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The greatest event
April 19, 2010
by Rev. Martin Schoenfeld, St. James Lutheran Church, Howard Lake

What would you say was the most important event in history? What event in history had the greatest impact on people? I am sure that if we asked a number of people these questions, we would have quite a variety of events that people would list.

One person might say the invention of the wheel or the automobile. Another might say the invention of the printing press so that we could mass-produce books and writings. Someone else may say the invention of the computer.

A person who suffers from an illness may say something like the invention of penicillin, or the vaccine for polio, or some other medical advancement. Thinking a little more historically, someone may say the signing of the Declaration of Independence, or the Revolutionary War. Still others may say the landing of a man on the moon.

What about you? What event in your life has had the greatest impact upon you – the stock market crash, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, or maybe the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks? Maybe in your personal life you would say it was your wedding day, or the day you graduated from college.

These sort of events in history have, indeed, had a profound impact on our lives. But the greatest event in all of history is the resurrection of Jesus. After having suffered and died upon the cross for our sins, Jesus rose from the dead. This is truly the greatest event in history, and the greatest event in our lives.

The resurrection of Jesus is most important because if Jesus would not have risen, we would worship a dead man. What hope and comfort can be found in that? Everyone dies. But Jesus rose from the dead and is alive. He has overcome sin, death, and the power of the devil. The grave could not hold Him down. Death has been defeated.

In John 14:19, Jesus said, “Because I live, you also will live.” When we trust that Jesus rose from the dead for us, we can be certain that one day, our grave will open and we will physically rise to a new life in heavenly glory, free from our own sins, failures, physical handicaps, and death.

The resurrection of Jesus, which we celebrate not only on Easter morning but every Sunday, is the greatest event in our lives because for us, who believe, it gives us hope. The sacrifice for our sins upon the cross has been accepted by God and through faith in Jesus, we now stand righteous before Him.

Because Jesus rose from the dead, we can look forward to another great event. It will be the return of Christ, when every tomb and grave in the world will be opened. Those who did not believe in Jesus will rise to eternal damnation in the fires of hell. But all who believed and trusted in Jesus as their crucified and risen Lord and Savior, will rise to eternal life in heavenly glory.

Can you picture such a great and monumental day in history? It is something you can look forward to because of the good news of the greatest event in all history. This great historical event was announced to the women on Easter morning by the angels. “You are looking for Jesus, the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen!” (Mark 16:6)