A Week that Changed History: He is Risen!

461c Door to Tomb Today (crop)
This sign actually hangs on a door marking the entrance into the Garden Tomb

Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.”
~Matthew 28:1-6

488 - Garden Tomb
The Garden Tomb, believed to be the actual tomb where Jesus was laid
The tomb belonged to a rich man and would accommodate two bodies. This is the place where Jesus was actually laid. The tomb has never been used following Jesus’s resurrection.

I never tire of hearing the account of Jesus’s resurrection!  Do you?  The tomb could not hold Him and hell cannot defeat Him!  He is our Lord and King, and on this day we celebrate His resurrection.  He paid the price for our sins on the cross, then He purchased eternal life for us when He rose from the grave.

The passage above is absolutely foundational to our Christian faith.  Without the truth found there, Christianity fails to exist.  But, what about the verses that immediately follow?  Take a look:

“Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”  And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.”
~Matthew 28:7-10

Go and tell!  That was the message that followed Jesus’s resurrection, and that message is as critical today as it was 2000 years ago.  We have witnessed the evidence of the resurrection…Jesus is alive in us.  Therefore, we too are to go and tell!  The two Mary’s “left the tomb quickly” in order to report the good news to His disciples, and when they did, Jesus “met them and greeted them.”  The disciples worshiped Him, then Jesus sent them out to spread the news to others.

Did you catch that?  Those who are directly impacted by the evidence of His resurrection (believers) are to go spread that news.  When we do, those to whom we share rejoice and worship Him, then are commanded to spread the good news to still others.  News of the resurrection has a ripple effect…one tells another, who tells another, who tells another.

Have you been impacted by the resurrection?  To whom have you spread the good news?

To all who have not heard the good news, or who have heard but not believed, you must know that Jesus died for all the wrong things you and I have done.  Every person on earth has sinned, and all of us fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)  The Bible says the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), so every one of us deserve eternal death in hell.  However, Romans 6:23 goes on to say that the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

That’s what the resurrection of Jesus is all about!  You see, He died on the cross to pay the penalty for sin, and He rose again on the third day to make that free gift available to all who will receive it!  Will you receive it today?  Romans 10:9 says 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.  You don’t have to “clean up your life” to come to Jesus, and He is not expecting a sinless life.  Just as His grace saves us, His grace sustains us through the times when we once again fall victim to sin.  However, confessing Jesus as Lord means we repent…we turn from our desire to sin…and we ask Him to empower us to live righteously.

So, the pressure is off.  You don’t have to be perfect, and you can come to Him just as you are!  There is no need to put it off another moment.  To put your faith and trust in Him, pray to Him:

  • Admit that you are a sinner.
  • Acknowledge that you cannot save yourself, and ask Jesus to save you.
  • Thank Him for taking away your sin and ask Him to empower you to live righteously.

It might sound something like this:  “Dear God, I have done wrong things in my life and I know that I am a sinner.  I cannot save myself, but I know you can save me.  I want to turn from my sin.  Please come into my life and empower me to live righteously.  Thank you for dying on the cross to save me.  Thank you for rising from the dead so that I can live forever with you in heaven.  You are my Lord and my Savior and I give my life to you as best I know how, and I trust you to show me how to live.  Amen”

If you have confessed with your mouth (prayed that prayer!) and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you are now a believer in Jesus Christ!  Welcome to the family!  This Resurrection Day is the most important day of your life!

Now it is time to get plugged into a strong, Bible-teaching church to give you support and help you grow.  Look for one here, or ask other believers for a recommendation.  God bless you!

Happy Resurrection Sunday everyone!

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