- Spurgeon’s Sermons, Volume 1, page 6. (Baker 1999)↵