When Jesus was accosted by a crowd armed with swords and clubs in the garden of Gethsemane, His disciples scattered and hid. They cowered in fear. Peter denied Jesus three times. Yet a few days later, these same men spoke boldly testifying to seeing Jesus alive. They stood firm preaching that Jesus had been raised from the dead. Women testified seeing and conversing with Jesus. Five hundred people witnessed Jesus alive, and He appeared over a period of forty days before ascending into Heaven.
How did a rag-tag group of followers all of the sudden become bold enough to speak to those who had just crucified Jesus? How did they go from fear to incredible confidence? Why did they willingly endure imprisonments, beatings, torture, and horrible deaths?
Because they knew, they believed, they witnessed, and they experienced Jesus.
You too can know and experience Jesus. He died and rose again for you—to give you an opportunity to be forgiven and have a relationship with God.
Good works, church membership, denominations, religiosity, good family history, etc. won’t get you into Heaven. Even saying you believe in God isn’t enough. The Bible says, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (James 2:19). Even the demons believe God exists.
So what do you do? The apostle Paul put it pretty plainly … If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved. ~ Romans 10:9-10.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. And when you believe, when you accept Jesus into your heart, your life will never be the same. Christianity (following Christ) is not a list of rules to follow, but freedom to live life fully in tune with our awesome God. Fear is replaced with confidence. Cowardice is replaced with boldness. And you are given a new life—new, eternal, restored, renewed, recreated life in Jesus Christ.
Easter is over, but the truth and consequences of the resurrection is eternal.
Will you believe?
Remember, whatever you believe has eternal consequences.
I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was beaten and crucified on a cross for our sins. I believe He died and rose again on the third day, defeating death and opening a path for forgiveness, mercy, and fellowship with God. I don’t worship an idol, object, idea, thought, church, or antiquity; I worship the risen Lord, Jesus Christ. I’ve given my heart, body, soul, and mind to Christ Jesus. His Spirit dwells within me. My belief is not based on a feeling or an emotion, but based on fact. I know whom I have believed.
Matthew 26:36-75, Matthew 28:1-10, John 8:34-36, John 14: 6, Acts 1:1-11, Acts 2:14-2, Acts 4:1-21, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
From Living Joyfully Free Devotional, Volume 2, by Lisa Buffaloe