Sunday, April 1, 2012

Five Affirmations of Christ's Resurrrection

                                                   First Entry For The A to Z Blogging Challenge....

Cover Page Design:. Back to the bible India/Vasanth Kumar
On that morning a handful of women wound their way to the garden tomb. They carried containers of spices and ointments. And they were laden down with grief. Jesus, their
Lord, was dead and they were coming to anoint His body.
                                                                    —b y G. Roger

Pic. Credit: raichinger

 Though they knew a boulder blocked the opening of the grave; they were coming with the hope that someone would roll it away.  When they arrived, what they saw made them gasp. The stone was gone! The entrance was open!

As they entered the tomb they saw what appeared to be a young man wearing white. He spoke to
the bewildered women: “Do not be amazed” (Mark 16:6). And then he delivered the first Easter sermon. In the dark hollow tomb he proclaimed the five affirmations of Easter.

He Lives !
The angel began at the point of  their experience. “ ‘You are looking for Jesus…He is not here. See the
place where they laid him.’ “But along with the obvious, he added something new—news heard for
the first time. He told them plainly,

He has risen!”
Three words. Three historical words. Words that form the foundation of our faith. Words of life and hope.

Every week we gather to celebrate these words and to worship the living Christ. We heartily sing words
such as “Up from the grave He arose”  and “He rose triumphantly, in power and majesty.” We nearly shout it,

“Jesus Christ lives!”

And because Jesus lives, we live.  We experience the results of His atoning death. We enjoy His daily
presence. And we have His immeasurable  power working inside of us to mould us into His image and to
help us win our daily battles with temptation.

He Sends Us Out !
The second affirmation takes us outside of ourselves. Again, the angel said it plainly. “Go, tell, he exhorted. Speaking for the Lord, he gave them a commission to spread the good news.

We express our belief in the resurrection not only with our hearts but with our feet. By sharing the resurrection story with others we fulfill the will of God.

To me the most vivid picture of resurrection is not a tourist’s photograph of the garden tomb. It is the
portrait John’s Gospel paints of Peter and John racing to the empty grave.  We see their robes flying in the wind. They run with a purpose. We see Peter’s face—eager, excited. Resurrection reminds us of our
highest purpose. Life is more than eating, sleeping, working and playing. It is even more than enjoying
God’s love and forgiveness. What matters most is that we take seriously His command to “ ‘go into all
the world and preach the good news to all creation.’ “

We have to tell it every where to everyone. That Jesus is alive. Sincerely expressing a word of concern,
sharing what God has done for us, offering encouragement, performing a thoughtful deed—these are
some of the ways we can make known the reality of resurrection.

He Goes before Us !
He sends us out, but not alone.  The angel told the women, “ “He is going ahead of you,” And so the
third affirmation of Easter is the promise of His leadership.

The empty tomb means we can have confidence in the future. We know that when we get to tomorrow
or next year, Jesus Christ will be already there. When trouble comes or tragedy strikes, Jesus knows of it
beforehand. He abides both in the present and in the future.

The disciples discovered this when they were fishing on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus called from the
shore, telling them where to throw their nets. Then He called them to the campfire and the breakfast He
had prepared for them. Heaven will be like that. When we arrive we will find our Host ready and waiting for us.

Jesus lives to guide us through  dark valleys and so lead us beside still waters. He lives to lead us in
paths of righteousness. We serve a risen Shepherd!

He Reveals Himself !
The angel told the women that if the disciples went to Galilee, they would see Jesus. He would reveal Himself to them. The fourth affirmation of resurrection, then, is the possibility of having a personal
experience with Jesus Christ—wecan know Him.

Outside the tomb, Mary of Magdala met Jesus. She thought He was a gardener. But Jesus revealed His
identity to her. She saw Him as the Lord.

And remember the two men who walked along the Emmaus Road with a Stranger. That evening, as He
blessed the meal, their eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus.The risen Christ is not hiding. He
desires to make Himself known to  anyone who will “confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead” (Romans 10:9).

Resurrection means we can know Jesus as personal Saviour and Lord. That is why a popular resurrection song end with the words:
You ask me how I know
He lives?
He lives within my heart.

He Keeps His Word !
Jesus said He would be crucified and buried and on the third day would arise. Through the prophets
God said it repeatedly in the Old Testament. And Jesus said it three times during the week prior to His

By rising from the dead He proved to us He would be trusted. The angel reminded the women of this
when he added the words” “Just as he told you” (Mark 16:7).

Resurrection means affirming the faithfulness of God. It means taking fresh hold on the promises
of God—promises about His help in times of temptation, promises about His going to prepare a place for us in heaven. Promises about His return.  Friends will let us down. At times our own family will fail us. But not Jesus. We can count on Him.

For some, the story of resurrection  is new. But that is not true for mostof us. We have heard it over and

But how good to hear it again!

Five affirmations that lift us and
carry us forward: Jesus lives! He
sends us out! He goes before us!
He reveals Himself! He keeps His word!

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