While Easter is over as a day on our calendar we should remember that it certainly was not over on that first resurrection day. Yes, Mary Magdalene saw Christ first and recognized He was alive and ran to tell the others (Jn. 20). Then He appeared to the other women, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and to the ten assembled disciples. He also appeared to more than 500 at one time too. Eight days later He appeared to some who were fishing in Galilee. He appeared to the eleven again on a mountain giving them His great commission. It also says He appeared to James His brother and to all the apostles (I Cor. 15). He appeared again in Jerusalem to the disciples. Finally, He met them one more time at the Mt of Olives and ascended to heaven. All of this took place over a forty day period. There may be other appearances as well (Jn. 20:30).
Reading these accounts in the four gospels and in I Corinthians 15 is exciting. In most cases He gave them instructions, told them what would be happening, calmed them and commissioned them to reach the world.
In all cases the disciples were dramatically changed from fearful to fearless and from unbelief to being willing to die proclaiming this message. Within days Pentecost came, miraculous signs took place and the church was born.
Since we didn’t live then and have not seen Him as they did, should we be skeptical? Jesus answered that when He spoke to Thomas the doubter, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed." (Jn. 20:29). Books have been written to try to explain the resurrection away. They come and go. But the Bible remains the most popular and best seller of all history. The mere existence of the church after two millennia is also evidence of it.
Having said that, the resurrection was the key. It proved who Christ said He was and vindicated His teaching. If we believe Jesus really was resurrected then it should change how we think, act, live, buy, sell, love and work. It should affect our homes, marriages, relationships and goals in life. I would recommend the new movie about Lee Strobel, the Chicago Tribune investigative reporter who was an atheist and tried to write an article disproving the resurrection. He couldn’t so became a believer. See The Case For Christ at local theaters. It is excellent.
Therefore, we should live every day as if we have seen Him after the resurrection. We should walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). “and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.” (1 Pet. 1:8,9; cf. Heb. 11:1)
He is risen and ascended! -Pastor Mark
PS. You can watch our Easter services on Livestream at www.DiscoveryBaptist.org .
This Sunday at 9:15 we’ll combine adult classes for a special update on how we plan to phase the building project. If you missed it you can watch on Livestream.
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