(4/4 of “Resurrection on Parade” – see previous posts if you’re lost)
This Resurrection Parade is meant to be a parade that transforms lives across:
- national &
- continental boundaries.
The parade is to go into all nations to proclaim this Good News.
That’s one parade I want to be a part of.
I want to be a part of the Resurrection on Parade. It’s the parade that has Christ as the Grand Marshal. It’s the parade that Jesus calls us to join, march in, and celebrate the defeat of sin and death.
Parades are meant to bring celebration to people. The Resurrection Parade isn’t for us to show off that we’re right. It’s not for us to throw it back into our critics’ faces like spiritual versions of Shriners who squirt water into the crowd.
We’re to emulate the Royal Grand Marshal who steps down off of His platform to extend His invitation to join the parade.
In one of his letters to some ancient people, St. Paul talks about how our faith is meaningless and useless if there is no resurrection of Christ or of His followers.
1 Corinthians 15:12-14 and 17 — If it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
Our faith in Christ the Son of God is useless if we can’t get past the “I can’t believe it’s not butter” moment and jump headfirst into The Resurrection Parade.
If the only reaction we have to the Easter Resurrection is without action in this world, our critics are going to be right about us—and ultimately, that reflects on Jesus.
In our country, bashing Christ followers is an increasingly popular thing to do. Check out 100 different blogs, tune into different TV shows. Criticism of Christians seems to have no end.
People are watching our parade; they think it’s boring. Others watch and they don’t see the kind of action we are supposedly known to be about. And they don’t want to join a boring and meaningless parade.
But, our parade should be the parade that convinces the
- the unmoved
to join The Resurrection Parade.
Our parade should be the one that gets people excited! Our parade should be the one that makes people want to not only come see The Resurrection procession, but something that they want to join, too!
The Living Christ is knocking at the door to our hearts saying, “Come join the Resurrection Parade.” But often times, we answer with “I’m busy” or we don’t know the parade is even happening.
I think this relates to how much poverty and sickness there is in the world. I think it relates to how much injustice, corruption, greed, and oppressive forces that exist in our world.
Christ followers around the world haven’t made the parade about the right stuff. The Resurrection Parade proclaims that the body of Christ will take care of others. The Resurrection Parade proclaims freedom from oppression!
Maybe the reason I hate parades is that I’ve never been part of one that had any meaning to me. If the Cubs won the World Series, I would want to be at that parade. But, since that doesn’t seem as realistic as Jesus resurrecting from the dead, I want to join HIS parade.
Gary Haugen is the founder of an organization called The International Justice Mission, an organization is made up of lawyers, investigative specialists, and local law enforcement officials who work to free people in bonded labor — modern day slavery. The International Justice Mission works in countries throughout South America, Africa, and Asia. In his book about his work, Haugen tells the story about a raid conducted in Cambodia to free children forced into prostitution. This brothel was using over 25 underage girls. He talks about his relationship with Jesus and the faith of his co-workers as the reason for why they worked to free these girls from oppression. The way he talks about carrying a 5 year old girl from captivity into freedom and the joy he felt is exactly what The Resurrection Parade is all about.
Back in February and March of 2010, our Student Ministry went through a series that looked at people living in bonded labor—modern day slavery. At the end of the series, I issued a challenge to the students to free someone in forced labor. It costs the International Justice Mission $1,000 to free people in forced prostitution.
I was never prouder when our group said that we are going to take a stand and start a student-led drive to raise money to free people in bonded labor.
Christians in the first few centuries were known for how repentance and forgiveness led to spiritual and social change.
- Christ followers rescued babies who were left to die by parents who didn’t want them.
- They nursed people with the plague back to health when the Roman world wanted to forget about those people.
And, do you know what those babies and sickly people did when the Christians took them in? They joined The Resurrection Parade!
How incredible would it be to say that you’re involved in The Resurrection Parade where you see:
- People freed from the bondage of their material things
- Former substance addicts waving, exclaiming “Look at me! Freed by the Resurrection of Jesus!”
- People freed from bonded labor (modern-day slavery) waving at us
- People who helped free former slaves
Wouldn’t it be amazing to be a part of a parade like that? Our lives are to be lived in celebration as a part of this magnificent parade.
If the Resurrection Christ is alive in us, if He is born in our hearts, He calls us to march in the parade for the Kingdom of God.
Join The Resurrection Parade.
May you see The Resurrection Parade in all of its glory. May you not only see it, but may you get up and join in on the march.
NOW – Go in peace, join The Resurrection Parade, and shake it up, baby!