Jesus Is Alive

12th July

When his accusers came here for the trial, I didn’t delay. I called the case the very next day and ordered Paul brought in. But the accusations made against him weren’t of any crimes I expected. Instead, it was something about their religion and a dead man named Jesus, who Paul insists is alive.”

Acts 25:17-19

The leading Pharisees were hellbent on killing Paul. They devised many plans to trap him and kill him, and some even made an oath, refusing to eat until Paul was dead. Paul was a wanted man. Yet he had one thing in his favour. He was a Roman citizen, and because of this, had the right to a fair trial and protection from the Romans soldiers. Yet Paul wasn’t guilty of anything other than faithfully and boldly proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ, proving from the scriptures that Jesus was in fact the awaited Messiah and Saviour of the world.

As Paul was brought before Governor Festus, he again presented his case, stating the he was not guilty of inciting riots, or violence towards Jewish people. Instead, he wanted to proclaim that Jesus was no longer dead, but alive, because He was and is God. Paul believed so strongly in his claims, that he was willing to be beaten, persecuted and tried in Roman courts, just to be able to share this Good News.

We too, have been blessed with the revelation that Jesus is no longer dead but He is alive. He was crucified, but on the third day rose again. We do not need to be convinced by the scriptures alone, or by historical documents. We can have a real and personal relationship with the resurrected King. Our lives can be changed as radically as Paul’s was. Moreover, we can have the burning conviction that Paul did, to want to share that Jesus is alive to all, no matter the cost. Jesus is alive. Don’t keep it quiet!

Victory In Resurrection

2nd & 3rd April

Weekend Edition

Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.

2 Corinthians 11:24-25

The death of many of Jesus’ disciples has long been a talking point for Christian’s and non-Christians alike. Although there are not many ‘full and detailed’ stories of their deaths in the Bible, we can from historical documentation know how some of them died. Take Peter for example; many say that he did not feel worthy of dying the same way as Jesus, so he asked to be crucified upside down. Other disciples were either stoned, beaten to death and some even be-headed. The one account in the Bible, is of James, John’s brother, killed by the sword as described in Acts 12 verse 2. The Apostle Paul also talks of his many beatings and close encounters with death found in 2 Corinthians 11. So what makes what Jesus did so important, if many other people suffered the same fate as Him, or even worse physical pain?

It is the fact that on Him, lay every sin we have ever done and will ever do. As Peter says in his letter found in 1 Peter 2:24, “He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.” That is the key. It is by His wounds that we find complete spiritual and physical healing. It is because an innocent man’s blood paid the price for our guilty sins. As nobel as the other disciple’s deaths were, their deaths were not to pay for our sins. Only Jesus’ was.

Even more incredible, is that Jesus didn’t stay dead. He rose again and by doing so, defeated sin and death once and for all. He destroyed the power of death, He destroyed the power of the enemy, and He once and for all, made it possible that we can be completely forgiven for our sins. It was Jesus that had to die for us, suffer for us and be resurrected for us. And it is only through Jesus’ death and resurrection that we have victory.

Jesus Did Indeed Rise Again

1st April

He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the scripture said. He was seen by Peter and then by the twelve. After that, He was seen by more than 500 of His followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then He was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw Him.”

1 Corinthians 15:4-8

Why do so many people doubt Jesus’ resurrection? This is one of the most clearest scriptures in the whole of the Bible regarding Jesus’ appearances after His resurrection, which clearly states that Jesus is alive and was seen by many. How can we deny these facts? This living proof, a letter written by a real person, in a real context, in a real world, by real eye witnesses to the fact that Jesus did indeed rise again. This is historical ‘primary’ evidence. This is historical, first hand accounts of people who had seen Jesus after His resurrection. The grave was broken, the result of sin nullified and death has been rendered ‘defeated‘.

If Jesus didn’t rise again then as Paul continues in his letter, “… all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless” (verse 14). Paul adds that “.. if Christ has not been raised, then… you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost” (verse 17-18)! However, the hope of our salvation is that Jesus DID rise from the dead and now lives in complete victory over sin and the enemy. In addition, we also live in Christ’s resurrection power and His victory. We are forgiven because of Jesus’ resurrection. We are made alive because Jesus is alive!

But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead…..!”

(verse 20a)

The Risen King

30th March

““Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? Look at My hands. Look at My feet. You can see that it’s really Me. Touch Me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.””

Luke 24:38-39

So many people throughout history have doubted the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Some even doubt His very existence. Interestingly, the doubters of this world are not alone. Even Jesus’ own disciples doubted that He had risen. They thought that when Jesus appeared to them after His resurrection He was a spirit or a ghost.

Yet after Jesus revealed that it was indeed Him, the doubts went away and instead, they were filled with such a conviction to share this news with others, even to the point of persecution and death. The testimony of these men lives on today, even after more than 2000 years. Yet it is not only the testimony of these men and the spreading of the gospel that have caused many to put their trust in the resurrected Jesus, it is the fact that Jesus continues to reveal Himself to doubters.

Once we experience the revelation of Jesus’ resurrection, we can do nothing but serve Him with our lives and tell others about this great news. Jesus is alive. He is real. He did rise from the dead, just as He said. He lives in us and we are living witnesses of His life changing grace and power. Go…. Tell the world HE IS ALIVE!