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Resurrection Every Day
"Why does the resurrection specifically matter? It matters because it's true and it changes everything." — Vera Schmitz

As Christians, the resurrection can sometimes seem like something we only focus on at Easter, but the resurrection of Jesus has implications that reach far beyond an Easter Sunday church service. Join Vera Schmitz and Natalie Abbott, co-founders of Dwell Differently, as they talk about why the resurrection matters and makes a difference in our everyday lives. Don’t miss Vera’s book recommendations and the question about the resurrection she has for Natalie—maybe you’ve wondered about it before too! 

APRIL DWELL VERSE

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. — Matthew 28:6a

LINKS FROM THE SHOW

Little Pilgrim's Progress by Helen L. Taylor

The Reason for God by Tim Keller

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT: Hey, welcome back to the Dwell Differently podcast. I'm your host, Natalie Abbott, and today we are talking about the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. (READ MORE)

Do you want to share our verse? You do it.

Vera: Sure, I'll do it. It comes from Matthew in chapter 28:6. It's the first part of the verse, and it says, “He is not here. He has risen, just as he said.”

Natalie: Okay. So let's tackle a couple questions here. The first one being, “Why does the resurrection matter?”

Vera: That's no, simple question.

Natalie: It's not, it's not. It's, it's sort of is like the central [00:01:00] thing that Christians believe, We believe that there was this guy who was both God and man who came to Earth, died on a cross, rose again and ascended into heaven.

Vera: That's some gnarly stuff. Like that's a pretty, that's gnarly. That's gnarly to believe.

Natalie: It kind of is guys, I mean like we kind of get accustomed to it and we're like, “Oh yeah, this is totally, it's not a big deal.” But like, if you really think about it,

Vera: It's a lot.

Natalie: It's a lot. It's a lot. But it really, really matters that this happened, right?

Natalie: So why does the resurrection specifically matter?

Vera: Why does the resurrection specifically matter? It matters because either it's true and it changes everything about how I see myself, how I relate to other people and what I believe happens past this life. If anything happens. [00:02:00] It matters for what I do and how I live and am every single day. Every single moment. Who is it for? Why does it matter? All of that, I oftentimes think about how I believe this to be true, and if I didn't believe it to be true, if I thought, ‘Hmm, that, that probably didn't happen. That's a wild belief to have.’ If I didn't believe it, I'd be believing something else and I probably would choose to whatever I wanted. If Jesus didn't raise from the dead then I get to make my own set of rules. I get to decide what's right and wrong. I get to be selfish and there shouldn't be any repercussion because who says that's
not the right thing to do? So when I say I believe in the resurrection, it changes everything. It really does.

Natalie: Yeah. I think that there [00:03:00] are some huge implications for us as believers that if the resurrection didn't happen and, and you know, my husband's a pastor and honestly has had conversations with other pastors, quote, unquote pastors who don't believe in the resurrection, which totally blew my mind. Like, how can you call yourself a Christian at all if the resurrection didn't happen? Right? Because I don't think we get that option to be Christians who are just like Christians in the sense that we believe in the things Jesus taught morally and yet we don't necessarily buy sort of this miraculous, he was God, he paid the price for our sins. He had to defeat death for us. That sort of thing. It's more of like a metaphor. If you don't
believe in the resurrection, like it's a helpful thing, but I don't really think the Bible gives us that option.

Vera: And that's kind of my point. It's like, if I don't believe in the [00:04:00] resurrection, if I'm looking for helpful teaching in my life, I'm not going to look for the helpful teaching that says ‘Take up your cross. There's gonna be suffering. The world is hard. Like, lay down your life for other people. Be kind till it hurts.’ Like I'm not gonna choose that.

Natalie: Well, yeah, and I think, I think that's the problem though, is that, sometimes we come to our Bibles—I do this. I mean, I think we all do this and we just want to believe the parts that feel good to us. Right? We just want to hold on to those
things that are like, you know, ‘Don't judge others because otherwise, you know, you too will be judged.’ Like, that's a good one. I like that one. Or, you know, just this idea that, golden rule of treat others as you would have them to treat you. I want people to treat me like that, right? So there are certain things that I think are palatable to us as humans, and then there are other things that are just like, whoa.[00:05:00]. Like, if we read the whole Bible it doesn't give us the option. If we read the whole Bible, then you know, the central figure, Jesus, is either crazy because he thinks he's God or he's a liar because he says he's God or he's God. Those are the three only options that the Bible gives. And if the resurrection didn't happen, then it has to be those other two. It has to be that Jesus is crazy. Or a liar.

Vera: Yeah. And so for me, if I'm not going to believe in the resurrection, then I'm going to go, I'm going to do my own thing, probably. I'm going to be the Lord of my own life and make my own choices and choose what I think is right and what feels right. That’s always going to be changing. But if the resurrection happened, if it really, really did, which is gnarly, I know it sounds crazy to believe, but that's what we're faced with. We either believe it or we don't. And if we believe it, it affects and changes everything for us.

