Day 3 A Journey to the Cross and Beyond
Read Matthew 28
As Mary and Mary walked toward the tomb their intent was to tend to the body of Jesus but what they found instead was beyond their greatest hopes. Instead of being met with opposition from the soldiers as they approached the tomb of Jesus, the ladies were greeted by an angel with the same words that were spoken to the soldiers on the night of Jesus' birth, "Do not be afraid!" Rather then bearing news of the long awaited birth of the Savior, the angel was there to announce that Jesus was no longer in the grave. He had risen from the dead just as He said He would.
When Jesus rose from the dead, He conquered sin and death.
When Jesus came back to life, it also brought to life God's new creation kingdom into this fallen world and one day it will all be restored! (Rev 21:3-4)
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place[a] of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,[b] and God himself will be with them as their God.[c] 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”Revelation 21:3-4
His resurrection fulfilled the prophesy set out in Isaiah 11:1-9 and identifies Jesus as the promised Savior from the line of David.
Jesus' resurrection showed the world that He was innocent of the charges that were placed against him and that death had no hold over Him.
Romans 4:25 tells us, "...who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification." Because Jesus rose from the dead, we who are joined to him by faith are justified."
This means that we are not found guilty in God's eyes. Because of what Jesus has done, we can come into the presence of God and instead of seeing all of our filth, sin, and shame, all God sees is the pure and innocent sacrifice of Jesus.
We see in Ephesians 2:4-6 that we were raised up with Christ and granted a seat with God in heaven. Because Jesus rose from the dead, He raises us from spiritual death to spiritual life with Him! How amazing is this news!
"But[a] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus," Eph 2:4-6
Jesus' resurrection allows Him to give the Holy Spirit to His people. We see in Acts 2: 32-33 Because god raised Jesus from the dead and exalted Him to His right hand, He is able to give us the Holy Spirit to live on inside of us. We will talk more on this tomorrow.
"This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing." Acts 2:33-34
Jesus' resurrection frees us from death and sin in our lives. If we look at Romans 8:10-17 we see how the spirit of the same God that raised Jesus from the dead is living within us and empowers us to put sin to death in our own lives. Because of the resurrection of Jesus we are now heirs of God! This does not mean that we will not face opposition but this does mean that we have the power of God dwelling within us as children of God. As we continue here on earth, may we seek to glorify God even through the suffering as Christ showed us how.
So then, brothers,[b] we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons[c] of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Because of the resurrection of Jesus we are given direct access to the father. We can boldly and confidently come to God because of the resurrection of Christ.
"This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him." Ephesians 3:11-12
Because of the resurrection of Jesus our bodies will one day be transformed to match the glorious body of the resurrected Christ. (Philippians 3:20-21) How amazing will that be? No more pain, sickness, or disease!!
"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself." Ephesians 3:20-21
All of this sounds simply amazing doesn't it? It almost sounds too good to be true, but I am here to tell you that there are no gimmicks or schemes. It isn't something you get for free and then the price goes up after your trial period ends. You can experience all of these things that are yours for the taking because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ if you simply believe. Romans 10: 9-10 states, "because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
Jesus is extending you the invitation to live in the power of His resurrection. He wants you to experience both the grace to live your live for His glory here on earth and the sure hope of eternal life with Him.
Can we give thanks today, and every day, for the resurrection of Christ?
He is not in the grave, He is risen!!
Tune back in tomorrow as we talk about how we continue this journey and discuss what life looks live beyond the cross.