Tag Archives: the resurrection

November 15 – He Is Risen Indeed!

Luke 24; J0hn 20-21

The risen Savior appeared to His disciples and invited them to touch His body. They were not seeing a vision. They were in the presence of Jesus, alive and well.

As you read the last chapters of the Gospels you’ll see Jesus walking and talking and sharing meals with people… after the cross. Many people were witnesses to the miracle of the resurrection of Christ.

One exchange between Peter and the resurrected Jesus got me thinking today. First, Jesus allowed Peter to confess his love for the Lord three times, to equal the three denials Peter had uttered while Jesus was on trial. I love how Jesus loves!

Then Jesus told Peter a little about his future. It doesn’t seem like Peter had much to say about what he’d heard. He looked at John instead, and asked Jesus: What about him?

Let’s consider Jesus’ answer as recorded in John 21:22:

If I want him (John) to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!

Sometimes we’re tempted to compare ourselves to other people. Maybe we rationalize that we’re not as bad as so-and-so, so we must be ok. Or we get jealous if we think someone is blessed more than us. Some people use imperfect Christians as an excuse for not accepting the Savior. The question they ask is, “What about them?”

Hear Jesus say: Don’t worry about them. YOU follow me. YOU!

Jesus died on the cross for sinners, of which you and I are two. Then after three days, He got up from that grave and lived once again. He defeated sin and death, and lives today.

He is risen. He is risen indeed!

Do you believe it? Do YOU believe it? Then YOU follow Him. Don’t worry about anyone else. They have nothing to do with YOUR response to the Savior.

November 14 – He Is Risen!

Matthew 28; Mark 16

Jesus is alive. The One who died on that cross got up from the grave and showed Himself to many people. Oh, some say it isn’t true. The guards were paid to say the disciples stole the body, and many people still believe that today.

Some say Jesus wasn’t really dead. It was an elaborate hoax executed by Jesus and the disciples. But it’s hard to explain away the water and blood that poured out of the dead body of Jesus when the soldier ran Him through with his sword. It’s hard to refute the eyewitness accounts of His death and burial.

They have trouble explaining how so many people could report seeing, talking to, and eating with Jesus after He died. But many people choose to believe the feeble explanations.

People can try to theorize about how it is Jesus pulled off such an impressive hoax. But the truth of the matter is, Jesus died, and then lived. He died. And then lived.

If you know Him, doesn’t that Truth make your heart soar? Jesus is alive! The tomb is empty because Jesus rose from the grave to live again.

Oh, what a wonderful Savior! Praise God! He is risen!

March 27 – How long?

Joshua 16-18

God had given the land to the Jews. All they had to do was take it. Some tribes went right in and cleaned out the cities in order to occupy what God had given them.

Other tribes held back. Joshua asked them: How long will you put off entering to take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your Fathers, has given you?” (18:3)

It’s Easter Sunday morning. Jesus is alive! His death on the cross bought our salvation. He was buried to carry our sins all the way to hell, separated from the Father.

But He rose again, and offers us new life. Eternal life. A life free of guilt and hopelessness. He did that for me. He did that for you.

Some people have accepted God’s provision. We’ve repented of sin and allowed Jesus to be our Savior, the very thing He was born to be.

Others stand there looking at the gift, like the Jews in Joshua 18 stood looking at the land. But they just haven’t taken that step toward accepting what Jesus bought for them, what He freely offers to them with open arms.

God is saying to you, “How long will you put off taking possession of what is already yours? How long will you refuse what Jesus died to give you?”

Dearest Jesus, we celebrate You today. We sing about the fact that you defeated death itself by dying, then living again. That tomb is empty. We praise You. We worship You. I pray for any reading this blog who are still standing there with that precious gift in front of them. May they reach out and accept what you have already paid for. May they repent of sin this minute, and allow You to forgive them, that which you are so eager to do. May each of us know the blessed reality of having the risen Savior walking with us today.