Natalie: Yeah. It does because if the resurrection happens, it confirms Jesus. It affirms that every promise he made, like our verse says, “Just as he said, he rose from the dead.” Just as he said like he promised this was going to happen. All these prophecies in the Old Testament promise this is going to happen. Right? Jesus himself was looking towards the cross. He knew he was going to lay down his life for his friends. Right? There's no greater love than that. That's what he tells his friends. He knows this is what he's going to do and that he is going to conquer death. Because he is the way, the truth and the life, what he says about himself.

So the resurrection, is so central and also the ascension, right? Sometimes I think we live in the shadow of the crucifixion as Christians. So for those of us who do, we are Christians. We believe in the perfect life, the death and the resurrection, and the ascension of Jesus, right? I think sometimes we either live in the perfect life where we're like, okay, we've got to do all these good things. We need to live like Jesus. What would Jesus do? Or we live in the shame of the shadow of the cross, like, Jesus paid the penalty for my sin and therefore I need to live up to that.

And neither of those things are Gospel. Do you ever feel yourself struggling like that, Vera? Like, like practically you're living that
way?

Vera: Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, I tend to [00:08:00] more times than not. It’s rare that I'm actually in the middle.

It's so human of us to be in one of the two places of either trying to be perfect or in the midst of being perfect, then I mess up and then
I am in my shame. And then I try again to be perfect. And then I'm back in my shame, you know? To actually walk in the way of believing in the truth that Jesus was raised from the dead. That's home base. And I think a lot of times when we mess up and we come before the cross, it's like we confess our sin, but we don't then get back to home base of actually believing, okay, yeah, I messed up. I've confessed my sin, but now I'm back on the way where I want to be, you know?

Which is believing that Jesus was raised from the dead, which gives me hope, which gives me power over sin, [00:09:00] which gives me direction for my life. All of that is true if Jesus raised from the dead.

So, I'm currently reading, the Little Pilgrim's Progress, which I've never read Pilgrim's Progress, the actual adult version. But, actually April, our CEO was like, “You gotta get the little Pilgrim's Progress.” And I was like, okay, I'm gonna buy it. And so I've been reading it to my five year old at night and literally both of us, it's like, it's our favorite part of the day. We sit down, we're like, is this the best part of your day?

He's like, yeah, this is the best part of my day. I'm like, me too. And we read a couple chapters, but the whole idea is this little mouse that he is on the way to the King City, and it's this super straight and narrow path. And the cool thing about the book is the way it's written, you kind of are zooming out and you're seeing more than what is going on for the little mouse.

So the little mouse is down in living in the world with the actual physical world [00:10:00] and he's tempted to come off the path or he sees something scary ahead of him and he forgets that the king is with him and that he doesn't need to be afraid. And you're watching this and I'm imagining myself if I were watching a movie of my life right now and I zoomed out and there's little Vera and she's trying to stay on the straight and narrow way to the king.

If I could see all the spiritual things that are going on around me, it would change how I walk on that path if I could see everything. But we can't. Right? That's where we live in this tension of believing what the Bible says to be true and what we actually see with our eyes.

And so I love this because it, it's just such a great reminder. This is why we're memorizing this. It seems like some short little verse—the Easter
verse, but the point is we need to [00:11:00] remind ourselves if this is true, there's so much more going on and we all of this power and forgiveness. Truth and light and wisdom that is ours on our little path. That's what I'm thinking about.

Natalie: Yeah. There's a couple of verses in 1st Corinthians 15 that says, “If only for this life, we have hope in Christ. We are of all people most to be pitied, but Christ has indeed been raised from the dead. The first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” There's a promise for us. Jesus has fulfilled the promise that he said he was going to do. Right? He has risen just as he has said, right? He's not here. He's not in the tomb. He's risen. He said he was going to do that.

And if he is indeed raised from the dead, he is the first fruits or the promise of what is yet to come for us, right? That Jesus didn't just die and was resurrected, but he also [00:12:00] ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand at the Father. And he sent the Holy Spirit to live in us, you know, little pilgrims, and to lead us and guide us in the right way and to give us the ability to overcome sin.

And so it's in Christ, we are not pitiable because Christ is indeed who he said he was. He fulfilled his every promise, and we can trust because he fulfilled his past promises that he is going to continue to fulfill the future promises that he has for us. That if I go, I'm going to prepare a place for you.

Right? And there he is. The place is prepared. And when we die, we don't just die and our bodies go into the ground. And that's the end of the story, right? We believe in the resurrection. He says, I am the resurrection and the life. If you believe in me, then even though you die, you still will live.

