He Is Risen!
April 1, 2009 - Christ has risen from the dead. And because He lives, we who know Him shall live also. In the resurrection, Jesus Christ conquered sin and death; He is alive forever. All over the world, churches are filled with worshipers because there is an empty tomb in Jerusalem.
We worship a risen, living Savior who has promised to give immortality to all who believe on His name. No longer do men and women need to stumble in the fog and darkness of hopelessness. A Light shines brighter than the noonday sun, offering hope to everyone who has been born again. Jesus promised, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25–26).
Long ago Job asked the great question of the ages: “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). We expect death, but we always have a glimmer of hope that medical science will discover something that will keep us alive a little longer. Death carries with it a certain dread. It has always been the enemy, the great, mysterious monster that makes people quake with fear.
The Bible always links sin with death, saying, “the sting of death is sin” (1 Corinthians 15:56). The Bible also says that “through one man [Adam] sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).
Death stalks the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated. Death is no respecter of race, color or creed. Its shadow haunts us day and night. We never know when the moment of death will come for us.
Is there any hope? Is there a possibility of immortality?
I take you to an empty tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea. Mary, Mary Magdalene and Salome had come to anoint the body of the crucified Christ, and they had been startled to find the tomb empty. An angel sat on the stone by the door of the tomb and said, “I know that you seek Jesus. … He is not here; for He is risen” (Matthew 28:5–6).
The greatest news that mortal ear has ever heard is the news that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, as He had promised. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the chief proof of the Christian faith. It is the truth that lies at the very foundation of the Gospel. Other doctrines of the Christian faith may be important, but the resurrection is essential. Without a belief in the resurrection there can be no personal salvation. The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
In the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have the answer to Job’s question. The Bible teaches that because Christ lives, we also shall live. The greatest truth that you can ever hear is that Jesus Christ died but rose again, and that you, too, will die but can rise again into newness of life.
The Bible teaches the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is not a spiritual resurrection, as some would have us believe. God raised Jesus’ very body from the dead, and someday we will see Him.
The resurrected Christ still lives today, in a different but very real sense—nside the heart of every true believer. Though Jesus is in His glorified body in Heaven, through the Holy Spirit He dwells in the heart of every Christian. The Scripture speaks of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Christ, in whom “dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9), lives within the hearts of people. This is a mystery that is beyond comprehension and yet is gloriously true.
When we come to Jesus Christ, we bring everything that we have. Our bodies with all their members, our faculties, our talents, our time, our money, our possessions, our hearts, our will—are all His. Our faces become the faces in which the resurrected Christ shows forth His beauty and His glory. Our eyes become the eyes of the resurrected Christ, to exhibit His sympathy and His tenderness. Our lips become the lips of the resurrected Christ, to speak His messages. Our ears become the ears of the resurrected Christ, sensitive to every cry of spiritual need. Our minds become the mind of the resurrected Christ, instruments for the realization of His purpose. Our hands become the hands of the resurrected Christ, to act on His impulse and allow Him to work through us. Our feet tread the narrow path that the Savior trod, keeping in step with Him throughout our earthly pilgrimage.
Allow the resurrected Christ to allocate your time as His own; to control your money as His own; to energize your talents, your zeal and your ability with His resurrected life; to have complete right of way throughout your being. He does not want an apartment in your house. He claims your entire home, from attic to cellar.
Not only does the resurrection give us hope of immortality but it also provides Life with a capital “L” here and now. Before the resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit came upon individuals only on certain occasions for special tasks. But now, after the resurrection, Christ through the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer to give us supernatural power in living our daily lives. The Scripture says that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead on the first Easter will raise us from the dead if the Spirit lives in us. Call upon His resources. His grace is more than sufficient; He will cause you to triumph over the world, the flesh and the devil.
Some of you do not know the power of the resurrected Christ. You have never knelt at the foot of the cross and had your sins forgiven. On that first Good Friday, Jesus Christ died on the cross in your place. He took your judgment, your sin, your death. Scripture teaches, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). The Bible says, “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin” (Cf. 1 John 1:7).
On the third day Jesus was raised from the dead. That fact is a guarantee that the atoning work of Christ on the cross was acceptable to God in your place. Now you need to receive Him and to believe in Him. God says that He will clothe you in His righteousness. Everyone can know the power of the resurrected Christ. If you will put your trust in Him by faith, Jesus Christ will go with you through disappointments, tragedies and trials—through all the circumstances of life.
What a glorious thing it would be this Easter to give your life to Christ, to let the resurrected Christ come to dwell in your heart and give you supernatural power to meet the problems of the day! So many people are confused, lonely, discouraged. Give your life to Christ. Let Him transform your life so that you will have a glow on your face, a spring in your step and joy in your soul. First, you need to renounce your sins. Second, by faith receive Him as your Savior. Will you ask the resurrected Christ to come live in your heart today?