He is risen! He is not here.
What an exciting statement! Jesus has conquered death and has risen from the grave!
All over the world Christians are preparing to celebrate Easter. This is our holiday! It’s a time to reflect on the fact that Christ has saved us from our sin by His resurrection. No other religion worships a risen Savior as we do. Jesus Christ is alive and well!
Jesus suffered great pain and humiliation on the cross. But this suffering turned to victory when He rose again. Because of Jesus’s resurrection we have hope for a future life after death with Him. Without the resurrection all hope of heaven would be lost. The apostle Paul wrote about our hope in Christ and the futile nature of hope without the resurrection.
Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.
1 Corinthians 15:12-14
The resurrection is the central component of our Christian faith. It is essential to our belief in Jesus and without it our faith would be empty.
But our faith is not empty. It is based on these facts:
#1 Jesus lived a sinless life so that He could pay the price for our sin.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:21
#2 Jesus died on the cross in our place.
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us ( for it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.)
#3 Jesus rose from the grave on the third day.
He is not here; but has risen! Remember how He spoke to you, when He was still in Galilee, saying, The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.
#4 Jesus’s resurrection was witnessed by over five hundred people.
He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me, as one born out of due time.
1 Corinthians 15:5-8
#5 Jesus spent forty days on earth before His ascension to heaven.
to whom He also presented Himself alive after his suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
These facts, or infallible proofs as Paul called them, are not happenstance. God planned the death and resurrection of Christ very carefully so that we could have complete confidence in our faith and salvation. Because of Jesus’s death we have forgiveness of sin. Because of His resurrection we have eternal life in Him. Praise the Lord, we serve a Risen Savior!
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Easter is almost here! In our house and in our church, we’re preparing for the upcoming celebration. Part of that celebration is the annual Easter egg hunt. Soon, we will hard-boil eggs to dye them, or fill plastic eggs with jelly beans and chocolate. It’s a lot of fun for the kids to decorate the eggs. Then, we in turn, have fun hiding the eggs and watching as the kids hunt for them. Their faces lighting up in glee when they see the pastel colors peeking out from the grass.
But is there a deeper meaning behind this Easter tradition? What is the meaning of an Easter egg?
Traditionally, an egg represents the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the new life we have in Him. The boiling symbolizes the sealing of the tomb where Jesus was laid. And the cracking of the egg is a symbol of Jesus’s resurrection, bursting forth in victory over death. These words of Jesus show us the importance of the resurrection.
I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?
I am the resurrection and the life…
Jesus is the resurrection. It was by His own power that He conquered death and rose from the grave. Jesus is the life. Because of Him we can experience a new life through our belief in Him.
He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live…
Physically we will all die, it’s just a fact. But spiritually, we have a choice of where we want to spend eternity. If we chose to follow, Jesus we will live in heaven forever with Him! If we chose not to follow Jesus, then we won’t have this promised spiritual life after death and we will be condemned to hell.
Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die…
We should be living our lives here on earth for Jesus. We should be spreading the good news of salvation in Jesus to everyone around us. My pastor recently put it in perspective by sharing this. “Jesus is the headline, we are just the paperboy.” I love that statement! It speaks volumes to me and makes me see my role so much more clearly.
Do you believe this?...
God is always concerned with the condition of our heart. With this simple question, Jesus is prompting us to take action! What is the condition of our heart? Do we believe and trust in Jesus? Are we certain about where we will go when we die? Have we given our life over to Jesus? Are we living for Him right here and right now? These are the questions that we need to answer before we can move forward.
I hope that you will take the time during this Easter holiday to answer these questions in your life. To really nail down what motivates you.
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior yet, now is the time. The free gift of salvation is yours for the taking. If you have questions about what it means to be saved, you can read more about it in the Accepting Jesus section, or please go to your local church and ask the pastor to speak with you about it. I know that they will be happy to talk to you.
If you are already a Christian and have fallen away from the faith or have lost the luster you once felt for Christ, Easter is the perfect time to reconnect with the joy of your salvation. There is a peace that only comes from knowing Jesus, and you can find it again. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
Happy Easter to all of you and May God bless you greatly!
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About the Artist
Connie Rowland is the Artist and Blogger behind Master's Hand Collection, a series of Christian artwork that depicts God's hand in our lives. Each picture features an inspirational word spelled out in American Sign Language with a corresponding Bible verse. Check out the About page for more info on Master's Hand Collection and Connie.
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