Saturday, March 22, 2008


The Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is a dark day. Jesus has been executed on a Roman cross; His dead body is placed in a tomb sealed with a large stone. From a purely human standpoint, He is gone – it was all over for Him. His disciples were hiding behind closed doors afraid that they might be next. Their hopes that Jesus would establish an earthly kingdom were utterly crushed. It indeed was a dark day! Jesus had told them at various times and in different ways that He would die and rise again,(a) but it just hadn’t sunk in. The forces of hell thought they had destroyed the Son of God, and His disciples were confused, and didn’t know what to think. It was Saturday, a very dark day, but Sunday was on the way!!

Some women who were followers of Jesus went to the tomb early Sunday morning intending to anoint the body of Jesus with spices. They found that the stone, which had sealed the tomb, was rolled away. The tomb was empty, and an angel announced to them “He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.”(b) The women hurried to tell the disciples who couldn’t believe their ears when they were told that Jesus was alive.

You know the story – how Jesus appeared to the disciples on numerous occasions over a period of 40 days and taught them about the Kingdom of Heaven. Then one day He ascended up into heaven while they watched. Attending angels said, “Why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”(c) Jesus is alive!! And He is coming again!!! That’s why we celebrate Easter!

The fact that Jesus rose from the dead, and is alive, has a monumental impact on every human being. If He were still dead, we would still be in our sin and under God’s eternal judgment with no hope of ever being forgiven. But the glorious news of Easter is He is alive and we have forgiveness through faith in Him.

Because Jesus is alive “He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”(d) I can’t imagine anything more encouraging than to be assured that Jesus as our High Priest is eternally making intercession for us.

And furthermore, because Jesus is alive, “we sorrow not, as others who have no hope.”(e) When we stand at the graveside of a believing loved one, even though it is terribly painful we have this firm conviction that they are with Jesus and “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”(f) That’s the Good News of Easter.

Our resurrected, ascended Lord is coming back again one of these days as the scripture promises. “The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.”(g)

May this Easter season be special for you as you meditate on these truths about the resurrection of Jesus and His coming again.

Let’s Pray-
Oh Jesus, how can we ever thank you enough for the realities of Easter - for the blessed assurance your resurrection brings us? Because you live we to shall live, forever! Help us to so live our daily lives that we will bring honor to you.
In your name we pray.

(a) Mark 10:33-34 NLT, Matthew 16:21 NLT, (b) Matthew 28:6 NLT, (c) Acts 1:11 NLT, (d) Hebrews 7:25 NKJV,(e) 1 Thessalonians 4:13 KJV, (f) Revelation 21:4 NLT, (g) Acts 1:11 NLT

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