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That's a very good question. I think this year I've thought about the resurrection more than I ever have in the past. In the past, I think I've only really just thought of it as part of the Easter holiday celebration and remembrance.This year, the pastor at the church we attend gave a series of sermons leading up to Easter on Jesus' death and resurrection. Here's his Easter sermon titled "Resurrection in a Cross-Shaped World" [http://firstbaptistcleveland.org/sermons/sermon47.pdf]. What the resurrection means to me this Easter season is a hope in a world in which Jesus has risen and is building the Kingdom of God. I think often the focus is put on the crucifixion and death of Christ and the sacrifice that he made to redeem our sinfulness to the glory of God. And as Christians, we accept that salvation, but I think sometimes we let it stop there. We embrace the mercy of God and the love of Jesus, and by doing so we become Christians. But then what? Before and since I've become a Christian, I've often observed Christians who believe that they're done. I think it's true of many people who grew up in Christianity as well as so-called "born again" Christians. Some will eagerly tell me their testimony, while some never really talk about their faith, but in either case what I see is that they feel and act with the understanding that because they've accepted Christ's salvation and believe in his resurrection, they're now golden and are essentially just going about their daily Christian suburban lives and waiting to go to heaven.What I'm realizing is that the resurrection means the acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice and of God's grace is merely the first step in my faith journey, a journey that should include continuous study of Jesus' teaching and an openness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I know the Holy Spirit is guiding you guys in your future plans to be missionaries, and I'm searching for that guidance myself. Jesus' death is God's gift of salvation. And Jesus' resurrection is a call to action for all disciples to build the Kingdom of God on Earth with Jesus as the cornerstone.So what is the call to action? Borrowing from John F. Kennedy's inaugural address -- not only ask what Christ has done for you, but ask what you can do for Christ. One answer to this call is to worship and praise God, but another answer to this call is given by Jesus over and over again in his ministry. In Matthew 25, he tells his disciples that "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." And in John 21 after the resurrection, he tells his disciples that if they love him, then they must "feed his sheep." It's clear that God did not intend our relationship with him to be one of just receiving his gift of grace in exchange for worshiping and praising him, but much more. We're meant to take that gift and use it to build up his Kingdom through our words and actions. And that's what the resurrection means to me this Easter.
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