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A Radical Exchange

In these trying times, we must remember that our hope lies in Christ, and Christ alone. This April we will be celebrating our most important holiday, the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Without this, there is no hope. This has been referred to as The Great Exchange.

I've heard this term in sermons many times as different pastors shared their hearts about the accomplishment that Christ performed on our behalf. The exchange of his hope for my hopelessness. But recently I started taking that statement to heart and making it personal. So, what does the Great Exchange really l mean to me?

For me, labeling what Christ did as great is drastically insufficient in describing what the Son of God did for me. For me, it was a radical exchange!

It's only in surrender that I am truly free

All that I am for all that you are.

(Rend Collective: All that I am)

In 1 Corinthians 15 lies the complete and most concise description of the Gospel in all of scripture.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 ESV

All of this was done according to what was declared generations earlier. And while the work done on the cross on our behalf secured our salvation, it's the resurrection that gives you and I hope. Jesus paid our debt with his life, and the resurrection shows the the check cleared.

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

1 Corinthians 15:12-19 ESV

The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is the evidence that salvation and eternal life are a reality. So if the resurrection is not true, nothing is. However if that is indeed true, that changes everything.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:20-21 ESV

Because of this we have a tremendous hope. Even though we can only see through the mirror dimly I have faith that everything will finally make sense (2 Corinthians 13:12). This means that all of the pain that I am enduring today will one day cease. This means that my wife, confined to a wheelchair since a motorcycle accident in 1980, will one day walk again. The resurrection is the evidence for the hope that all of us, as authentic followers as Jesus Christ, have.

On the grave of a young child, Matthew Stanford Robison, is a sculpture commissioned by the young boy's father, Ernest Robison, that I feel illustrates beautifully how much the promise of resurrection means to Christians today. And since Jesus did in fact rise from the dead, this is a promise that everything that anyone might be going through today won't even compare to what is waiting for us on the other side. Go to to learn more Matthew and the his father.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4 ESV

Consider the words from this hymn from 1834.

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus' blood and righteousness

I dare not trust the sweetest frame

But wholly lean on Jesus' name

On Christ the solid rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand

All other ground is sinking sand

When darkness veils his lovely face

I rest on His unchanging grace

In every high and stormy gale

My anchor holds within the veil

His oath, his covenant, his blood

Supports me in the 'whelming flood

When all around my soul gives way

He then is all my hope and stay

On Christ the solid rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand

All other ground is sinking sand

(My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less by Robert Critchley)

This is what kept the Apostle Paul going forward regardless of what he was enduring, and let his words to the church in Corinth bring joy and peace to your heart;

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV

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