Jesus is risen
Mathew 28:1-10; 1 Corinthians 15:1-26; Luke 24
Key Verse: Mathew 28:6, “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (KJV)
Each spring, millions of people around the world acknowledge, in some fashion or another, that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead some twenty centuries ago. Modern society calls it “Easter.”
Dr. Billy Graham once told Time magazine, “If I were an enemy of Christianity, I would aim right at the Resurrection, because that is the heart of Christianity.” The Christian faith, without the Resurrection, is an exercise in futility. 1 Corinthians 15:14, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”
Jesus was tortured, crucified, then buried in a borrowed tomb and resurrected from the dead. Many disciples and women ran to that tomb on Easter resurrection morning. They saw the empty tomb. But they had different conclusions! They thought His body Has been stolen. They believed the tomb was empty, they saw it, but they did not understand the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Having died on Friday afternoon, buried before sundown, the first day, Saturday being the second day; Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the third day. What’s the evidence that Jesus rose from the dead? The tomb was empty. No one could produce the body of Jesus. For more than a month afterwards, they kept on meeting Jesus–alive. Having died, having been buried, they kept on seeing Him in groups—on one occasion 500. Within weeks of Jesus’ death and resurrection, there were apostles prepared to lay down their lives, because they believed this truth.
It was a morning like no other. IT WAS A MORNING OF STUNNING REALISATIONS. While the disciples were cowering in the Upper Room out of fear for their lives, something miraculous happened in their presence. Jesus, the One Who had died just three days before, was standing in their midst! They were terrified and thought they saw a ghost. However, Jesus had some news to tell. He showed them the nail prints in His hands and in His feet and to prove that He was real. He offered to let them touch Him and then He sat down with them to eat. Most of the disciples hadn’t believed, until this moment, now they are convinced, Jesus is alive!
Significance of Jesus Resurrection
• Resurrection is the bedrock of Christian Faith – resurrection is the heart of Christianity. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the foundation of Christianity. If there was no resurrection, Christianity is a hoax, and we are wasting our time. But the truth is, the event of Jesus’ resurrection is incontrovertible. Professor Thomas Arnold of Rugby, a world-renowned historian, once said that Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the “best-attested fact in human history” (1939, 2569). The Christian faith without the Resurrection is an exercise in futility. 1 Corinthians 15:14, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”
• It affirms Jesus as the Son of God – First, the resurrection is one of the major evidences that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Paul affirmed that Christ is “declared to be the Son of God with power . . . by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4).
• Assurance of Forgiveness of Sin – resurrection represents an assurance that we can have forgiveness from our sins. Paul contended: “[I] f Christ hath not been raised, our faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). The reverse of the apostle’s affirmation would be this: if Jesus was raised, sins will be forgiven when we obey the gospel (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
The Resurrection validated the claims of Jesus and provided ultimate credibility to His person. Because the Resurrection offers such proof, you can believe His message; moreover, you can belong to the Master (i.e. you can take Him at His simple word and be saved!). Let Christ’s resurrection motivate you to live a holy life. Christ’s resurrection guarantees freedom from sin, sickness and poverty.
Today’s Nugget: The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the foundation of Christianity.
Prayer: Lord, help me to apply the significance and benefits of Christ’s resurrection in my life daily in Jesus Name, Amen.
Prayer lines: 09078154261.
Dr. Chidi Okoroafor, General Superintendent
Assemblies of God Nigeria.
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