We celebrate Christ’s birth….and sinless life…and honor our Lord who was sacrificed, crucified for me…..but…
…one of the great Bible facts is that:
Christ was raised the third day by the power of God, in acknowledgement of His perfect redemption.
(God’s ways are complete….He never leaves things half done. He finishes all that He begins….not always right away…not always the way we think….but He will see it finished. John 19:20)
Jesus showed His disciples what He was to suffer….but that He would be raised:
Matthew 16:21 “From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised again the third day.”
And why was this the time He began to warn them, of what was coming?
Because they had just declared faith in Him as the Son of God.
Matthew 16:13-16 “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?
And they said, Some say that Thou art John the Baptist, some, Elijah, and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.
He saith unto them, But Whom say ye that I am?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
They had followed Him….hearing His Words, and believing His works….that He was the Messiah, the Anointed One…..but now they knew He was the Son of God…….Who had come to call a people to believe and follow Him, wherever that led.
He warned them twice more:
Matthew 20:17-19 “And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them,
Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death,
And shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him: and the third day He shall rise again.”
But then the arrest happens….surrounded with so much darkness and hatred……they fail Him….
….but God, His Father, does not.
Christ’s perfect purity, kept Him through His life.
Christ’s perfect subjection and peace, kept Him through His arrest, questions, beatings, and the cross.
(At the end, even with the horror and the weight of our sin upon Him….the agony of the pain and separation from the Father…still He “yielded up the ghost”…it was His choice to die for us….throughout it all. Matthew 27:50)
And God, the Father, raised Him up, the third day.
Matthew 28:1-2, 5-6 “In the end of the Sabbath (Saturday), as it began to dawn toward the first day (Sunday) of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.
And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
“He is risen.”
And because He lives, we can, too.
The resurrection was a choice part of the gospel that the Apostles told….as they traveled all over the world.
We have a living Lord and Savior!
(There are fourteen times that Acts says about Christ’s being raised, or His resurrection.
Peter preached it…
Acts 5:30-31 “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”
And Paul preached it…
Acts 17:30-31 “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent:
Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.”)
In Romans, Paul takes the resurrection and explains it where we, as believers are concerned:
Romans 6:4 “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
We are to walk……in the power of His Resurrection Life.
Wonderful that our sins are put away by His death and sacrifice……but what good would that do for my life….without His resurrection?
I am still a sinner….and without the power of His Everlasting Life flowing in me and through me….I can not live to please Him.
But…..He is risen!
His life is now given me, when I believe and receive Him:
Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
Paul explains it:
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
And Peter says:
1 Peter 1:3,5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Jesus said here on earth:
John 11:25 “Jesus said unto her, I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”
By His life on earth, we are given an example as how we should live.
By His death, our sins are forgiven and put away…so we stand righteous before God.
By His resurrection, we are given Christ’s life in us, that we have power to live unto God.
He is Risen! Hallelujah! He is Risen, indeed!