HE IS NOT HERE. HE IS RISEN!
Christianity is a relationship and people have tried to corner it as a religion and down played the power of it. It is a perfect relationship between Jesus Christ and the church. Jesus Christ died and the 3rd day he rose from the dead. On his resurrection is the strength of our Christian faith and relationship. The book of St. Luke 24:1-8 reads, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how he spoke unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” The resurrection of Jesus Christ was and is the hope of the dead in Christ and those who are alive and remain faithful to him.
Christ Jesus came to earth, lived like men on earth and felt our limitations and infirmities (our high priest). He preached and taught the gospel of the kingdom to the masses, healed the sick, cast out demons, opened the eye of the blind, got the deaf and dumb to speak and hear, cleansed the lepers, calmed the storms, raised the dead and promised eternal life to all who believe and hold fast to his WORD. He was attacked by the religious people of the day, sought ways to kill him and threaten all who believed in him. He gave several prophecies, including the end-times, the translation, the great tribulation, gave the great commission , spoke about his death and his resurrection and promised power from on high for all that believe in his name.
He gave his life for all mankind and as many as will believe will move to the next stage; this stage is where all our Christian assurance is based. This is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, called EASTER. Now let us examine the issues before the resurrection from the dead of Christ. Paul the apostle said , ” if Christ be not risen from the dead, then is our faith and hope in vain.” There are so many religions that put in so much labor into their faith and hope, but the authors of such expectation are unsaved, dead and buried and have never been able to rise from their graves, let alone appear to people who can identify them. So they perish with their imaginations. But it is not so with the Christian, because the author and finisher of our faith is RISEN from the dead, people saw him, he spoke to them, he ate, he enlightened them from the scripture, appeared and disappeared before their eyes.
The religious people wanted him dead and they found a companion in Judas Iscariot who agreed to betray his Master for 30 pieces of silver. Remember Judas was one of the apostles, he was with the other apostles and Christ for 3 years, went on evangelism, prayed for the sick and even cast out demons, but a different spirit entered him (that of perdition). Do not be surprised when betrayal comes even from those who eat with you from the same table (Psalms 41:9).
All kinds of prophecies were rushing fast to fulfillment in the life of Jesus Christ and the confidence of the true church of God, true believers continued to grow. How do you celebrate the EASTER period without knowing these prophetic facts, it makes you a hypocrite. Some of these prophetic facts are as follows:
- Jesus fulfilled that of the Son of man (Dan.7:13, Lk. 24:44).This scripture could only be fulfilled in the Son of man called Jesus Christ.
- Luke 22:42 proves only Jesus Christ said, ” remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.” He did the Father’s will always, never disobeyed.
- He was betrayed by his friend, Luke 22:48, ” Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss.” This was a prophecy that is unquestionable.
- They came to arrest him as a thief with stave/clubs and swords; a person they have always seen all over.
- He was denied by all around him, even the apostles, except John who stayed around the cross. Remember at the cross Jesus said, son behold thy mother and mother behold thy son. St. John 19: 26-27
- Jesus stood before Herod, the high priest and Pilate as a sheep lead for the slaughter and he said not a word. Matthew 27:39-43, they reviled him everywhere he turned.
- They crucified him among thieves, Matthew 27:44.
- They took him to the weeping post and flogged him fulfilling the prophecy, by his stripes we are healed.
- Psalms 22:16, they nailed him to the cross. They offered him vinegar and he rejected it.
- He promised one of the thieves on the cross, salvation and to be with him in paradise, Lk. 23:43.
- At the cross wonders happened, there was darkness over all the earth, the sun was darkened and the veil of the temple was torn from the top to the bottom, Luke. 23:44-45, after Jesus committed his spirit to the Father. This is an important fulfillment for Christians, because this ended the absolute need for a high priest to go before the Lord on our behalf. Now any believer can come to the throne of grace, the inner veil, with boldness by the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
- At his death the soldiers cast lot according to prophecy for his vest and parted his garment among themselves.
- Matthew 27: 51, the earth did quake and the rocks were split at his death.
- Matthew 27:52-53, The graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints that slept were raised, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city and appeared unto many. Who were these risen saints, remember Mount Transfiguration and the appearance of Elijah and Moses, and how Peter was able to recognize them. Oh! saints of God connect these verses to 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18, and you will see the importance and the hope of resurrection.
- A good and righteous man, who also waited for the kingdom of God; went in to Pilate and begged for the body of Jesus, that he may bury him. This man was Joseph of Arimathaea. Pilate asked his soldiers to check if Jesus was dead already; otherwise, his bones would be broken to hasten his death. They were surprised he was already dead, to verify they pierced his side; fulfilling Zechariah 12:10, John 19:34 and this brought Psalms 34:20 and John 19:36-37 to pass.
- He was crucified among robbers and buried among the rich and yet lived a simple person on earth, the Son of man.
He was buried and went beneath the earth. Satan thought he had finished Jesus but the game was just starting. Jesus is the light of the world and when he visited hell a powerful light arrived that Satan could not stand and when the light settled it was the Christ. Jesus collected the keys of hell and death from the devil (Revelations 1:18, I AM HE THAT LIVETH, AND WAS DEAD; AND BEHOLD, I AM ALIVE FOR EVERMORE, AMEN, AND HAVE THE KEYS OF HELL AND DEATH).
On the 3rd day some of the disciples of Jesus Christ, mainly women went to the tomb to see where he was laid. Surprisingly then found an empty tomb for the body was not there. Two men standing by them in shining garments, said unto them why seek ye the living among the dead? for he was risen according to the scriptures. This was prophecy fulfilled and that is what is called EASTER, referring to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For the believer, this is our hope. The promise of another life, after our days on this present earth is over; because Jesus said so and it is true. He said he would rise again from the dead and it came to pass. He said in John 2:19, ” destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up” ; and this came to pass as he said. He said I, not my Father or anyone. This is power and immortality.
1st Corinthians 15 :12-19 is a section of the bible every true believer must put to mind, because what separates a worshipper of God, Jesus Christ and any other faith is the resurrection of Christ. If you do not believe in the resurrection of Christ then you are none of his. Resurrection involves waking up from the dead. If you know of any true Christian who is dead and buried, then be expecting them soon to come out of the graves and be among the living and true believers. (FOR IF THERE IS NO RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, THEN IS CHRIST NOT RISEN: AND IF CHRIST BE NOT RISEN, THEN IS OUR PREACHING VAIN, AND YOUR FAITH IS ALSO VAIN). Finally dear believers, in John 11:25-26 Jesus said, “I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE.” This is the truth of the matter. Revelations 20:6 reads, “BLESSED AND HOLY IS HE THAT HATH PART IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION: ON SUCH THE SECOND DEATH HATH NO POWER, BUT THEY SHALL BE PRIESTS OF GOD AND OF CHRIST AND SHALL REIGN WITH HIM A THOUSAND YEARS.” To believe is now your choice. The resurrection happened before and will happen again very soon. God bless you as you celebrate the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ in true faith, hope, and love, Amen.
by Douglas Amobi