Pastor Granillo: He Is Risen Indeed!

By Pastor RAUL GRANILLO
Los Alamos

He Is Risen Indeed!

I love watching movies, especially ones that chronicle the transformation of a character. I do not just like the kind where you initially dislike a character but at the movie’s conclusion they suddenly do something that redeems their moral character. Those are fine but they are so predictable that they are cliché.

No, I really look forward to the movie that does a great job of getting the audience to really dislike a character and then, through revelation of their life and their experiences, you find that your dislike has transformed into empathy. So that even without some story book ending, you can now go back and better understand why they are the way they are. So when the character does something great in the end, we can appreciate and understand the significance because we have a better understanding of them.

I prefer these types of movies because they are more in tune with reality and because they challenge the audience to transform. They speak to something that is real in our world rather than just putting hope into a story book ending.

Every year on Easter millions will gather for church, egg hunts, picnics, and all the other things that lead us into spring. While most people realize that Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ after His sacrifice on the cross, I can’t help but think that many of us only consider Easter the same way we do the storybook ending in a cliché movie. It makes for good entertainment and may even make us feel better but we don’t always consider what it means and how important this real event is to us today.

The resurrection of Jesus is so important to our ability to become Christ-like believers that Paul writes to the church in Corinth, “if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith,” and “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost” (1 Corinthians 15:14 and 17-18 NIV).

This is the reality of Christ’s resurrection. It isn’t about adding a magical and dramatic detail to the story of God; it is an essential key in our ability to truly hope, to truly understand God’s work and love, and thus to truly become transformed ourselves into Christ-likeness so that we can better relate to and love others in our world today.

Like the best transformational movies, the actions of the characters make more sense when the backstory is revealed. When read in its entirety, the Bible reveals a story of mankind and mankind’s Creator. It reveals a story about a Creator who is willing to invest great time and effort into His creation because He loves  it.

It is a story about a God whose love seems to know no bounds. It is the account of mankind and their relationship to God—a relationship that dictates every other action in our lives. But this not a movie, and it is not just a story that can help us become better people—it is reality. Only when we are able to accept the fullness of reality can we be transformed so that we will make a real Christl-ike impact in our world.

For those who believe in the reality of the resurrection it is a source of hope like no other. It is a revelation of God’s power, love, and promise to us. Paul writes, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20 NIV). Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!

Let us be transformed into His image so that we can love as He does and bring light where darkness reigns.

To find out more about La Vista Church, or to hear this and other messages, visit our website at www.lavistanaz.org or email me at raul@lavistanaz.org.

Please come join us as we fix our eyes on Jesus. We meet at 9 a.m. Sundays for Sunday school and at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome!

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