“And so, they (Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus) took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been laid.” John 19:40-41
Mary Magdalene to Peter and John after having come from the tomb on Sunday morning: “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we (other women who were with Mary) do not know where they have laid Him.” (John 20:2)
Now, be sure and read the context of the Scriptures for yourself (John 19:38-20:10), but for now, Peter and John (the younger) run to Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb in which he and Nicodemus have previously laid Jesus’ body. John tells us in his Gospel that he arrives first and looks inside but doesn’t enter, yet. Peter however, is right behind him and upon arrival, enters the tomb. What do they see? They both see an empty tomb as Mary had described earlier, but John draws us to the linen wrappings that had encased both Jesus’ body and head separately. The amazing thing is, the way in which the Scriptures read tells us how the linen wrappings had kept their original shape and position after Jesus’ resurrection! If Jesus’ body had been stolen, the thieves would not have taken the time to unwrap it, but even if they had, the wrappings would have been strewn all over the tomb, not lying in the perfect order Peter and John witnessed!
Perhaps you’re like Mary who believed that Jesus body had been stolen (be sure and read John 20:11-18 for the rest of Mary’s resurrection story). Maybe you’re timid and fearful of how others may respond to your being a follower of Jesus, like Joseph and Nicodemus, but courage is brewing in your soul (see John 19:38-42). Perhaps you’re like Peter who jumped right in but was still trying to figure things out, or John who saw and believed when he entered the tomb (See John 20:8). But, I do know is this-The Amen to the crucifixion is the resurrection of the Son of God, and sometimes what the Holy Spirit is doing is prompting us to walk inside the tomb in order to witness once again with our spirit, “He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.” (Mark 15:6)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you”
I Peter 1:3-4
Christian, I lovingly challenge you to read this verse over a few times slowly; allowing the Holy Spirit to sink its fabulous truths into your soul! As I read slowly through this verse I see the following: 1. All the blessing and praise go first to the Father and the Son for their great mercy to me (toward we Christians)! 2. Why? Because through the Spirit of the living Christ, the Father has caused us to be “born again” (“born from above”-see John Three) to a living hope through His son’s resurrection from the dead! 3. In-order-for us to, what? In-order-for us to obtain an inheritance! And what kind of inheritance? An inheritance that is: imperishable (immortal), undefiled (unstained by evil-See Revelation 21:27), …will not fade away (unimpaired by time), reserved in heaven for you”
For who, Christian? Yes! For you! May the Word of God bring the hope and security of your eternity, which in turn, will bring you confidence and joy in your relationship with the eternal God, this glorious day! Pastor Louie
“Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord…” Romans 1:1-4
Activation (to be energized, switched on, set in motion), is a very popular word today. For example, many of us have called a company in-order-to have our credit/debit cards “activated.” And, most of us know what it means to buy a new I-Phone and have it “activated” for use while in the store. But how is the resurrection power of Christ set in motion in the life of the Christian believer thus enabling him or her to live courageously and joyously in this world of today in which he lives? Paul offers us the key.
It all begins with the Christian’s surrendering his/her full rights and will to Jesus daily, and thus, being set apart as “one sent” (an apostle) as a bearer of the gospel of God to those to whom God sends him or her. Paul begins his letter to the Romans by identifying himself as a bond-servant of Christ Jesus. “Bond-servant” literally means “slave.” Paul saw himself as owned by Jesus; bought and paid for by His precious blood, with no rights of his own! Wow! To be totally surrendered to the life of Christ and to walk in obedience to His word in faith; fully trusting in God’s will and way-now that’s not only living-that’s Resurrection Activation! Will you invite the Holy Spirit to set (you) apart-to mark off your boundaries-for Christ and for Christ alone, this day?
In the Powerful Enabling of the Spirit of the Living Christ!
‘I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.’ John 10:9-10
“…knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.” Romans 6:6-9
The Great Thief’s Lie: Satan (our flesh and the world-system) would have us believe that we Christians cannot live the abundant (to-the-fullest-measure-and-overflowing) life that Jesus promises His disciples He came to give then (then and now) as recorded in John 10:10! Satan wants you to focus on you sins, failures, and defeats when tempted to sin, rather than to live with the “Resurrection Abundance” Paul speaks of in Romans Six.
The Savior’s Truth: Reflect on the Roman’s passage above. Paul says, as Christians, we still live in our earthly bodies “of sin” and therefore, we are often tempted to sin under the influence of the lust of our flesh, the lust of our eyes, and the boastful pride of life (See I John 2:16). However, Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead have provided the Christian with His Spirit-filled power to overcome sin because the power of sin and death was broken at the cross, and God’s resurrection power resides in the life of the believer!
Isn’t that wonderful! Christian, sin has no mastery over you! You have been freed its power by the blood of Jesus, and you don’t have to live under its influence and control at any time! Look to Jesus! Stay near Him by staying in His word and prayer! Be thankful for His ongoing forgiveness, but walk in the confidence of the truth that your old self is dead with Christ and your new life is raised with Him. As Pastor Charles Stanley says, “It is about self-replacement, never about self-improvement!” Thankful for His Grace, Pastor Louie
“…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His Beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Nancy and I were living in Wilmore, Kentucky in the 1980’s while I was attending Asbury Theological Seminary, and during that time, I had a part-time job with an office supply store in Nicholasville. One day, the couple I worked for presented Nancy and me with two tickets to Mammoth Cave. The day we arrived, we were amazed at this huge and complex set of caverns, but the highlight was the moment our tour guide switched off the lights in one of the chamber rooms on the tour, and we experienced total cave darkness. We couldn’t even see our own hands when placed directly in front of our faces! It was an eerie feeling, and I was so glad when our guide flipped the switch back to the “on” position thus dispelling immediately all the darkness from the room via the invading light!
Paul was living proof of the wondrous and marvelous transformation that takes place in the spirit of a man or woman who becomes a new creation in Christ (See II Corinthians 5:17)! The same miracle of the new birth in Christ that turned Paul from a persecutor and destroyer of Christians for the sake of his dead and performance-based religion, into a humble and bold preacher and teacher of the gospel, can deliver and transform anyone who puts his/her faith in the death and resurrection of the Son of God! When you do, (or when you did), you can be assured that you have been delivered and transferred from Satan’s kingdom to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom (you) we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Have you been qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints (Christians-those set apart unto God) in light?”