by Jerome Taylor
BURTON, MI – It happens. The odometer is clicking over that milestone number. I am watching it with excitement and curiosity. After four decades of life and two plus decades in ministry I feel that so much has already occurred, yet I wait with bated breath what the next part of life’s road trip holds. And I do so, knowing that the One who is in Sovereign control over our lives keeps things interesting.
This journey with Jesus will at times bring you to peaks that seem to have breathtaking vistas of an almost immeasurable horizon. The possibilities seem innumerable and all of them delightful. At other times, the roads are curvy through wooded thickets, and you wonder if the GPS is working. The possibilities seem bleak. Whether or not you find yourself in either place, I have found the one great constant is to stay focused on Jesus and His mission for the church. The hope and trajectory of the resurrection.
In the fifteenth chapter of the first epistle of Corinthians, the apostle Paul is moved by the Holy Spirit to pen words of great importance to the church. This is why the resurrection should be the potent octane boost for our souls and ministry. But it starts a bit rough by asking the what if. What if there was no resurrection of Jesus? Here is the case for its value for the road ahead. Pardon the “preacher-isms” about to be unleashed.
If there is no resurrection:
Our Jesus’s grave is still grave (1 Cor. 15:13, 16)
Our preaching is preposterous (1 Cor. 15:14)
Our witness is wickedly worthless (1 Cor. 15:15)
Our faith is futile (1 Cor. 15:17)
Our sins are still enslaving (1 Cor. 15:17)
Our deaths are damning (1 Cor. 15:18)
Our presence should be pitied (1 Cor. 15:19)
But the victorious hope of Jesus’ resurrection is so essential to our walk of faith that it changes everything.
Because of the resurrection…of Jesus:
The grave of Jesus no longer looks so grave (Matthew 28:6)
The preaching of the saints has immeasurable potency (1 Corinthians 2:4)
The wonderful calling is to be a worthy witness (1 Peter 3:15)
The faith grows with resurrection life that is fruitful (Romans 7:4)
The sins no longer enslave us (John 8:31-32, Galatians 4:7)
The death of a saint is merely ultimate deliverance (Philippians 1:21)
The presence of the Gospel in our lives is precious (Romans 5:1-5)
I have not learned everything there is to know about life’s journey as the odometer crosses this new mile-marker…but the reminder that carries me forward is that the power of the cross, the glory of the resurrection, and Jesus the Eternal Living Author & Perfecter of our faith is always our worthy and treasured pursuit. The only one who sustains.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerome Taylor is the pastor of Eastgate Baptist Church in Burton since 2013. He and his wife, Melinda have 4 kids. Jerome is the former President of BSCM and currently serves the BSCM Executive Committee as Recording Secretary.