The history books enlighten us about the different ages through which the human race has lived. A few of these periods in history are:
The Renaissance. It began in the 14th century and continued into the 17th century. An emphasis on art and literature and the beginning of modern science were its marks.
The Industrial Revolution. It makes its appearance in the late 18th century, especially in England. It marked the advent of power-driven machines, which brought about a rapid change in the economy.
The Enlightenment. This was a philosophical movement of the 18th century, which questioned traditional doctrines and values and put strong emphasis on human reason.
The Nuclear Age. The period of time that started in 20th century bringing with it many blessings and curses.
The Post-modern Age. This is an age in which we find ourselves today where it is taught that there is no absolute truth. There are only competing truths. All is relative.
But there is another age. It had its beginning when the angel said to the woman at the tomb who had come to anoint Jesus’ body, “He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go and tell his disciples and Peter.” This is the Christian Age. All other ages come and go leaving their marks on the pages of history, but the age of our Lord continues until He returns to earth. At that time He will bring all those who trust him into his eternal kingdom where he will reign forever and ever.
The Christian Age is anchored in an event in history, when Jesus, who had been crucified, came forth from the tomb. Through His sacrificial death, Jesus had paid the price for the sins of the world. Through His glorious resurrection, He won for all who would receive him as Savior and Lord, victory over sin, death, and the devil.
Friday was the horrible day of crucifixion. Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath, and all was quiet. However, Sunday morning was different, because Jesus’ resurrection changed the world forever.
We are told, and rightly so, that since September 11, our world has changed. Another type of warfare has been introduced to humanity. Yet, even this frightening news is received by the Christian and understood in light of the Easter message. Christ lives, and because He lives, I, too, shall live.
The Easter message changes the lives of all Christians. In the Post-modern age, which denies absolute truth, the validity of the Easter story is no longer argued. We just tell it wherever we find an opportunity and let the Holy Spirit do the convincing in the hearts of an unbelieving world. However, those of us who walk as children of the resurrection know what changes this Easter message.
Go back to the first Easter. Jesus’ disciples had not fully comprehended all that had taken place. They were hiding behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. However, when Jesus stood in their midst and showed them His nail-pierced hands and sword-pierced side, they became fearless witnesses of the Savior. The Jesus of Nazareth, who had once walked beside them, now was the Risen Lord who lived in their hearts.
The same is true today. Nothing can change your life as drastically as having Jesus live in your heart. That is when we become new people. When temptation comes, we find power to resist. The Risen Lord provides the strength if we will call on Him. When guilt tears us apart, we hear the living Savior say, “I forgive you,” and we have peace. When we walk away from the grave of a loved one with a broken heart and tears rolling down our cheeks, we sing with St. Paul:
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?
The sting of death is sin,
And the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God.
He gives us the victory through
our Lord Jesus Christ.”
When that day finally comes, there is the assurance that not even death can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Christian Age is anchored in history, but it is lived out during our years on earth. It will be brought to completion some day in the future when Jesus returns. This is not the end, but the beginning of that eternal age that knows no end.
This truth cannot be compromised in any age by those who claim Jesus as Savior and Lord. I just pray that Mel Gibson, or someone else of like talent, will produce a movie telling the story of the resurrection. For truly Jesus is not the crucified martyr. He is the Risen Lord.