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When I was given …
this title for April’s issue of Faith Unlimited my mind did the same thing that yours probably did when you read it:
WHAT ABOUT THE RESURRECTION!?!
I’m laughing as I write! Is this supposed to be a book or a short article?!?
“For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” (1 Cor. 15: 16 & 17)
I’m so grateful for the sacrifice of Jesus, our Lord, on Calvary. Yet, without the resurrection, our faith is worthless and we are still dead in our sins!
Let’s have some fun. Do you ever ponder what happened over the period of 40 days that Jesus remained on earth after His resurrection?
“And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose not even the world itself could contain the books that would be written.” (John 21: 25)
We have read in Scripture of the appearances of Jesus: to Mary Magdalene and the other women, several to the apostles, to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and the crowd of 500, many of whom were still alive in the Apostle Paul’s time. (Matt. 28:8-10, 16-20, Mark 16:9-14, Luke 24:13-49, John 20:11-31 & 21:1-14, 1 Cor. 15:5-7, Acts 3:1-11)
But, what about those “other things” that John talked about? We know that Jesus had the ability to appear and disappear, to change His appearance so as not to be recognized, and that gravity had no hold on Him. So, what “other things” might He have done? Take a moment and use your imagination. … Did He joke around: walk on the ceiling, stand in a wall with half of Him inside and the other half outside? (I hope you don’t think I’m being sacrilegious. I believe that Jesus had a sense of humor.) Did He share other meals with them? Were there more walking on water episodes, perhaps one on one with the disciples? Did He reteach that which is recorded in John on the night of His arrest? I’m sure Jesus reminded them that …
The resurrection was the crowning event of the Gospel.
He defeated sin on the cross.
He defeated death when He rose from the dead!
Their two greatest enemies were vanquished!
The Holy Spirit was on His way!
Last month we focused on Christ in you (and you in Christ). Jesus is in you and me. You and I are in Him. The Comforter/Counselor/Teacher is with us 24/7! Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. Where does that place us?
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast. (Eph. 2:1-9)
“For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10)
What about the resurrection?!? Friends, we’ve got work to do! I’m ready for Christ’s return. You are too. But, Jesus has not come back. Until He does, we need to invite others into the resurrected life that comes only through Christ! What better way is there to oBEy* the Great Commandments? We have a Great Commission to fulfill! Leaders, we need to help all believers to be personally and actively engaged in the Gospel! Easter 2018 and its great harvest has already passed. But, consider this: in Bible times, the greatest day of reaping didn’t come on Easter. The first was on Pentecost, 50 days later!
Please join me in prayer.
“Holy Spirit, we are partakers of Your nature. We are filled with resurrection power. Give us favor when we show love and proclaim Your Gospel, not just from our pulpits, but from neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend, and family member to family member. May each of us join You in the many things You want to do this year between now and Easter 2019. If You don’t return before then, may this be the greatest year of harvest Your Church has ever known! In the glorious Name of our resurrected Savior and Lord we pray, Amen!”
*oBEy: It’s easier to oBEy when we BE in Christ. (John 15:1-12)
How is God encouraging you today?