Do You Believe in the Resurrection?

“Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when they nailed Him to a tree? Were you there when they laid Him in a tomb? Were you there when He rose up from the dead?” (Lyrics from African American spiritual ‘Were You There?’)
None of us were actually there for these events, yet the events of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection all occurred for our benefit. If it were not for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, an essential part of the gospel, we would not be the beneficiaries of His swing grace because of His sacrifice in atonement for our sins. His resurrection means that we can live in Christ and fellowship with Him for all eternity if we believe in Him.
In today’s world, there are many that still question whether or not Jesus Christ rose from the dead. It is in this central area where there is a struggle not only in this area, but in the ability to live strong in their faith. If the people who were present with Christ had difficulty understanding the resurrection (Luke 24:1-49), it is not hard to believe that there would be questions even today about it. Yet, Jesus declared on several occasions to His disciples that He would be killed and would be raised on the third day.

Matthew 16:21
“From then on Jesus began to point out to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day.”

The disciples had received the information, but it did not really kick in until all of the events of the crucifixion and the resurrection had taken place AND when God revealed to them His Word once more, and it was captured within their hearts (Luke 24:7, 32, 44-49) They had the knowledge, but now there was complete understanding.

Despite the efforts of the chief priests of the Pharisees, there was a great effort to make sure that the tomb where Jesus was buried was to remain secure (Matthew 27:62-66), but, in spite of all of this, Mary Magdalene and Mary discovered that the stone was removed (Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-5). He was no longer in the tomb. The women had to conclude that either Christ rose from the dead, or someone else had moved Him, as the soldiers who were guarding the tomb were bribed to have many others believe that He was stolen out of the grave (Matthew 28:11-15).

The angels, and Jesus Himself, had to inform Mary Magdalene that Jesus was not taken from the tomb, but that He had emerged from the tomb Himself. She, too, had heard what Jesus had declared about the fact that He had to die and that He would be raised again on the third day, but it was not until she saw Him and heard His voice (John 20:16-18) that she realized the truth of the words that she had heard for herself. She had gone to the tomb with the full expectation of anointing Jesus’ body. It was His presence that reassured her that His words had meaning. After that encounter, Jesus was present after the resurrection to more than five hundred people in a 40-day period prior to His ascension into heaven (1 Corinthians 15:5-8).

We have to note that the resurrection is unlike any other event throughout history. Lazarus had emerged from his own tomb at the prompting of Jesus. There are other instances in Scripture where persons were revived after death (1 Kings 17:21; Acts 9:40, 20:9-10). Jesus had no one visibly there for His resurrection.

It is not hard to see why the disciples had trouble with this event. There was a lack of faith (Mark 16:11, 14), or the idea of Christ rising from the dead was deemed to be nonsense (Luke 24:11), or because they were afraid of what would happen to them (John 20:18-19).

In the same way, we may have doubt as to how Jesus has an impact in our life. Sometimes, it takes an event of such magnitude, no matter what you have heard or have been taught, when you realize that Jesus Christ is truly alive! It is then that you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that He is truly present in your life. It is our true faith in what we have been taught and when we no longer pay attention to what out friends think about us where we can be best used by God to proclaim His Word in our lives. It changes for us when we see God, through Jesus Christ, working in our lives (Matthew 28:17; Mark 16:14; Luke 24:31, 36, 45; John 20:19, 26; 21:1).

The resurrection of Jesus Christ allows for the life of Jesus to be imputed into the life of the believer. Jesus sends into the believer the Holy Spirit for guidance (Luke 24:49; John 20:22), and the believer receives power to overcome any doubt that may crop up (Acts 1:8), and it is the Spirit that gives us life (2 Corinthians 3:6). In the book of Acts, we see how the power of God through the Spirit reaches people for Jesus Christ and adds to the numbers of believers wherever the gospel is proclaimed.

Please note, however, that God will not make you do something that you do not want to do…you must have the desire to love the Lord by being obedient to His Word. You have the ability to suppress, or quench, the Holy Spirit, by living in opposition to what God’s Word would have you to do. It is your choices that guide how you live your life. It is only when you recognize everything that Christ has done for you when you can truly understand loving Him and what loving others for Christ truly means. It all goes back to the importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and what it means to you.

Praise the Lord that we have a living Savior that is worth living for! You have available to you a relationship with a living God today if you turn away from your sins and trust that Jesus Christ died for you, and make Him your personal Savior. Amen.

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About melvingaines

I am a communications professional, author and speaker with years of experience as a business owner and corporate supervisor. My philosophy is “excellence in leadership-by-example with integrity and without compromise.” I am a member of the National Association of Black Accountants and served as President of the National Association of Credit Management, Greater Akron (OH). I have also held memberships with the American Collectors Association International, Inc. and the Commercial Law League of America. I am Church Administrator and Sunday school instructor at Akron Alliance Fellowship Church in Akron, Ohio. I have taught adult Sunday school for over 25 years and facilitated numerous bible studies and church cell group sessions. Every now and then, I fill in for the pastor with a sermon. I am a longtime advocate of Christian-based elementary and high school education. I am a graduate of The University of Akron with a degree in Business and Organizational Communication, and recently earned a Master’s degree in Christian Studies at Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minnesota. I am also a member of the Chaplains Association of Ohio, and involved in Clinical Pastoral studies for possible full or part-time chaplaincy. I am a native of Cleveland, Ohio and I am married to my lovely childhood sweetheart, Lynn. View all posts by melvingaines

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