Let me ask you a question. What motivates you to be in church today? Is there something different that has compelled you to come to service this morning but not last week or next week? Why would you believe that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is important to celebrate today, but not next Sunday, or every other day of the week for that matter?

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a message about life, not a religion. Religion is like putting makeup up on a corpse. It gives the appearance of the body being alive, but in reality that person is dead. The Bible is filled with stories of individuals who were religious before they became followers of Jesus Christ. Nicodemus in John 3:1-18, and Paul in Philippians 3:4-14 are two notable cases.

Following Jesus Christ is a matter of the heart, based on our acceptance with God through faith in the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:3-14), not a new set of rules or obligations that we are required to meet to get right with God. When engaged in a conversation about “religion” with the woman at the well, Jesus changed the subject from one of ancestry and religion to the kind of worship that The Father is looking for in Spirit and in truth (John 4:20-24). Jesus pointed out that it is possible for people to be meticulously religious and draw near to Him with their mouth, and honor Him with their lips, but be far from Him in their hearts (Matthew 15:8,9).

I am by no means saying that just because a person “comes to church” that makes them right in the sight of God. But I am saying that when a person is right with God through faith in the perfect sacrifice of The Lord Jesus Christ, they are not simply going to “attend” church for the sake of being there. Nevertheless, coming to church to worship God, to hear His Word and to fellowship with other believers, is a vital part of following Jesus Christ (Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:24-25).

Belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is life-changing (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a message of divine deliverance (1 Peter 1:3) from the powers of darkness that once controlled me into the kingdom of God’s dear Son (Colossians 1:13). Following Jesus is a new way of living. The gospel is indeed the good news that: “God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:11,12)

Do you have life in Jesus or religion, my friend? Religion is ruled by the calendar and ritual (Colossians 2:16). Christianity is all about the power of God at work in your life (Romans 8:10-15) “both to will and do of His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)