Why the Resurrection Matters

By now you’ve probably read or heard about the horrific events that occurred in Egypt this past Sunday. Two suicide bombers walked in to two separate churches leaving 43 dead and over 100 wounded. It was a sad and sobering Palm Sunday.

I ran across an article[i] by John L. Allen, Jr. originally published in 2013 in The Spectator. The magazine ran it again after the events this past Sunday as it was as true today as it was then.

In the article, Allen says, “According to the International Society for Human Rights, a secular observatory based in Frankfurt, Germany, 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians. Statistically speaking, that makes Christians by far the most persecuted religious body on the planet.” Allen’s thesis in his article is that the scope and scale of this persecution is largely underreported.   He goes on to list examples of such persecution.

One such example is North Korea, which is much in the news these days. Allen writes:

North Korea is widely considered the most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian, where roughly a quarter of the country’s 200,000 to 400,000 Christians are believed to be living in forced labour camps for their refusal to join the national cult around founder Kim Il Sung. The anti-Christian animus is so strong that people with Christian grandparents are frozen out of the most important jobs — even though Kim Il Sung’s mother was a Presbyterian deaconess. Since the armistice in 1953 that stabilised the division of the peninsula, some 300,000 Christians in North Korea have disappeared and are presumed dead.

These are sad and disquieting statistics to be sure. This also makes the reality of the resurrection so powerful. Jesus conquered death. His resurrection guarantees our own and gives vivid proof to the hope of eternal life. As we come to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection this Lord’s Day, let’s pray for suffering believers worldwide. Let’s pray that the sure and secure hope of the resurrection fuels their own faithfulness. Let’s pray that they will not despair but that God, by His Spirit, would give them the comfort rooted in the resurrection. That’s why the resurrection matters.