The Resurrected King

6th April

 “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by His great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance…”

1 Peter 1:3-4a 

Hallelujah, Jesus is risen. I often think what it would be like in Heaven on that 3rd day when Jesus resurrected from the dead, conquering death and sin and taking back the authority of this world from the enemy. I am sure that there was a huge party, the angels rejoiced in a victorious chorus and all the heavenly hosts praised the Father for His great act of mercy and love.

Yet that is all well and good but what is our reaction to His resurrection? In John chapter 3, Jesus instructs Nicodemus what to do to see and experience the Kingdom of Heaven. He exclaims that one must be spiritually born again to experience the gift of salvation. He then goes on to say that in the greatest act of love, God sent His Son, Jesus, to rescue and save the world from their sin. On that glorious 3rd day, Jesus rose from the dead and fulfilled that promise. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we too can have new life and be born again.

If Jesus stayed dead, we would have no means to live a resurrected life, but because He was raised from the dead, because He no longer lives in the grave, we can experience new life with Christ. Our old selves are crucified with Christ on the cross, buried with Him in the tomb and we now live a resurrected life with Christ!!

Yet Peter encourages us further. That after this mortal life finishes we have a glorious inheritance awaiting us, were we can live eternally in the very presence of our Saviour, where there is no more pain and suffering, no more tears and sorrow, but only peace, joy and love.

“So be truly glad. There is a wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a while” (verse 6). So don’t give up. Rejoice that our King is resurrected and we can be part of that resurrection too!

 

 

He Is Alive

4th & 5th April

Weekend Edition

“If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

John 20:23 

Jesus’ death and resurrection was a great example to all of humanity in what love really looks like. He came and was nailed to a cross, the ultimate sign of shame and rejection, murdered by the very people He formed with His breath. Yet all that exuded from Jesus was love.

In today’s passage we find the resurrected Jesus, in His resurrected body, greeting the disciples and showing His wounds to them as a sign that it really was Him. Jesus really did rise from the dead. Yet the words He passed on to the disciples in verse 23 stands as a landmark and an ultimate commission for the disciples then but also for us now, “forgive and they will be forgiven.” Jesus doesn’t give permission to His disciples to now take the place of the Father and forgive sins but rather encourages them that if someone wronged them, they should not hold onto that bitterness. To release someone from that wrong towards us, not only liberates the other person but also ourselves. Forgiveness is an exchange of love from the wronged to the wrong doer.

Yet why did Jesus choose at that time to talk about forgiveness? He has just breathed on them and given them the Holy Spirit, isn’t that enough? If we look at what Jesus had just gone through and some of His last words on the cross, we can get our answer. In Luke 23:34 Jesus cries out and says “Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing” talking of His accusers and murderers. Even on the cross, in His dying breath He pleads for mercy for those who inflicted death on Him.

Jesus was so full of love, that there was no room for un-forgiveness or bitterness. He knew the power that love had to overcome all un-forgiveness. He could only go through what He went through with complete peace and love in His heart. We can have all the gifts of this world, rejoice in the resurrection of Christ and even be filled with the Holy Spirit. But without love and forgiveness we will fail in our commission to show Christ to a dying and lost world. Forgiveness is an important key this Easter, in unlocking the hearts of the broken. Forgive as Jesus did and see the breakthrough in your life and others. Happy Easter. Jesus is ALIVE.