You either believe in the resurrection or you don't. The resurrection is the centerpiece of the Christian faith. Without it, our preaching, teaching, Bible reading and church–going is all in vain. It is possible to not believe in the resurrection and still look like a Christian. However, it is impossible to not believe the resurrection and be a Christian. There is no maybe. There is no middle ground. There is no centrist view. If you don't believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, you're not a Christian.
So, what is the birthplace of passion? The disciples walking along the Emmaus road were confused, hurt, and devastated. They “had hoped He was the one who was going to redeem Israel,” but their hope turned to despair as they watched Jesus bleed. Other disciples were hidden, locked in a room, fearing that they too would be captured and killed.
And yet, turn a few pages in your Bible to the book of Acts, the sequel to Luke, and see the disciples boldly proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ to magistrates, proconsuls, angry stone–throwing crowds, and the very Pharisees who had Jesus killed. What gave them their courage? What gave them their passion?
Simply put, the resurrection was proof to the disciples, is proof to us, that Jesus has power over death, hell and the grave.
We can study Jesus and live by His example. We can imitate His behavior. We can look like a Christ–follower. But to be a courageous, passionate Christ–follower we must be radically changed by an encounter with the Living Christ. Could it be we are not passionate because we don't believe that He is raised? Could it be that we are still walking along the road confused, hurt and devastated when His abundant life waits rise up in us?
Jesus is alive. Take courage. Live with passion.