YOU CAN RECEIVE LIFE THAT CONQUERS DEATH.
By Rev. Ernest O'Neill
In other words, the most amazing thing about this fact of Jesus destroying death is that this incident, that stands so unique in the lifetime of the world, this one event in which a human being so absolutely demonstrated control over death and life -- that this incidence has been studied and discussed and criticized and examined more than any other event in history and has now come out among all scholars and philosophers and historians as the most established and the surest fact of our history.
There's an old brilliant scholar at Cambridge - an old cynic too -- but he says this about the resurrection, "Taking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no historic incident better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ." If you say that Jesus' resurrection from the dead is not a fact, let's throw everything away. There are no facts then. There are no facts anywhere in the world. Because if you say that is not a fact, there are millions of facts that are far less surely established than that one, and this life that we live is not real at all if you say that that resurrection of Jesus from the dead is not a fact.
Do you see the conclusions? If Jesus destroyed death once, then he can destroy it however often he wants and that means he is alive today -- and he is alive and can see us all here. See, you have to conclude that, don't you? You must admit that if he is able to pass through death and if death does not keep him away from us, then he must be here in this room this morning. He must be here, right here. And do you see that that means there is an elixir of life. It means there is a fountain of rejuvenation and of eternal youth such as all the old explorers searched for.
There is an uncreated life that turns death into sleep, because that's what it did in him. There is an uncreated life that comes into this created life we have and changes it completely. There is an uncreated life that can change you and can enable you to exist forever. But loved ones, what we find is that that same life is able to change the bitterness in your heart into love because that life is the Spirit of Jesus and that life can change you completely and it can change you from being a miserable, petty, selfish creature into a person that is the image of Christ and that's what uncreated life did in Jesus. It's what uncreated life did in me and it's what uncreated life has done in hundreds here in this room and it's what uncreated life can do for you.
You have created life, and you can see it there, but there is an uncreated life that can turn death into sleep. If you say, "how?" all you do is be willing for that life to come in. You have to be willing for that life of Jesus' Spirit to come in and reproduce in you himself, and you may think that's easy but that is the hard part. And the reason you don't experience that life, the reason you're still bitter at times, the reason you're still angry at times and selfish is you won't let that life come in and control you and that's the same reason that will force you to go out into lonely darkness at the end of this life.
And loved ones it is a package. It's either Jesus and the beauty of love and the kindliness of his spirit ruling your life now and that continuing forever -- or it's you continuing as you are with that created life that you've got with your selfishness and your pettiness and at times your misery and it's that going on forever after this life is over.
So Easter is not a day for spectators. Easter is not a day for applause. Easter is not a day to stand outside the tomb and look at the mighty thing that happened. Easter is the day to go into the tomb yourself and ask this Jesus, "Lord, if you are alive now, and it seems I am led by my own logic to believe that, will you begin to show me how to let your life come into mine -- because I sorely need a change."