This post is part of a 6-part series leading up to Easter service on April 16th. Click the inline Easter banner below for more details.
Part 5 can be found here – > The Veil is Torn
“He’s gone!” Mary Magdalene shouted. “And there were two men, in bright clothes, that showed up and told us that he is risen from the dead!”
The disciples mumbled among themselves, trying to figure out how to react to such news. The consensus of the room was that this was just a tall tale, told from a stress-filled week.
“Can’t be true. We all saw him die and that tomb was sealed,” said James.
Mary, the mother of James, looked sternly at her son, speaking directly into his eyes, “Have you ever known me to believe fairy tales? Am I a liar? I know what I saw, and Christ is risen.”
“I have to know!” Peter exclaimed, as he rose up and took off in a sprint towards the tomb, with John quickly behind.
Leaning in, Peter and John saw only the grave clothes.
John spoke first, saying, “He’s gone!”
When we reflect on the resurrection, we tend to ignore that the disciples understood the facts but not all believed Christ was truly risen. John goes far enough to say that he and Peter didn’t realize what Jesus meant during his ministry until the moment they leaned into the empty tomb.
No one genuinely denies that Jesus was alive and was crucified. The question each of us must confront is if we believe he is risen from the dead. Let’s look at a few possibilities:
1. If Christ is not risen, then he was surely not God. If you’re reading this and you’re an unbeliever, please pity those of us who follow Christ. Paul, the apostle of God, wrote in 1 Corinthians 15, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith in vain…If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (verses 14 and 19, emphasis added)
2. Christ is risen, is God, and is the hope of the world. In his resurrection, death was defeated and you don’t need to stand condemned for your sin. As we’ve discussed early in this series, Christ took the weight of your sin so you didn’t have to: “The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b), but this gift is only possible because he did not remain dead.
Easter Sunday is a time for the church to reflect on who God is and what He has done for us.
Equally important, Easter Sunday is a time for you, who is outside the church, to confront who you think Jesus is.
Has he not risen? If you believe that, pity us, for we follow a false God who claimed to have power over death.
Has he risen? If you believe that, follow him, for only through his grace will you find peace and hope over death.
Our prayer is that each person who reads these blogs will pray for God to reveal Himself and have their hearts forever changed. We at The Valley Church hope to see you Sunday, as we celebrate hope together and glorify God who offered it to us.