“He is not here” (Matthew 28:20)

This Easter Sunday many of us will attend our church services and at some point be greeted with the familiar phrase, “He is risen!” To which we will respond, “He is risen indeed!” Do we really believe what we say or is it simply a doctrinally correct statement that we have become conditioned to parrot but really has no impact on our daily living?

The Bible exhorts us to, “prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22). James goes on to say in chapter 2:18 that, “someone may well say, ‘You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” Be careful not to misunderstand what he is saying. James is not encouraging us to work hard so we will show faith but rather if we truly have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (v.1), then works will be the natural result (v.18). It all starts with Jesus and ends with His work through us by faith in Him. So I ask the question again, “do we really believe what we say?” Because how we live, (what we do or don't do)
comes as a result of what we really believe. Do we actually believe or live from the truth that “He is risen indeed?”

Why is the resurrection of Christ so important? First of all, if Jesus had only died but did not rise from the grave then we are still in our sins, “and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” (1 Cor. 15:17). If you and I are going to live the salvation that His death paid for then Jesus must get up out of the grave and live, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom. 5:10). His life in the believer is of necessity if we are going to live the life God created us for and restores us to in His death and resurrection. The early church did not just give witness to Jesus’ death but also His
resurrection (Acts 1:22;2:32; 3:15; 5:30-32). Simply put:

 Jesus who died must rise and live because a dead man can’t minister His life because He’s dead!

Second, it is His Life that we were created for. Gen. 1:26-27 tells us that God created us in His image. This means that what is true of God is to be seen in you and me. So how are you doing with that? Is the image of God seen in you with how you respond to the circumstances of today? We are to literally be showing His image and not just trying to “act” like Him. In and of ourselves this is absolutely impossible. You and I have spent years proving this to be true. So how can this be our reality? Gen. 2:7 explains how God made this possible. “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” God always intended for His life to be the source of His image! Not you trying to be like Him. The only way dirt can live the life
of God is for God to live His life in and out of the dirt. As Ian Thomas once said,

“It takes God in the man for man to be the man that God made man to be”.

Man without God simply is not man as he was created to be but just an empty, dead bag of dirt! This has been man’s reality ever since the fall which is recorded in Genesis chapter 3. So we see clearly that we were made for His life and not death.
God’s remedy for man’s death is the same as His initial created purpose for man at creation which is His “life” breathed back into man that man may live out God’s image. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn. 10:10). “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (Jn. 3:16). “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Therefore if we are going to live the life we were created for, which is God’s image, then we must believe or entrust ourselves to Christ who bore our sins on the cross, taking them to the grave, then on the third day, got up out of the grave, leaving our sin there, and now lives His victorious life over our sin. When you put your faith in Jesus who died and rose again, His promise as found in the previous verses, is that God’s life will once again breath eternally in you!

This is why the angel’s statement from the tomb, “He is not here” is so important. Jesus is not dead.

He has risen, He has risen indeed! Do you believe this? Are you by faith living the resurrected life of Christ or just saying words?

Happy Easter from the A’del family. We love you.
(All scripture taken from the NASB 95)

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