RELIGION COLUMN: What if it hadn’t happed

Published 5:35 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2022

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By PASTOR RANDY REID | Clanton First Assembly of God

Okay, I will admit it. I’m a fan of the holidays. I always have been. Growing up, some of my fondest memories are those that occurred around the holidays. And being raised a pastor’s son many of my holiday memories take place in or around events connected to the church. Admittedly, even today, at my age, with both my children in college and graduate school respectively, I still get those warm fuzzies when we approach a holiday season.

I am sure during the Christmas season there is not a reader among us whose television programming does not offer multiple opportunities to view the Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It’s the 1946 depiction of a man, George Bailey, down on his life, contemplating suicide. He is intercepted by his guardian angel Clarence, who shows George the worth of his life by revealing to him how the life of his loved ones would have turned out had he not existed. George, realizing the plight of his loved ones without him, begs for his life back, returns to his family and realizes what a wonderful life he has.

As moving and as heartfelt as that portrayal is, have you ever considered what life as we know it would be like had Christ not risen from the grave? Think about it.

The Scripture teaches us that we were all born into sin (Romans 3:23). It was not our fault. It was the result of the disobedience to God by man’s original parents, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden. They allowed sin to enter their life and by extension passed it down to their offspring which is all mankind. The only outcome of sin is death (Romans 6:23). However, the death that sin brings is more than just breath leaving the physical body. It is actually complete and eternal separation from God. That is the result of the sin that was passed down to you and me.

Without Christ, mankind was doomed but, at Calvary, Christ paid the penalty of death for us all. He died so we would never have to feel the sting of death and total separation from God. Jesus was taken, nailed to the cross, died and buried in a tomb. But thankfully three days later He rose from the grave sealing the gift of new life that He offered to all man who would come to Him in faith.

But what if the resurrection had never happened? What if the story of Jesus ended at the cross? Our destiny would have been far worse than that of fictional George Bailey.

In fact, Paul give us insight into life without the resurrection. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15, had Christ not risen from the dead there would be no good news message. Can you imagine a world with only bad news? There would be no hope and no faith in the earth. Had Christ not raised from the dead we’d be forever separated from our loved ones. Had Christ not risen from the grave we would be forever lost and cut off from God, destined for eternal damnation.

But thank God, Christ is risen from the grave and because of that we have a hope, a future, a purpose and a reason to live. Because Christ arose and is alive today we can live also.