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This World Matters

We talked a little bit on Sunday about how belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us the resources to live a big and significant life.  This is because the resurrection signals to us that God is not done with the world, has not withdrawn in disgust (though He could have).  Instead, the resurrection of Jesus speaks to God's plan to overthrow the evil forces in the world (sin, Satan, and death) and make "all things new" (Revelation 21:5).  N.T. Wright captures this sentiment well:

The message of the resurrection is that this world matters!  That the injustices and pains of this present world must now be addressed with the news that healing, justice and love have won... If Easter means Jesus Christ is only raised in a spiritual sense - [then] it is only about me, and finding a new dimension in my spiritual life.  But if Jesus Christ is truly risen from the dead, Christianity becomes good news for the whole world - news which warms our hearts precisely because it isn't just about warming hearts.  Easter means that in a world of injustice, violence and degradation are endemic, God is not prepared to tolerate such things - and that we will work and plan, with all the energy of God, to implement [the] victory of Jesus over them all.  Take away Easter and Karl Marx was probably right to accuse Christianity of ignoring problems of the material world.  Take it away and Freud was probably right to say Christianity is wish-fulfillment.  Take it away and Nietzche probably was right to say it was for wimps. (N.T. Wright, For All God's Worth: True Worship and the Calling of the Church, p. 65-66).