When I was 21 years of age I sat before the television and watched the first moon landing on July 16, 1969. When the descent vehicle, named “Eagle,” touched the moon’s surface, Commander Neil Armstrong spoke the words, “The Eagle has landed.” Upon looking at a video of this historic event, a reader had commented that these were the most significant words ever uttered.
Humans walking on the moon was the most dramatic event ever in terms of human achievement. There was, however, another event that happened over 2,000 years ago that has far surpassed any accomplishment of humanity. As aptly stated by astronaut James Irwin, “There’s something more important than man walking on the moon, and that is God walking on the earth.” The astronauts put on spacesuits to walk on the moon, but Jesus put off his glorified state to walk on the earth and became one of us. A dozen astronauts have gone to the moon, but only one God-man walked on the earth.
Thirty-three years later Jesus died for our sins, but several days later the three most important words in all of history were spoken by an angel to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary when they went to visit the tomb, “He is risen.” These were not words of human achievements. They were powerful words able to save one’s soul! As the moon landing was a documented historical event, so was the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the whole basis of Christianity. 1 Corinthians 15:14 says, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” A few verses later we read, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins”(17).
Jesus spoke the words recorded in John 11:25-26. “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live…Do you believe this?” Not only this, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”
The Spirit of God far exceeds the spirit of human achievement, which is a thing of the past, but God’s Spirit is eternal. Have you met the Jesus who walked on the earth and rose from the dead? If so, you too can say, “He is risen.” Plus, in a culture of hopelessness, you will “be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…”(1 Peter 1:3-4).