There are some who will never buy into the possibility of Christ’s resurrection. Thomas Jefferson is a classic example. In his infamous Bible, an original cut and paste (cut and delete is much more accurate), Jefferson removed all miracles and as I recall, his version of the Gospel of Mark ends this way:
And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid. (Mark 15:42-47 ESV)
The obvious problem with Jefferson’s modification is that he left out the resurrection. For him, the resurrection and any miracle for that matter upset his worldview applecart by destroying what he saw as universal laws. Without these laws, there would be no enlightenment, no advances in science and culture, and no basis for self-government. Jefferson was not willing to live in a world in which it was possible for the Divine to intervene, so he created his own reality and, as far as we know, Jefferson died without Christ.
However, as I reflect on the resurrection on this, the day after Easter, I’m struck by another thought: what if I significantly miss the application of Christ’s power in my own life? As a child of God, I affirm the truth of Christ’s resurrection and believe that He is alive forever more. I even believe that because Jesus is alive, I too will put on immortality. But what if I never live in the significance of the fact that Christ was raised from the dead for more than just my one way ticket to heaven?
The apostle’s prayer for the Ephesians was that they might be given wisdom, revelation in the knowledge of Christ and spiritual eyes to see and know what is the hope of their calling, the riches of his glorious inheritance, “and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead.” The same great power that raised Christ from the dead is now at work in me so that I would walk in godliness. Paul put it this way when writing to the Romans: “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4 ESV). I have been given a strong challenge and word of encouragement to persevere in this walk of faith not allowing sin to reign in my body making me obey its passions (see Romans 6:12).
Christ is alive and alive in me. Remembering the resurrection and its impact on my wellbeing therefore needs to be a daily event. And rather than selectively deleting certain areas of the resurrection's influence, I am to embrace them all to live in that newness of life.