HE IS RISEN

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photo by Christina Retief

Mark 16:6 “’Don’t be alarmed’. He said: You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”

Sometimes people say that if they could only see a miracle they would believe. Some go further and say that the miracle must be for them in their circumstances. If God delivered them, then they would believe.

Firstly the bible is full of stories of miracles witnessed by hundreds of people who in the end did not believe but rather shouted “Crucify Him! Crucify Him”. We all tend to underestimate the hardness of our hearts in this regard. Today we have the most amazing film and television technology that takes us from the wonders at the bottom of the ocean to the indescribable vastness and the glory of deep space. Still we do not believe.

When Jesus was on earth he performed three miracles of raising the dead. The first was the daughter of Jairus the synagogue ruler, the second was the son of the widow of Nain recorded in Luke 7 and the third was the raising of Lazarus in John 11. Many witnessed these things but still did not believe although some did.

But each of the Gospels ends with the story of Jesus’ mighty resurrection from the dead. All the endings point to a mighty miracle – the moving of the stone, the shocked condition of the guards at the tomb, the angels of light – the record is all there. But still people continue in hardheartedness.

But for us who do believe what does this all mean? Well, Jesus’ resurrection is not the same as raising the other three from the dead. For all three of them all eventually died once again. These were miracles of resuscitation rather than resurrection and there are many mysteries associated with them. But when Jesus rose from the dead it was once and for all! Death was decisively conquered. And His resurrection is a promise to all who trust in Him that they themselves will one day be resurrected to life everlasting.

We are not dealing now with what happens to those who died before the great resurrection. This is a topic for another occasion. Suffice it to say they are safe with the Lord while awaiting their glorious resurrection bodies.

We who believe in Jesus have, of all people, a most glorious hope. We will die physically, it is true. But we will not die eternally. And the Lord, who watches over us, even when our spirits are with Him, will resurrect us from the dead. We will have new bodies, live on a new earth, under new Heavens, under the rule of a great King. Never, never despair.

Prayer:

“O God in Heaven

Thank you for raising your Son, Jesus, from the dead. Thank you too for promising that all who believe in Him will have eternal life and will experience the resurrection to life. Help me to keep this in my mind throughout the day so that I may remember my hope when I come up against the hopelessness of others. Amen.”

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