What a Difference a Resurrection Makes
“And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said.’” -Matthew 28:2-6
How blessed you personally are to be able to sit down and read the four amazing accounts of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth and also consume the commentary of the New Testament epistles elucidating what exactly took place and why.
Easter may be over, but now that it has passed, read them again. Be astounded by the reports of these eyewitnesses as a risen Jesus soon stood in their presence, speaking to and eating with them. There is nothing commonplace about this at all.
But your sin has enormous power! It numbs your spirit; it deadens your faculties. How many times did Jesus tell His disciples of His death and His rising from the grave after three short days? Repeatedly! Yet they were still totally shocked and demoralized when it happened. They did not have an inkling.
His crucifixion truly astounded them even though He had told them many times it would happen, and now they were hiding in abject fear right when His glorious resurrection occurred. A few of the women had ventured out to adorn His dead, broken body with sweet spices, but the men hid. Two even fled town, walking away to Emmaus.
Reading those four gospels, you must wonder why they were so dull to His warnings. Would you be if you were a disciple with them at that time? There is little doubt! Here are a number of factors which deadened their consciences and can deaden yours.
The primary was, of course, the power of sin over their spirits’ faculties. Their memories and understanding were clouded. They seemed to remember nothing. Their unbelief blinded them. Sin in you will do this, and unbelief is sin.
Additionally, the Spirit of God was not yet bringing “all things” to their memory. Pentecost had not yet occurred. They were not filled with the Spirit of God. Jesus promised “the Comforter” to them on the night He was betrayed by Judas. Remember that one of the peculiar works of the Spirit is stirring your memory to who Jesus is and what His exact words are.
The stupendous power of the resurrection confirmed in Jesus’ appearances – His teaching, His intimate fellowship, His eating meals with them – all contributed to the resurrection of their own spirits. Their recognition was brought to life.
These revelations, the laser appearance of Jesus to Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus, John’s 3D apocalyptic vision on Patmos, Matthew, Mark, and Luke empowered these fairly ordinary men to write down their extraordinary witness to a living Lord. Their encounters with Him prior to the cross were seen anew through the lens of the resurrection; they fully comprehended now who it was they served.
So, who do you serve? “Jesus lives, and so shall I,” the hymn says. Do you believe it? The fear of death is gone forever. Even the deadly virus of the present has no ultimate power over you. Come what may, the sting of death is erased. What a difference a resurrection makes! Believe it in your spirit; hold it dear to your heart. You serve a risen Savior!
“No more we doubt Thee, glorious Prince of life. Life is naught without Thee; aid us in our strife. Make us more than conquerors through Thy deathless love. Bring us safe through Jordan to Thy home above. Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son; endless is the victory Thou o’er death hast won.”
(Third verse of Edmond Budry’s hymn, “Thine Be the Glory,” 1884)
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