...that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...
Thoughts for Today:Paul tells us every presentation of the Gospel message must contain two key components: First, Jesus died for our sins; and second, He was raised from the dead. We Christians who name Jesus as our Lord and Savior believe this Gospel message -- especially the first part. But, do we really believe the second aspect? Do we really believe that Jesus is alive, right now by His Spirit living in us? If we do, then today and every day will be like Easter Sunday.
John 20:11-16: "Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, 'Woman, why are you crying?' 'They have taken my Lord away,' she said, 'and I don't know where they have put him.' At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, 'Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?' Thinking he was the gardener, she said, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.' Jesus said to her, 'Mary.' She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, 'Rabboni!' (which means Teacher). Jesus said, 'Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, "I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."'"
Let me ask some questions: Do you think Mary was excited about the atoning work of Christ on the Cross? Was she thrilled with the millennial reign of Jesus to come? Of course not. No one, on that first Easter Sunday, was concerned with any of the theological nor eschatological implications of a risen Lord. Mary hugged Jesus and held onto Him because He was her Friend who was alive and with her again. It was the only thing that mattered.
What if we believed the same thing? Not some abstract teaching or principle, but in a risen Friend? Believing not only in His death, but that He is risen again and with us today -- right now? I can tell you something for certain, if we do, we won't be going around any longer saying, "Poor me. What am I going to do about my job, how am I going to pay my bills, or why don't I get the respect I deserve?" No, instead we'll be running around joyously telling everyone who will listen, "Jesus is alive, and He's here today!" Do you truly believe in both parts of the Gospel message?
Questions to Ponder:Isaiah 30:15: "This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.'" It's the same thing the Lord says to us each and every day: Our quietness (lack of anxiety) and confidence (resting in the promise and presence of the Lord), will be our strength. Or will we have none of it? Which do you choose? Do you believe the Gospel? Do you believe the FULL Gospel message? To the extent we do, it will determine how happy we are. Just ask Mary.