In John 20 we have an account of Jesus' resurrection. Mary goes to the tomb of Jesus and is downtrodden at the loss of her teacher and great friend and Lord. On top of that she is under the impression that Jesus' body has been stolen. What ensues is truly wonderful. She encounters the resurrected Jesus. He has beaten death and she is in awe. She became a witness to the resurrection of Jesus. She saw the resurrected king and the power that was displayed by Him just being alive and beating the gruesome death that he was given over to. Jesus is alive but are we witnesses to this resurrection? What does it mean to be a witness of the resurrection?
In Acts 2 we find the disciples discussing the replacement of the disciple destined to betray Jesus, Judas Iscariot. They cast lots but they had strict criteria for final candidates. One of those important standards was that they were a witness to the resurrection. Can we be witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus? Yes. Of course we cannot experience the resurrection by seeing Jesus face to face until He returns to rule and reign on Earth forever. But we can be a witness to His resurrection by experiencing His saving power. We are a witness when we testify of this wonderful God who has saved us and has power enough to save all who call on Him. We are a witness when we are changed from wicked servants of sin to loving slaves of righteousness. When the Holy Spirit changes the inner-man and the effect is seen on the outside we are a witness to others to magnificent power and veracity of the resurrection of Jesus. He really is alive and we see that through His continued work in our lives through the Holy Spirit.
This Resurrection is not just some story that we commit to memory... It's about Jesus. He really did these things. He really died and rose again. We can experience that today.
We need Jesus! He needed to die for our sins. He didn't feign it. A feigned death would not have the power to break the curse of sin over our lives. The penalty for sin had to be paid. Death... But the power of God is also magnificently displayed in the resurrection of Jesus. He comes forth from the grave with the key of hell in His hands. Glory to God. No one like Him.
How do we respond to this resurrection? 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
- We receive the good news of Jesus death and resurrection. This means we consciously open up our hearts and receive this King of Glory. We receive... It just doesn't happen to us.
- We stand in the Gospel. No matter how long you have known Jesus, you make a decision to stand firm in the truth revealed in the gospel. Don't retreat and Don't pull back from the Lord. Continue to trust and pursue the Lord.
- You continue to let the Lord work His saving power throughout your life. Yes you are saved utterly when you trust in God, but God is continually calling us deeper into the deep waters of His salvation. God wants to continue to clean you from all things clinging to you that aren't of Him.
The Resurrection has happened once in history but it's ramifications reach infinitely throughout time, both past, present, and future. It's powerful and has not dampened in power. God's one act on the cross continues to save you and me 2000 years later as effectively as it did when it first happened to those who were present at the actual event. The atonement for our sins was successful. The sinless savior was the perfect payment for the cost of sin over our lives. God was satisfied with this sacrifice and imputes righteousness to all who take refuge in Jesus' sacrifice. His resurrection guarantees the life of all who surrender to Him and is confirmed in the gift of the Holy Spirit to those who trust in Him.
Our God is a relational God and He longs to have relationship with us. The act of the death on the cross and the resurrection show us that He longs to be with us forever. He went to such great lengths to buy us back from sin and to abide with us in eternity. Praise God!