April 6, 2019
“I was dead, but look, I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys to death and Hades.” Rev 1:18
Without doubt, the most important event on the calendar for followers of Christ, is what we call Easter. As the old hymn proclaims, “He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!” Easter Sunday is a day of joyous celebration. This is a worldwide day of jubilation which recognizes that although His death on the cross seemed a colossal failure, it was only the beginning, not the end!
After three days in the tomb, Jesus rose, shed His death clothes and gave final instructions to His disciples. And because of that, we too have the promise of eternal life as He gave to the thief on the cross beside him, “I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the focal point of our hope as found in the following Scriptures:
1 Cor 15:13-14, 19: But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is futile and your faith is empty. … For if only in this life we have hope in Christ, we should be pitied more than anyone.
Acts 2:24, 32: God raised Him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it…God has resurrected this Jesus. We are all witnesses of this.
Matthew 28:1-10 Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee) went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
Then the angel spoke to the women, “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”
Luke 24:46-48 He also said to them: “This is what is written: the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.
1 Cor 15:1-6 Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. 2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. 3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.
Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus…
Acts 17:18 Because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.
Acts 26:22-23 Saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would take place—that the Messiah must suffer, and that as the first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light to our people and to the Gentiles.
Romans 10:9-10 If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Jesus’ victory over death gives all His followers an unwavering hope of everlasting life with Him. Although we shall die, unless Jesus returns with the trumpet blast and angelic shout first (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18), we shall not perish but taste life that never ends, residing in the New Jerusalem with Almighty God and the resurrected Son.