Monday, April 9, 2012

Christ is Alive! Go...tell everyone!

Early in the morning (the morning we now celebrate as Easter Sunday), Mary Magdalene discover the stone once covering Jesus’ tomb had been rolled away. Suspecting foul play, she ran away as fast as she could to get Peter and John. “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb!” (John 20:2). Peter and John race as fast as their feet will carry them. They enter the empty tomb to find the linen that once covered Jesus’ body still there. They saw and believed but still didn’t understand that Jesus must rise from the dead (John 20:9). After seeing this, Peter and John returned to the others and locked the doors behind them. They were too afraid of what the older leaders might do to them if they were seen in public.
Suddenly, Jesus appeared right in the center of them, “Peace be with you.” Ok, now I’m not sure about you, but go back with me to what has just happened. The disciples are hiding from the Jewish leaders that have just crucified Jesus Christ – their teacher - their example – their friend. They are scared to death. Peter and John have probably had the opportunity to tell them they have seen Jesus’ empty tomb. Then all of a sudden without warning…Jesus is standing right in the center of everyone.
Jesus showed the disciples his nail scared hands and pierced side. Once seeing this they were “exuberant” (MSG John 20:20). Once more he comforts them with “Peace be with you.” He then kept his promise of giving them the Holy Spirit by breathing on them to receive. After this, Jesus charging them to GO spread the gospel of salvation, just like his Father had sent Him to do. Jesus knew his disciples would reach their known world with this news.
The same is true for us. We have received salvation by Christ’s redeeming work on Calvary. When we choose to accept Christ as our savior, He gives us the Holy Spirit to be our teacher and guide. After receiving this life-giving gift, we are to share the message using Jesus’ life on earth as an example.
The empty tomb and linens left there are physical proof, not a fabrication of Jesus’ followers, that our Savior defeated death and now lives.  Through Him, we can stand victorious over death if we trust and put our faith in the One who has sent us.
Thank you for sending Jesus to this imperfect world to be our example of how to live and love. Thank you for the grace and mercy poured out that day on the cross so that we can be freed from death’s grip. My we never lose sight of Calvary’s cross and the exchange that happened that day; Jesus’ life for mine… for ours. Thank you for loving us that much. Help us to GO in your authority and tell the world the good news; you are ALIVE and you LOVE us with an unconditional, everlasting love.
John 3:16 – 18 (MSG) "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”

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