From Easter — Onward and Upward

I continue my faith-trek from Easter Sunday, April 8, toward Pentecost Sunday, May 27, with a soul-deep awareness that Jesus Christ makes himself a living presence to all who choose to follow him.

I hear the words of the Angel who addressed the women outside the empty tomb early on that first day of the week, “He is not here; he is risen just as he said” (Matt. 28:6). Just as he said. He promised! He kept his promise!

The words of the Apostle’s Creed ring true for me, “I believe in Jesus Christ . . . who the third day rose from the dead.” And because of that, “I believe in the resurrection of the body.”

I read a piece by the late Wilbur M. Smith marshalling the arguments to support the truth of the resurrection. It reinforces my faith. Christ had power over death and hell. During his earthly ministry he himself raised three from the dead, the son of the widow of Nain, the 12-year-old daughter of Jairus, and Lazarus.

What can we say to the fact that the disheartened Apostles were little by little compelled to believe after Christ’s resurrection. And in believing they moved from being disheartened and afraid to being joyful and courageous even unto death?

On resurrection Sunday the tomb was empty and no one could explain this adequately except by the facts of the resurrection. The Roman soldiers even had to be bribed to lie about what had really happened that left the tomb in its vacated state.

The arguments are many and compelling, but I am most moved by the truth of Christ’s resurrection when I read for myself the closing chapters of each of the four gospels. I have read them carefully this past week. I have pored over them. For me they breathe life and hope for this life and for the life to come.

So I pray earnestly for you, my dear reader, that you too may experience afresh this living Christ who suffered and died for you and who lives to share his resurrection life in you. If you know him, may you know him more deeply, if you are on the fringes of faith may you cross the line by surrendering to his will, and should you be one who lives without this hope may you give the truth of the resurrection the chance it requires to bring you to newness of life.

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