Many people are posting on social media today and listing all the things for which they are thankful. It is, after all, Thanksgiving Day.

As I look over the lists that include family, freedom, finances, football, and food, there’s something missing. Some lists include God the Father and Jesus and even the Holy Spirit, but I soon began to search for a list that included the one thing I am most grateful for; the one thing that gives meaning and purpose to life; the one thing that gives us hope.

The Resurrection!

Jesus conquered death.

He was crucified – the most torturous punishment of its time – even though he was innocent of any wrongdoing. The Roman soldiers put spikes through his wrists and feet and watched as he began to suffocate, finally thrusting a spear into his side to make sure he was really dead. They buried him.

But death could not defeat Jesus. He did exactly what he said he would do: He came back to life – a miracle witnessed by his closest friends and 400 of his followers.

Jesus’ resurrection is the number one thing for which I am most grateful. There is no number two or three or four. Only the empty grave.

Without Jesus’ victory over death there would be no hope and certainly nothing to celebrate on Thanksgiving.