We celebrate Jesus’ resurrection on Easter, but it is far more than a historical observation. We should be celebrating Easter every day! The central truth of scripture is that Jesus rose from the dead. Everything we believe revolves around His death, burial, and resurrection. Don’t discount this great event! Both historically and spiritually, it is the greatest moment that has ever taken place. Because Jesus lives, we can have new lives in Him.
Atheists and agnostics want to deny that possibility. Humanists and philosophers scoff at the idea. Liberal educators give reasons why it is not feasible. But it is true. The grave is empty. There is more evidence that Jesus rose from the dead than there is that some religious leaders have ever lived!
All the leaders of religious sects have tombs that followers visit and worship. But Jesus has an empty tomb! It is proof of His resurrection. Acts 1:3 (NKJV) tells us that Jesus “presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by [the apostles] during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Even the historian Flavius Josephus recorded that Jesus appeared alive again.
Numerous appearances of Jesus after He died and rose again are recorded in scripture. Who did He appear to? Here are ten of them:
1. Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9−11)
2. Women returning to the tomb (Matt. 28:1–10)
3. Peter (Luke 24:34)
4. Two disciples on the Emmaus Road (Mark 16:12)
5. All the disciples except Thomas (Mark 16:14)
6. The disciples with Thomas present (John 20:26)
7. Seven disciples by the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1–2)
8. Over 500 brethren (1 Cor. 15:6)
9. James, His brother (1 Cor. 15:7)
10. The disciples at His ascension (Acts 1:1–9)
“Everything that Christ bought at Calvary belongs to me, and in the name of Jesus Christ, I take what I need now!”
You Are A-L-I-V-E
All evidence points to Jesus being raised from the dead. He is alive! And whoever believes in Him finds new life in Christ. Ephesians 2:5 (NLT) tells us that God “gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.” It goes on to say that we also have been raised from the dead and seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (v. 6)!
We have life because of Christ! We are seated with Him and have the same authority. We have the same standing with God as Christ does. We hold the same privileges. This is why it is essential to understand that He is alive! Without the resurrection, there would be no hope. We were dead in our sin. But now we are alive forevermore!
Because Jesus lives, we live also. Romans 8:11 (NLT) says, “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” Our life comes from the life of God.
When it comes to our spiritual lives, Jesus did not come to remodel. He came to make us brand new. He did not come to restore, but to recreate. Jesus came to make us A-L-I-V-E!
We are adopted into the family of God.
Ephesians 1:5 (TLB)
5 His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to!
We are loved unconditionally.
Ephesians 2:4–6 (NLT)
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,
5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.
We are ingrafted into the Body of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (AMPC)
17 Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
We are victorious because Jesus rose in victory!
Romans 8:37 (AMP)
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us].
We are empowered by the Holy Spirit who can now live within us!
Romans 8:11 (VOICE)
11 If the Spirit of the One who resurrected Jesus from the dead lives inside of you, then you can be sure that He who raised Him will cast the light of life into your mortal bodies through the life-giving power of the Spirit residing in you.
Jesus defeated death, the devil, and all his forces. The curtain in the temple where the power and presence of God resided was torn. No longer would God live in a house of stone but in you and me—a house made of flesh. Jesus made that possible when He rose triumphantly from the grave.
Never forget who you are! You are alive—adopted, loved, ingrafted, victorious, and empowered—in Jesus Christ.
Faith IN ACTION
Power of Communion
We have no greater way of celebrating Easter than at the Communion Table. Without saying one word, that table speaks of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. The elements—the bread and the cup—that represent His broken body and shed blood also represent our salvation. Without the empty tomb, these would be empty traditions. This is not tradition! The same Savior who died and rose is coming again. We do this in remembrance of Him until He returns (1 Cor. 11:23–26).
The bread and cup are symbols, or reminders. Remember what Jesus did for you. Remember what His body and blood bought for you: salvation, redemption, protection, healing, and deliverance. As you eat and drink these symbols, you partake of something in the natural realm to remind you of what you do by faith in the spiritual realm. Then release your faith with boldness and declare, “Everything that Christ bought at Calvary belongs to me, and in the name of Jesus Christ, I take what I need now!”
Kenneth W. Hagin
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