Ripped

I was reading Mark 15 this morning, Peter’s account of Jesus’ crucification as told through Mark. It occurred to me that Peter set down the facts pretty much without much emotion: Jesus was hung on a cross, people mocked him, Pilate’s sign “King of the Jews” made the chief priests really mad, the sky darkened, people thought Jesus was calling for Elijah, then he died.

Concise and to the point.

Mark even includes a sentence that is easily overlooked: “Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom”. (vs 38) Nothing more is said of this event in the book of Mark. Just the fact that it happened.

That blows me away. God ripped that veil in two like I might tear a piece of paper.

Have you ever held a mortgage or a car loan? You are enslaved to that piece of paper that holds the terms of the agreement. You think about it every month as you write that check, chipping away at the debt with every payment.

Then, one day you write the last check. The house or the car is finally yours. Debt paid! Did you take  your copy of the mortgage and rip it in two? How did that feel? Did you experience a sense of freedom, relief, joy?

Paid in full! That house, or that car, is mine!!!

I think that’s a little how God must have felt when he was finally able to rip that curtain apart. That curtain separated him from us. God could not have easy access to us until that curtain came down. But Jesus died on that cross, paid the full price, and now there is no more curtain. Until today I don’t think I ever considered the significance of that from God’s point of view.

What joy he must have experienced as he felt and heard that material rip apart.

Yes, the ripping of that curtain allows us to approach the throne of God. But it also allows God to live in us, walk with us, talk to us and guide us in a personal, precious way. God created us to fellowship with him, but sin separated us. In the Old Testament we read that God instructed Moses to put up a curtain so that we could get as close to God as possible while we still owed our debt. He could only communicate with his people through the prophets. And there were years when God didn’t communicate at all.

But when Jesus paid the price… in full… there was no need for the curtain. I think God must have been pretty excited about that.

As we prepare to celebrate Easter, Jesus death on the cross and his resurrection, let’s also be aware of the privilege that is ours through the ripping apart of that veil. God has access to me and I to him because my sin debt is paid.

Dearest Father, thank you for occasionally letting us in on what you are feeling. Sometimes we think it’s all about us and we forget that you have a stake in our lives, too. I thank you for Jesus, for his death on the cross, for what his sacrifice gives me. But let me remember what it gave you, too. You love us so completely. For thousands of years your dealings with us were from behind the curtain. It must have brought you great joy to rip that curtain in two. Thank you for wanting to walk with me so much. May I never take this privilege for granted.

November 29

I Corinthians 14:1-15:34

Much of the Gospel is based on the reality that God raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus died, was buried, rose again after three drays, and appeared to hundreds of people as the risen Savior. That is the truth. It’s exactly what happened. 

Jesus defeated death and, because of that, death no longer holds the same sting it once had. Even in the death of a loved one, we have hope. And our hope is built on Jesus, who once was dead, and who lives today.

We celebrated Thanksgiving without Dad and Geoff again yesterday. For the second year we felt the hole left in this family gathering. There was laughter and love, great food, and silly games. We cheered my great-niece on as she took a few wobbly steps. We are a family who truly loves being together.

But Dad and Geoff were missed. Even as I was very aware that these two precious men weren’t with us yesterday, I could picture them with Jesus. They are able to look Jesus in the eye and give their thanks. Death did not end their lives. They are truly living today.

That is our hope, our assurance in Christ. When a person gives their heart to the Lord, death becomes a door into a glorious eternity with God. We will see our loved ones again. I am so thankful that they new the Savior and, in doing so, gave us the greatest gift they could give us. That is the ability to rest, knowing they are with the Lord. That’s something to be truly thankful for!

Father, thank you for defeating death. We no longer fear dying when we know you as Savior. What is beyond the veil is unimaginably wonderful. I’m glad Dad and Geoff are with you and that we have the promise to see them again, to worship you right beside them. Mom is there. Grandpa and Grandma, Aunts and Uncles who loved you during this lifetime. Oh, that everyone reading this blog today would have the same assurance, the same hope. May Moms and Dads, brothers and sisters, friends, give their loved ones this precious hope by giving their hearts to you.