May 6, 2015
“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” (~I Corinthians 15:13-14). No doubt Christianity completely depends on the real, physical resurrection of the dead body of Christ; otherwise it’s all a big lie!
In any court hearing the jury sits and waits for that certain, for sure piece of evidence that doesn’t just turn the tide, but convinces them beyond a reasonable doubt. Any attorney will tell you that when he’s able to provide this evidence to the jury, it’s a slam dunk! For instance, one eye witness. God arranged His case (the case for Christ) to not only have ONE eyewitness, but to have over 500 eye witnesses that saw Christ after His death, which clearly announces the verdict is in, drop the mic, case closed, game over! He lives, the grave is empty and He has conquered death!
As the men and women at MCJ sometimes dabble in other religions searching for truth and answers, the Christian faith has something that separates it miles apart from every other faith: the resurrection from the dead! While the bones of Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, Joseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard, and others are still buried, Jesus, three days after His death, strolls out of His grave to be seen by over 500 witnesses! We now have the words of hope from Paul in I Corinthians 15:21-22, “For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”
The men of Gateway’s aftercare homes were in attendance for the Resurrection Day celebration at their home church ready to praise and honor the One who saved their lives through His atoning death and resurrection. New Life, for them, began as they accepted Christ and are following His leading for their lives. As they follow Him, restoration and reconciliation begin, so following the service, several of the men went to spend time with their families on Easter. Those who didn’t, were taken out to an Indian Easter dinner at Priya’s restaurant. Though that wasn’t a typical dinner for Easter, the men who attended reported that it was a great choice!
The month of April at the Macomb County Jail was an awesome opportunity again to share the love of Christ. On Good Friday volunteers passed out 1192 Easter bags of blessings with the Word of God (a pocket New Testament, 10 Reflections of Easter by the Daily Bread Ministries), several fun sized candy bars and what has become the new jail house casserole (ramen noodles, with crushed up cheese crackers and a chopped up Slim Jim). We almost called the food channel with that recipe! Then, Resurrection Day came! Several of our dedicated volunteers showed up to conduct morning Bible services on every floor of the jail where 183 inmates heard the greatest message ever told: the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The volunteers reported that many inmates experienced their day of visitation and came to know and invite Jesus Christ into their hearts, and asked Him to be Lord of their lives!
All praise to the One who didn’t just say “I’ll show you the way, teach you the truth or help you with your life”, no, He said, “I AM the way, the truth and the life…”! But the statement that sets Him apart even more from all those so called, trumped up religious leaders was one of the boldest statements ever uttered (and it’s in red), “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (~John 11:25-26)
Now that’s about the best news anyone could receive, and what an awesome opportunity it is, to share it with the men and women here at the Macomb County Jail.
Glory be to the One who paid it all for you and me!
Chaplains Steve and Robin