By Daniel Downs
Jesus is risen!
Today, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, the Jew. The celebrants rejoice in his victory over the consequences of sin, which is death. For first century Christians, this fact was cause for hope for eternal life, and it is still cause for the same hope now.
But, what is life? Surely, it is more than bodily functions such as breathing, thinking, going here and there… In the book of Acts, the author recounts a forty-day period during which time Jesus renewed his relationships with disciples, family and others. Acts also presents an eyewitness account of Jesus’ ascension to heaven. His resurrection and ascension depicts the ultimate restoration of Jesus relationship with God.
Being redemptive, Easter is a celebration of the restoration of our relationship with God through Christ Jesus.
The first chapters of Genesis show us that a human relationship with God was the divine intention of the Creator. Because humans were created in the likeness of God, we have the capacity such a relationship. Genesis goes to depict the reason for human existence. In sum, we exist to serve the Creator by overseeing nature, which implies partnerships with other humans. When natural and holy, these relationships accomplish God’s purposes. For example, the family serves the need its members, establishes and perpetuated human society, and thus fulfills part of the divine plan. Economy and education actually are both natural products of inter- and intra-family relations. However, the complexity of the web of societal institutions creates the artificial need for governmental services beyond the basics. Government is composed of representatives of all related families of a given society, and those representatives serve to fulfill common need of all families. The common and basic needs include protecting the lives and property of those served.
A paternal government cannot exist when families are fulfilling their created functions and roles. Oppressive governments exist as a result of the death of moral relationships. Divorce is the result of moral crimes, and moral crime ends in alienation and death. The artificiality of modern institutionalized society is a major contributor to the alienation and death in society, its families, and the moral decline that produces it. Mutually beneficial godly relationships are the essence life now and forever.
America certainly needs a resurrection that only God and Jesus can perform.