April 20, 2014

Luke 24:5-6 “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen!

This famous question and statement by the angels to the women is still pertinent today. Many people still think of Jesus as though He were dead, and they approach Him, and every discussion about Him, that way. Even “Church leaders,” such as the openly homosexual bishop who was recently asked to lead a White House “prayer breakfast,” sometimes fall into that category. After all, if He’s dead, what He said about obedience can safely be ignored! The thing is, He’s NOT dead, just as these angels said, and that makes all the difference in the world. The entire New Testament, and the 2000 years of Church history since then, hinge on that very fact. It would be improbable, to say the very least, that a group of uneducated fishermen could have “turned the [Roman] world upside down” (Acts 17:6) if Christ had not risen, and then poured out His Spirit. Paul, perhaps the first “PhD” in the Church, encountered the risen Christ in a very dramatic way. (Acts 9) The thing of it is, people are encountering Him all the time even today. He may not be physically visible, but then the men with Paul didn’t see Him either. He is very certainly alive, and the more assured we are of that fact, the better able we are to live as His disciples and experience His victory.

I’ve never had a direct vision of Jesus, but I’ve certainly encountered Him. I’ve heard His voice in my mind and heart and I’ve seen Him work around and through me in more ways than I could list. At the same time, because I don’t see Him physically, I do need to be reminded from time to time that He is indeed alive, and that’s why it’s so helpful to celebrate Easter. (And no, I won’t get into a discussion of where that particular name for Resurrection Sunday came from!) Today I have the privilege of speaking at an interdenominational sunrise service, and my title is “Living Lord.” I need to help all believers keep their focus on the reality that we serve a risen Savior, not some long-dead guru. The better we remember that, the more of His life will be operative in our own lives, and the more effective we will be in telling others about Him.

Father, thank You for Your magnificent plan. Thank You that Jesus not only died for me, He rose again and is alive today. Lord Jesus, thank You for all that You went through for me, and for Your love that motivated You. Holy Spirit, thank You for bringing the life of Christ to me, and for transmitting it through me to others. May today be a celebration indeed, communicating the Gospel to many, for their salvation and the glory of God. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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