Christ Died to Live in Us

happy-easter-jesus-is-risen-2I like to picture in my mind what was going through the disciples minds all those years ago when they thought there leader, their savior was dead. Can you imagine Peter, sitting on the shore of a lake, wondering if it was time to pick up his fishing net again and take back to his trade. Looking out across the tranquil waves rolling into shore, he thought back to the days spent with Jesus, the miracles that he saw him perform…yet he couldn’t save himself from the cross. Did he have doubts, did he regret his time with Jesus? Was he beating himself up for denying Christ three times as even Jesus predicted he would.

Or John, known as the son of Thunder, as well as the one that Jesus loved. Him and Peter had grown close during the time of Jesus’ ministry. They acted together in ministry and were the unspoken leaders of the twelve disciples. John was sure to be with Peter on that day. Did he now question his faith? Did he doubt his beliefs now that Jesus was dead? I’m sure his mind was rolling with thoughts just as the waves were rolling into shore.

Were they feeling guilt? They had all deserted Jesus when he was arrested, fearing for their own lives.

And they all left Him and fled. -Mark 14:50

But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets. Then all the disciples left Him and fled. -Matthew 26:56

They went into hiding, planning their next moves. Some probably were planning to go back to their lives before Jesus, to try and forget and move on. Others, like Jude (Thaddeus), were intense nationalists who had thought Jesus would lead them in a revolution to lead the Chosen People to world power, were probably now thinking of ways to fight back against the oppressors.

Or Matthew, the reformed tax collector now had to decide what to do. Could he even go back to being a tax collector, probably one of the most hated professions by the Jews. He had no trade as the others did, what would he do now.

Can you imagine what these men were going through? What there thought process was? Who they believed was the savior of the world and whom they had put all their hope and trust in, was now laying dead in a nondescript tomb, not too far away.

But then, something amazing happened. Three women close to Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus with oil only to find the tomb empty. The ran to find the disciples, which while in hiding, their location was known to the others. Can you imagine Peter and John sitting on that lake shore in their grief, only to hear a faint cry of their name in the distance. As they stood to discover who was shouting their name, they saw the Mary’s running towards them yelling the “tomb is empty.”

So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

At this point, they saw the cloth wrappings, still in the form of Jesus, laying there…but Jesus was gone. Finally they understood the scripture that Jesus was risen. Jesus had told them this already, that he would die and rise again. But I don’t think they realized what he said was even possible until this very moment.

The resurrection is the key to the Christian faith. Because he promised he would arise from the dead, something seemingly impossible, the fact that he did arise gives us confidence that he will accomplish all other things that he promised. Secondly, we can be assured that because of his bodily resurrection, we know that the living Christ is the ruler of God’s kingdom. Also we can be certain of our own resurrection, death is not the end—there is a future life. Because Jesus lives in each of us the divine power that brought him back from the dead is available to each and every one of us. This power of the resurrection of Christ is our witness to the world of Jesus Christ.

So on this Easter Sunday as we spend time with family, remember that Christ rose from the dead so that he could live in each of us. His presence gives each of us the power of the resurrection if we believe. Peter demonstrates this in Acts;

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” -Acts 3:6

Any by the power of Jesus living in Peter, the beggar walked.

Live in the power of Christ this Easter Sunday.

He is risen!

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He Is Not Here

He-is-Risen-pic-04This Easter Sunday in churches around the world, pastors will be saying “He is Risen” and the people will respond with “He is risen indeed!”  What a great statement from the gospels;

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.  -Matthew 28:6

But what about those first words……He is not here.

Those bring about a sense of wonder in and of themselves.   People were looking for the dead Jesus, the one they saw crucified and hanging on the cross just a few days previously.  But the angel says to them….”He is not here.”   He is not in the place of the dead.  He is not here where his body will decompose and lay for all eternity.  He is not here where his bones will turn to dust and blow away.  No he is not here.

He has risen to give us new life.  He is risen to defeat death.  As the Newsboys song says, “God’s not dead, he is surely alive!”

Have a blessed Easter everyone!