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"Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb...." John 20:1 (Cf. John 20:1ff.; Matt. 28:1ff.; Mark 16:1ff.; Luke 24:1ff.; 1 Cor. 15)

The stone was rolled away, the tomb was empty and the burial clothes of Jesus were laying there, but Jesus was not there -- He had risen from the dead! He appeared to Mary Magdalene outside the tomb, to the other women as they ran back into Jerusalem, to Peter, to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, to all the disciples on numerous occasions, and even to more than 500 brethren at once. Angels proclaimed His resurrection, and Jesus' own followers finally came to understand and believe that Jesus really was alive -- He had risen, as He said!

But what about you? Do you believe that Jesus rose bodily from the dead on the third day --that He really is alive? Like Jesus' first disciples, we too may be "slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!" (Luke 24:25). Truly "it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Luke 24:46-47). The Scriptures foretold how Christ Jesus would suffer and die and bear the iniquity of us all, and how He would rise again in triumph and establish His everlasting kingdom (cf. Isaiah 53; Psalm 22). Jesus truly did die for the sins of the whole world, and He truly did rise again from the dead on the third day!

So, why is it that we often live our lives as though He were not raised from the dead -- as though He were still in the tomb? Why do we go about as though God were still angry with us and no atonement was made for our sins? The Bible assures us that "Jesus our Lord ... was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification" (Rom. 4:24, 25). Jesus paid in full for our sins -- "it is finished" (John 19:30). God reaches out to us with open arms! He calls us to repent and offers to us forgiveness and life in Christ Jesus! "He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Eph. 1:6, 7).

Why do we live in fear of death? Jesus conquered death for us and rose again. As the Scripture says, "But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming" (1 Cor. 15:20-23). We need not fear death since Christ has removed our sin and the condemnation of God's law from us (cf. 1 Cor. 15:55-57; Heb. 2:14-17). Indeed, when death comes to a believer, we need not "sorrow as others who have no hope..." (1 Thess. 4:13-18).

Why do we live our lives here in this world as though this is our home? "Our Lord Jesus Christ ... gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age" (Gal. 1:3, 4). He now prepares a place for us in the mansions of His Father's house, and He will soon come again and take all who trust in His name to Himself to be with Him there (cf. John 14:2-3). All that is here in this world will soon be burned up -- only what is done for Christ will last (cf. 1 Cor. 3:13-15; 2 Pet. 3:10-13).

Why do we live our lives as though we have nothing to do for Christ Jesus here in this world? He has commanded us to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature...." (Mark 16:15). He commanded us to disciple the nations (Matt. 28:18-20). Jesus rose from the dead! He won forgiveness of sins and eternal life for all, and He is coming again soon to judge this evil world! Shouldn't we be about the work of our Lord and calling lost sinners to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus? Apart from Him, there is no salvation (cf. Acts 4:12)!

And finally, why do we live our lives as though Jesus is not with us? He is risen from the dead, ascended to the right hand of God the Father, and rules over and fills all things (cf. Eph. 1:15-23). The risen Jesus is with us always, "even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20).

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, our risen Savior, open up our minds to understand the Scriptures that we might not only believe that you truly are risen from the dead but live our lives by faith in Your glorious resurrection and all that this means for us now and forever. Amen.

[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

Religion on 04/17/2019

Print Headline: What does Jesus resurrection mean for you?

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