And he, he says, ‘Do you believe this?’ [00:13:00] in John when he's talking with Lazarus's sister. So, the idea is that if we believe that Jesus is the resurrection, he gives us his resurrection. He gives us this life, not just for eternity, but we already have
it in us, living in us because we have the Holy Spirit.

We have him and his resurrection life inside of us that that undefeatable life that he has, he has given it to us so the resurrection matters.

Vera: That's a lot. Okay, two things. One, I'm going to plug something and then two, I have a really deep question. Okay?

Natalie: Okay.

Vera: Okay. For some of you guys, you might be in more of a skeptical camp, or maybe you're one of
the folks that Natalie was talking about earlier about, I don't actually really believe in the resurrection, but I've really always liked this Jesus guy.

[00:14:00] It can be hard to believe. So I just want to let you know, there's, there's no judgment here. But there are ways to know about whether or not this happened. And so in Natalie's first episode, you can go back and listen, she talks about, what's the word?

Natalie: The historicity.

Vera: The historicity and the believability of whether or not this, this actually happened.

Okay. So I'm even reading this book right now. It's called The Reason For God by Tim Keller, and he makes this really compelling, argument for why historically we can believe in the resurrection. So if you've ever been there and you've questioned that, bring your questions.

It can be talked about. So anyway. Yeah, listen to that first episode. Get that book. It's like literally one of my favorite books. So that's my first little point, but then I have a really deep question. Are you ready? I don't know if you're going to know the answer. You ready? Okay, after [00:15:00] Jesus dies, the girls go to the tomb. The stone is rolled back. There are angels hanging out. And they walk up and his bed clothes are folded. It literally says like it's all folded up. His clothes are folded up. Every time I read that I'm like, but why though? Why, why are clothes folded?

Natalie: I love that this is your question.

Vera: Well, I'm always confused. It seems like such a small little detail. Why is it of all the things you could talk about, Jesus literally just did the most miraculous thing and we're talking about his clothes are folded up? Tell me more.

Natalie: Okay, let me just answer this for you because I'm a mom and all the moms already know this answer. Because Jesus was perfect and he wasn't going to get out of his bed and
not make it. Okay?

Vera: Somehow. I feel like that's not true.

Or it could be. It could be. [00:16:00] It could be the answer.

Natalie: I mean, I like that answer. I think it's a good answer. No, that's just the answer that I have as a mom, but realistically, the Bible includes weird details because these are eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses who wrote these accounts, right? So if
you're telling a story to somebody, I mean, my husband gets onto me about this all the time. When I tell stories, he's like, “Can you get to the point? Like, why did you tell me that?” I just follow this weird winding path. And certain writers in the Bible actually are more winding than others and tell even more details. But the reason we know that these are real accounts of people who have seen real things is because they include weird details.

Like that Mary thought that they were talking to the gardener. Why would they tell you that they thought they were talking to the gardener? That's
a completely useless detail, and yet they say that. So not to say that Jesus folding his clothes afterwards, or an angel coming and folding the clothes or [00:17:00] the clothes miraculously being folded right after Jesus rose from the dead, doesn't matter. It matters in the sense
that it makes this seem like a more valid, truthful telling of the story because somebody who didn't actually see the clothes folded is not going to make up that weird detail. Right? Cause it makes people like us go, “Why are they folded? Why did they include that?” Right?

Vera: I just imagine the girls running back to their friends and they're like, “You're not going to believe this. The tombs rolled back. There are angels sitting in there. Jesus is not there. And get this, his clothes were folded!” It just cracks me up every time. I had to ask if you, and I like your answer, so there you go.

Natalie: Yeah. Pure evidence of his perfection right there. Also, I like to think about it too, that for us it means everything and it's crazy and it's miraculous and all these things, but for him, he gets up, he's like, all right, I should fold my, my clothes, you know, no big deal. Oh, [00:18:00]
but yes, the resurrection, it happened. It matters, and it makes the world of difference about everything that we believe as Christians. It should really, really affect us. And like Vera said, you can go back and listen— actually, I would recommend listening to the last episode with Rebecca McLaughlin. She is an expert on all things Christian apologetics or explaining your faith. She wrote, Confronting Christianity, and it gives you 12 weird things about Christianity, like 12 things that the world's biggest religion should answer.

And so if you wanted to read that, that's another great resource for you, or listen to that episode. But either way, the resurrection matters. The ascension matters. The crucifixion matters. Jesus', perfect life matters. And here's the crazy thing. You matter. Even though God is God, and
God is above [00:19:00] all things, and He did all of this, he did all of this because you mattered to him and he wanted you.

Natalie: Amen. All right y'all, thanks for joining us. We love you and we'll be back here again every week, every Wednesday. Here we are.

Vera: We'll be back. All right, bye.

Dwell Blog/Podcast Featured Content

Vera Schmitz & Natalie Abbott

Vera and Natalie are sisters and co-founders of Dwell. Together they create the images and content that help you memorize and meditate on one verse every month.

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