From the Desk of Stella Davis
My dear friends in Christ Jesus!
As I am getting ready for my trip to China, I felt the Lord telling me to leave you with a word or two about Jesus’ Resurrection.
Just think about it!
Each Easter, we read Bible passages describing it. We sing songs about it. We pray extolling it. We hear sermons explaining it. After repeatedly hearing this message, the familiarity can cause us to become complacent and may lead us to think of it as just another one of the many stories about Jesus. But this was the most important event in history!
If Jesus were not raised, then we would have to concede that the power of God is no match for death. Where, then, would our help be? We’d all die in our sins, and suffer eternal separation from God (1 Cor 15:17).
That’s why I’d like you to really think about the unparalleled impact of Christ’s Resurrection. What was it like for His followers? How did it affect the world – physically, religiously, and culturally? I believe the biblical account in Matthew 28:1-8 can help us see this marvelous event with fresh eyes.
One fact often overlooked is the earthquake that physically shook the world when Jesus came to life (Matthew 27:50‐51). But the ground wasn’t the only thing that shook that day. It was the beginning of a religious and cultural earthquake that affected the entire ancient world, the aftershocks of which we’re still feeling in our own time.
Neither the Jewish leaders nor the Roman rulers could explain what happened to the man they’d crucified who was no longer in the tomb. When the temple veil was torn at the time of Jesus’ death, God signified that no further sacrifices were needed because Jesus was the ultimate Lamb of God who died for sins once and for all time (Hebrews 10:12).
After Christ ascended to heaven, leaving His disciples to spread the news of His death and Resurrection, many of the Jews believed in Him, along with a large number of priests (Acts 6:7). But this radical new religion of Christianity didn’t stay contained within Israel. Before long, the Apostles spread the message of Jesus throughout the Roman Empire. At one point, they were even accused of turning the world upside down with the message (Acts 17:6).
As amazing as this all is, the Resurrection’s impact has reached beyond the cultural and religious realms, all the way into countless individual hearts. Now at the moment of salvation, we probably don’t understand the magnitude of all that transpired when Jesus rose from the dead. THE Resurrection, which happened so long ago, is still shaping our lives today.
The first impact comes when we believe the testimony of the Word of God and ask the Lord to forgive our sins. You see, without Jesus’ death and Resurrection, we’d have no hope of forgiveness. God can’t simply forego the just penalty for our sins. But Jesus took upon Himself the punishment we deserved when HE suffered and died on the cross. His Resurrection was proof that the heavenly Father was satisfied with his payment for the sins of mankind (Romans 4:25). Without Christ’s death and Resurrection, there’d be no basis for receiving forgiveness and no hope of heaven.
We are given New life in Christ Jesus. Paul says our old self was crucified with Him and we have been raised in Christ (Romans 6:4‐6). This means we can choose to abstain from the old sinful practices that once held us captive.
The key to this new life is found in surrender. When we let Christ rule in our lives, He lives through us, accomplishing His will and displaying His character within us.
We receive the Holy Spirit who empowers us. There’s no way we can live the Christian life in our own strength. But at the moment of salvation, we are given God’s Spirit to manifest the life of Christ in us. Just imagine – the Spirit who raised Jesus to life is dwelling inside us!!!
That is why I go where HE leads me, and I say Yes!
May God Be Praised!