BY BILL REAGAN
The single most important thing ever to happen is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Even if you don’t believe it happened, it is still the most important thing.
World history was changed that Easter morning. Those disciples who found the tomb empty started telling everyone they could about it. Within a space of 300 years the majority of the population of Rome, the greatest empire the earth had ever seen, embraced the significance of the Resurrection. A society and culture that had worshiped many gods and conquered large portions of three continents was conquered itself by the message of Jesus and came to worship Him as the only God.
Western language, culture, history, art and philosophy are based on the assumption that Jesus really did rise from the dead. Even the thinking of those who reject the Christian faith is based, not on some neutral or independent principle, but on refuting the significance of this event.
The followers of Jesus have made great contributions to world culture. Many great scientific achievements have been made by pious men and women who by their study of nature sought to dis-cover the glory of God. Modern democracy is rooted in the faith of great men and women who understood that “certain inalienable rights” come from God, not a king.
Jesus’ followers have not always done what they should have. Wars have been fought against unbelievers and between groups of believers — and in His Name. The spiritual message of Christ has been forced on some by coercive means. Powerful interests to this day use the accumulated wealth of the institutional church to impede progress, cover up scandal and even abuse.
About one third of the world’s population finds hope in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Since that first Easter morning believers have greeted one another with the words of the angel, “He is risen.”
He is. Indeed.
Bill Reagan is executive director of Loaves & Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley.