Sunday has come brothers and sisters, Sunday has come! Hallelujah, Sunday has come.
I want to shout it from the mountains, my Jesus has been raised from the dead. Where there was once sorrow, death, and darkness– now there is glorious light, hope, and life. Life eternal- life fulfilling, life effervescent! All because of one amazing morning described in John 20.
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance (John 20:1).
That stone was moved and lives were changed forever. Jesus was now the resurrected Son of God, His death and resurrection defeated death forever (1 Corinthians 15:15). It would now be up to us to accept this forever gift of Grace. His resurrection meant that death did not have the final answer. Instead, Heaven has the final answer. Our acceptance of Jesus’ death in our place, for our sins, means that through His blood poured out for us, Heaven will wipe away all our sins. We will be resurrected in His name because we chose to accept the free gift of His choice to take our place.
Pain is still here in this world, this side of Heaven, which is one of the hardest things to accept. But the pain, hard as it is, overwhelming as it can feel, is not the last voice we have to hear. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, we have the hope that comes from Heaven (Isaiah 25:8). We may not see the pain removed from us on this side of Heaven. I know the pain of prayers not answered in the ways I wanted. I have stood at gravesides when I just “knew” God would answer my prayers. I just didn’t understand He was going to answer them in Heaven.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
There is no belief system in the world that can stake their beliefs on a resurrected leader. It’s true, there have been many men and women who have made powerful impacts in our world. But to whom could you point and know that your sins have been forgiven- because of their free choice to die in your place and then conquer death to be resurrected?
It is in Christ alone that I can and do put my trust, my faith, my hope, my eternity. It is the simple fact, my past is forgiven (Hebrews 10:17). I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). I am blessed, accepted, adopted, chosen, redeemed, and forgiven (Ephesians 1:3-8).
O Best Beloved, what about you? Do you know these same things? Do you know the joy that comes from Easter Sunday morning? Do you know the peace that comes from a relationship with Jesus? Can you hold to the truths that are found in Scripture, like the ones I reference above? Dear Ones, Jesus has already stood in your place. He has already paid the price for your sins. It isn’t a question of what do you have to do to earn this forgiveness, Ephesians 2:8-9 already explains that Jesus paid it all – already.
It is instead, Dear Ones, a question of whether or not you want to receive this gift of forgiveness. Do you want to stop trying to earn your place in Heaven on your own merits, stop trying to “be good” according to the sheer effort of your will?
Precious child, the very God of Heaven is holding out His hand to you. Waiting for you to reach out in return and take hold of the very amazing grace offered to you because of Jesus.
Take the hand. Trust Him. He loves you so much.