April 17 2022
Today, Sunday April 17
He Is Risen Indeed! Matthew 28:1-8
“Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you." So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.”
Today we celebrate the greatest, most significant event in the history of mankind, and for that matter, the universe! For centuries in the early church the believers would greet each other with these words, “He is risen!” and they would reply, “He is risen indeed!” Earlier this morning in Japan, the land of the rising sun, the pastors greeted their congregations with these words, “He is risen”! And the people replied with a chorus of praise proclaiming, “He is risen indeed”, that would begin to circle the globe for the next twenty-four hours! I believe I can both see it and hear it now in Sunrise services here in America!
The Apostle Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 15:17, “If Christ is not risen, your faith is vain or futile and you are still in your sins!” Everything about our faith rises and falls on the fact and the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day! I can’t remember how many stories I’ve read of agnostics or atheist who set out to prove that the resurrection of Jesus never happened historically. In every case I read, before it was over, they had become believers and followers of Jesus! Take my word, you cannot prove that the resurrection of Jesus didn’t happen historically and literally any more than you can prove that there was never a George Washington or an Abraham Lincoln!
This morning as I was meditating on the four Gospel passages on the resurrection, I could not help but think about my devotion yesterday about the day in between. The dead body of Jesus was laid to rest in a borrowed tomb. Of course, the reason it was borrowed was because He would not need it very long. My mind went back to Genesis 1-2 where God took six days to create the heavens and the earth and all that is in them! Then very clearly it states in Genesis 2:1-3, at least twice, “on the seventh day that God rested from all the work that He had done.” Remember Jesus stated that He came to complete the work that the Father had assigned to Him and on the cross, just before He gave up His spirit and died, He proclaimed, “It is finished”.
I wish I had time and space to go into this more and I would encourage you today to take the time to read all four Gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus! For the second time, on the seventh day, God, Jesus rested from all the work that He had done to complete the eternal plan of our salvation!!!!! And to prove it was completed, Jesus rose from the tomb on the third day to proclaim to the world that He had conquered death, hell and sin!
I pray today that you have placed your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ! He is alive and will save you from the guilt and penalty of your sins if you will repent and call on His name!
This morning this old hymn, “He Lives”, kept going through my mind and heart and I want to close this chat by sharing it with you! “I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today. I know that He is living whatever man may say. I see His hand of mercy; I hear His voice of cheer; and just the time I need Him, He’s always near. He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. He lives, He lives, salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!”