Sunday, 17 April 2022
He is not here, but He has risen. -Luke 24:6
Many of you may be celebrating EASTER today, some knowing its significance, while some thinking of it as another Christian festivity. Well the message of Easter rings loud in our reading today: “He is risen!” The resurrection of Christ Jesus-the rationale for Easter- is one of the pillars of the Christian faith.
The very essence of our Christian faith is the forgiveness of our sins accomplished through the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on our behalf and His resurrection as the promise of eternal life- for all who believe in Him. As Christ Himself says in Vs 46-47, “So it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations..” His resurrection ratified all that He spoke.
Proof and evidence of Christ’s resurrection from today’s reading:
The announcement of the Angels to the women (V.6)
Peter’s visit to Jesus’ tomb (V.12)
Jesus meets with the disciples on the way to Emmaus (V.15)
Jesus appears to the eleven disciples (V.36)
The disciples witness Christ’s ascension (V.51)
Having witnessed Christ’s suffering and death, the disciples’ hearts had been burdened and they were confused. But in each of the above incidents, as the disciples’ eyes were opened and they remembered Jesus’ words about His crucifixion and resurrection, their attitude changed from sorrow to great hope and joy! He stood in their midst and spoke: “Peace to you.” (V.36).
Our attitude too must change as we dwell once again on the relevance of the death and resurrection of Christ. The suffering, death and resurrection was the master plan of God for the salvation of mankind. Jesus suffering and death as a substitute for fallen, sinful mankind was necessary to pay the penalty of our sins and to reinstate us to God. Christ’s death and resurrection paved the only way for us to be declared righteous through our faith in Him. Romans 10:9 tells us “…that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;”
Our faith in Christ has relevance because of the resurrection, which gives us great hope- of us being resurrected like Him and living eternally with Him. 1 Corinthians 15:16-17 says: “For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” But Christ is risen and it fills us with an eternal hope!
In ‘An Empty Tomb with an Angelic Explanation,’ John MacArthur says, “Now we remember…that the death of Christ is the result of God’s wrath falling on Him instead of us. His resurrection was the result of God’s reward falling on us because of Him. And so, we benefit in His death because He bears our sin. We benefit in His resurrection because we bear then His life.”
And now, for all who have by faith in Christ been forgiven and restored, there is a great calling. In Vs 48 Jesus says. “You are witnesses...” Our calling is to share this amazing love of God – the Gospel message with everyone, that the resurrection power of Christ will draw many to salvation.
Prayer: LORD Jesus, may my life witness Your great resurrection power that brings transformation of lives, not just in me but others through me. Amen.