Lesson 7 -- first quarter 2006
April 16, 2006
© Copyright 2006
Can you prove the resurrection?
I don't strain my wits and reason trying to prove the resurrection to anybody. The proof is in the Scriptures; the issue is faith in that Record. If God wasn't constrained to provide more proof than that, why should I attempt the impossible? Those who pinned their hopes on the Shroud of Turin failed to realize this. God doesn't need modern scientific findings nor ancient archeological discoveries to establish once and for all that Jesus did indeed rise from the grave. People's doubts and lack of faith do nothing to alter that fact! My main concern ought to be living a life that demonstrates the results of His resurrection.
He doesn't belong here
Those who saw Jesus die as well as those who heard of His death knew where He belonged. Whether sad, glad, or indifferent because of His death, everyone knew where He belonged. And they were all wrong! So the angels at the tomb had to ask, "Why seek ye the living among the dead?" (Luke 24:5). Jesus didn't belong in such a place of death and defeat. The glorious Lord was risen so of course He wasn't there (Mark 16:6)!
We should have a similar testimony. We have been raised into new life so we should no longer be as those who are spiritually dead. We don't belong there! Paul told Christians that since they are "alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord," they should "let not sin therefore reign" in them (Romans 6:11,12). Rather, "yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God" (Romans 6:13).
When people look at you and consider your life, how and where do they find you?
That's the way it is
Sometimes what God says seems so unreal, so impossible. I don't know why the Lord's disciples forgot His repeated statements concerning His resurrection. Maybe they forgot because their minds just couldn't come to grips with something so "unreal and impossible." So when the "unreal and impossible" actually happened, the angels had a message for the disciples: "there shall ye see him, as he said unto you" (Mark 16:7). No matter how unreal and impossible something may seem to us, when God says it, that's the way it is. We can count on it and we can live by it.
The resurrection life.
His resurrection made such a difference for Jesus. Have you ever tried to imagine what some of the ramifications of His resurrection were for Him? No, I haven't either, at least not until now. Here are two obvious things that have occurred to me: He was no longer bound to conventional means of travel, and He no longer bore the burden of His mission of redemption. There surely are other ways His resurrection made a difference for Him. I challenge you to think of some others.
We can readily recognize that Jesus' resurrection life was an improvement in many ways over the life He lived prior to His death. How wonderful to realize that we can live our own resurrection life! Of course we still have to travel by conventional methods and enter rooms through normal means. But what are some ramifications of the resurrection life in us? Let's consider just a few.
Freedom from guilt. Oh the weight of our sin and our guilt! And oh the freedom from that weight! Those who have in them the resurrection life have been set free from sin and the condemnation of it. The peace that Jesus gives is incomparable because it is a full, genuine peace born of forgiveness. This peace comes from facing our guilt and having it taken care of by Jesus.
Freedom to love. Before the resurrection life of Jesus became mine, I was my own biggest hindrance to love. The next big hindrance was the very people I was supposed to love. But when that new life came into my soul, well, I was free to love by a power and a love far greater than my own. Now Jesus wants to manifest His resurrection life through me in a love for others without regard to how they are or how they treat me. That's phenomenal, but wonderful!
Freedom to serve. The resurrection life is a life of service. Oh, without question the old life was also a life of service. I guess we could say that one of the differences lies in the object of our service. The old life concerned itself with serving self; the resurrection life primarily serves Jesus, which naturally results in serving others. Because of the resurrection life I have been set free from the task of serving myself to the blessing of serving my Lord and my neighbor.
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