03/27/2016 12:00 PM Filed in: Devotionals
It is Sunday, the day that changed everything for us. This is the day we celebrate as the day our Savior rose from the dead, defeating and swallowing death in victory!
Without Sunday, there would be no hope. If Jesus had not been risen from the dead, all we believe in would have been a lie. If Jesus had not been risen from the dead, He would have been a liar and everything we cling to as Christians would have crumbled.
But He didn't stay dead, He rose again!
People often ask us what the difference is between Christianity and other religions. Well, we all know that there are a few small differences. :)
First, Christianity is not a religion; religion is all about man trying to make their way back to God on their own through good deeds and other acts. Christianity is all about God making a way for us to return to Him through the sinless life, death and resurrection of His Son.
Secondly, every religion follows a person who is now dead. Every founder that ever started a religion is dead. Budda, Muhammad, Joseph Smith, Confucius, and on and on the list goes, they are all dead and buried.
But our Savior is not dead, He is alive! He rose again on the third day just as He said He would!
Another question we get is people asking us how do we know the resurrection really happened? What is the proof? We would like to quickly examine some of the objections raised by others.
First of all, all historians, secular and Christian alike, agree on five historical facts, Jesus died by crucifixion, the disciples were convinced they had seen Christ and boldly proclaimed He was risen, the conversion of Paul and James, and the empty tomb.
We could go through the list of all the theories people have come up with to explain Jesus' resurrection away, but if we did this blog post would be very long.
We recently had a chance to hear a sermon on this though, and every theory falls apart at the seams, there is no theory that works. You technically need two, because you have to explain Jesus' death away and the empty tomb. None of them works or is even comes close to being a logical explanation.
One of the best testimonies to Jesus' resurrection we believe was the disciples. The guys were all cowards, they fled when Jesus was arrested. Even Peter denied his Savior three times that night. Yet, at Pentecost you find these guys boldly proclaiming that Jesus is alive. And from history and church tradition we know all of the disciples except John died a martyr's death. Crucified, stoned, impaled, flayed, beheaded, hung upside down by iron hooks through their ankles, what happened? These were the same guys who cowered like little children afraid of the dark the night Jesus was arrested! What changed them that they were now willing to die the most horrific deaths possible???
There is only one explanation, they saw Jesus alive again! They saw their risen Savior and were empowered by Him to boldly proclaim Him!
We always say people won't die for a lie, which is not not necessarily true, the 911 hijackers did. The difference with the disciples was they knew whether they saw Jesus alive or not, a fake explanation for Jesus' resurrection or a well-invented lie wouldn't have changed their cowering. Only one thing could have changed their cowering, Jesus rising from the dead.
As we said, the disciples were all martyred in gruesome ways. Don't you think if it was all a fake when they were about to be martyred someone would have said something? But they didn't. Why? Because Jesus is indeed alive!
The truth is our Savior did indeed rise from the dead and that He is alive. The evidence is all there, it is the only logical conclusion anyone, Christian or atheist, can come up with.
Why then, do so many fight against the fact that Jesus rose from the dead? Because if Jesus rose from the dead, then everything He said was true and He was indeed the Son of God. That would mean we are all accountable to God, we are all sinners, and in need of a Savior. Many don't want to accept that, so they try to explain it away, but they can't. They don't want to be accountable to God and His standards. They don't want to accept that they are sinful and in need of the salvation Jesus offers. It comes down to us wanting to be God, wanting to rule our own lives, yet there is no escaping the truth!
Jesus is alive, He defeated death, He is risen!
Satan and the forces of darkness no doubt believed they had won; the Son of God was dead. But as the sun dawned that Resurrection Sunday, the One who created the sun burst forth from the tomb in glorious light! He has conquered death, sin, and the enemy! We now have our blackest and darkest sins washed as white as snow because of Jesus! We have been redeemed! If we simply accept His gift of salvation, our eternal destiny is redirected from Hell to Heaven. We are clothed in Christ's righteousness and all our sins are washed away.
We are free, hallelujah, we are free!
May we never lose the wonder of what our Savior did for us. We owe Him everything, may we give Him everything. How can we capture with words the gratefulness in our hearts for what Jesus did for us? We deserve the hottest fires and darkest pits of Hell, yet Jesus died in our place, taking the punishment we rightfully deserved.
Jesus, we praise You for what You did for us. We cannot express our gratefulness or ever thank You enough. We are Yours, use us Jesus. You are the Lord of our lives, may we use the gifts, talents, and influence You have given us for Your glory. May the whole world see You alive and shining through us!
We love You Jesus, we love You! To You alone be the glory forever and ever! Amen!
In the amazing love of Christ, who loves sinners like us and redeemed us with His sinless life, death, and resurrection!