Sunday, April 20, 2014

He is Not Here – He is Risen!

He is Not Here – He is Risen!
On Friday just a week ago we were in a rough place. My brother was having brain surgery, which caught us all by surprise. Lots of factors entered into my extreme concern for him. None of us have ever had brain surgery so we knew nothing about the recovery either. We figured it would be days and maybe weeks to get well. Imagine our surprise when just a few hours later he was sitting up in bed with a mere bandage on the spot where the surgery had been performed. What we didn’t know, the surgeon did.  We were very thankful that things weren’t as rough as we thought they would be. Just three days after surgery he was heading home.
There was nothing good about Good Friday. It was a dark day for Jesus. And it was an even darker day for the disciples and His followers, along with His mother.  Jesus knew what was ahead, but the beloved believers had no clue. They were imagining all sorts of things. Fear, worry, anxiety – they were suddenly without their Leader – all they knew was He had been put to death and laid in a grave. They had seen all that with their eyes. All the while they were expressing their concerns to one another, God was working things out in a big way behind the scenes. Jesus did die on the Cross, He did get put in a grave, but there was so much more going on.
In three short days everything would change for them. They would find out that they didn’t worship a martyred man but a Risen Savior! They, who had hung their heads and cried over His death would get a sneak peak of glory as He appeared alive. His promises proved true – every single one of them. He was busy those three days – descending into the very belly of the enemy and taking final authority and control by taking the very keys to Hell away. He was working, they were trembling. He was taking authority, they were figuring out how to hide. But within those three days everything was set right and Christ was and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. All is well, even in the midst of the confusion of life, for God is on the throne.
Oh beloved, you may be in a dark time. All your hopes, dreams and ambitions may have been laid in the tomb. You are struggling to make sense of all the hurts and misdirection.  You wonder where God is and why He has left you alone to make it by yourself. In your heart of hearts you know you can’t make things better, you don’t have enough stamina to go the distance and you don’t have enough hope to look to the future. Nothing seems to matter as you just go through the motions for your family or your friends or your  church.
God wants you to know that even though you may not know what’s going on, He does. He’s risen to redeem you, He’s rising to defend you and He will come again to take you home with Him. You don’t know what’s ahead, but God says it is all good. Everything that sends your heart beating wildly will have to scatter because they are enemies of your faith. You don’t have to walk in fear or dread, for the Word says you walk in the Spirit. And where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty, there is joy, there is peace and there is hope beyond your present situation. God knows it all, He’s seen every tear and He’s wiping them away to give you joy unspeakable and full of glory! You are coming into your full life in Christ. Those things that got swept away? They weren’t needed for your walk with God. The things you desire in your heart? God will give them all to you in His time as He makes all things new.
Rejoice in the Resurrection for you are loved and you are cared for. Not just on Easter morning, but every single day of your life.
Matthew 28:6 … He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.
Revelation 21:5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
Revelation 1:18 … and [I AM] the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
Romans 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

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