Resurrection - The Permanent Swallowing Up Of Death
On that first Easter morning when Jesus was raised from the grave, He dealt a final blow to death. The power it had to imprison and keep people in perpetual fear was finally broken. Death is no longer final, there is life after death: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:54-55, NIV). That’s why the Bible says over and over again, “fear not”. So, I say unto you this Easter, fear not.
The four-part event that ushers in our salvation was set in motion by the love and grace of God. Paul called it a matter of “first importance” – Christ died for our sins (1) …he was buried (2), he was raised on the third day (3) …and he appeared (4) to Cephas, and then the twelve, after that he appeared to more than 500 people at the same time. The fact Jesus appeared to many is undeniable truth that he rose again. He is risen!
Talking about Easter, Tim Keller said, “The resurrection of Jesus marks the start of the establishment of God’s kingdom, not its full establishment.” Though the kingdom of God is not fully here, nevertheless it is here, and we must not minimise the power and authority it avails us here and now. We must keep praying, “thy Kingdom come”, not as though its not here at all, but as one filled with power to exercise it here and now, as one expecting its increasing manifestation on a daily basis and as one looking forward to its fulness at the glorious second coming of Christ.
Easter therefore tells us death is not in control, sin is not in control, the devil is not in control. God is in control. As citizens of God’s kingdom, we must stand strong, knowing that our God has overcome sin and death. We are not to fear anything or anyone. The Lord reigns! Keller continues: “God’s promise of a future second establishment of his kingdom on earth through Jesus’s Second Coming acts as a source of hope for the people, as they await their salvation and redemption.” This Easter, let’s resolve to live our lives as those who have the ability to demonstrate that power now, as well as looking forward to its fulness in due season.
When Jesus was raised from the grave, He had a “new life”, an eternal life that is not subject to death. That life is what we have when we received Jesus. “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.” (1 Cor. 15:22-23, NIV). The loved ones we’ve lost over the years and this year are promised this same life, eternal life with God for ever and ever.
There is no better time than Easter to share this good news. We must invite our friends and family to enjoy the salvation we enjoy. We must share the Bible story with them. As many of you know, we are currently running an Alpha course in church. Why not invite your non-Christian friends to join Alpha.
If that seem a big step for some, why don’t you explore watching an amazing show called “The Chosen”, which a good friend of mine introduced me to. It’s on this link https://watch.angelstudios.com/thechosen/watch. Watch with your friends and your family. It portrays the Bible story plus an “imaginative fill” of aspects not recorded in the Bible. I promise you, it’s an excellent evangelistic tool.
Spread the word this Easter, that Jesus is risen and the implication of that is that everyone who believes in Him can have eternal life too. He is risen, Hallelujah!