And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:14
Have you ever heard of the "Miracle of the Holy Fire"?
The Miracle of the Holy Fire is an event which has been documented for over 1,000 years. For those of you who are unacquainted with the Holy Fire, let me explain: each year, on Holy Saturday at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Orthodox Patriarch removes his robe and enters the chapel where tradition says Jesus was buried.
A short time later he hands to those who are waiting outside a bundle of burning tapers.
More candles are lit from his, and still more candles are lit from those. Soon, the whole, crowded church is ablaze with candled fire. The flame is considered so blessed that it is often kept burning as the pilgrims return to their home countries.
Now you're probably wondering what is the miracle? The miracle is this: many people believe the flame miraculously occurs without any human effort. Yes, I know -- you think the Orthodox Patriarch has hidden away some matches or a Zippo lighter.
I don't know about that. I do know the Israeli authorities search the Patriarch to make sure there are no such shenanigans.
Now I am not qualified to investigate, nor have I been asked to give an opinion on the veracity of the Holy Fire. In truth, when it comes to being given a saving faith, the Holy Fire isn't important. You don't have to have an opinion about it.
On the other hand, every person needs to have a position on the miracle of the Savior's resurrection. Faith in the once-crucified but ever-living Lord is of incredible, even eternal, importance. That's what St. Paul was trying to convey to the church in Corinth when he wrote: "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" (1 Corinthians 15:17-18).
Paul knew that if Jesus remained dead, all hope in His being the Savior was also dead.
On the other hand, if Jesus' resurrection miracle is a reality (and it is), then everything else Jesus claims, all the promises He made, can also be believed.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that I may continue to believe in the resurrection of the Redeemer. No matter what the world may say, may I always acknowledge Christ crucified and risen. In the Name of my living Lord I pray it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries