Two-Minute Message: He Is Risen!

This week’s short message by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch the video or read text below.

In the Easter season, Christians reflect on the testimony of the resurrection. Jesus was crucified, but the Bible reports that his tomb was found empty, and his disciples saw visions of the risen Lord.

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies,” says Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption. In this memorable film, Dufresne was an innocent man who was unjustly sentenced to life in prison. After many years, he escapes by crawling half a mile through a sewer pipe.

“Andy Dufresne — who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side,” said his best friend Red. Like Jesus, he had to go through the cross — a torment he didn’t deserve — but on the other side he finds new life and freedom.

But what if the story had a different ending? What if Andy Dufresne got stuck in the sewer pipe and died. The prison toilets start overflowing, and they find Dufresne’s rotting corpse causing the blockage. That wouldn’t be such a good ending — and if that’s how the story ended, the movie never would have been made.

Likewise, if Jesus had just died on the cross and rotted away in the tomb, his disciples wouldn’t have continued following him as their Lord. They would have abandoned their faith, instead of boldly proclaiming it to the world.

At the time of Jesus there were many Jewish prophets who claimed to be the messiah and were crucified for challenging the status quo. But only one of them is remembered today: Jesus of Nazareth. That’s because something very special happened to Jesus: the miracle of the resurrection.

I know, it can be hard to have faith in miracles. But if we put our trust in God and open our minds to extraordinary possibilities, our lives can be filled with hope, in this world and beyond. In the words of the Apostle Paul, “By this gospel” — the good news of the resurrection — “[we] are saved” [1 Cor. 15:2].