A few weeks ago, we celebrated Easter, a day when we remember the most powerful event in human history. Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Those in power attempted to hide, cover up, and discredit the event, yet they did not succeed because the resurrection power was very real. Jesus really did rise from the dead. That powerful event, that resurrection power, still impacts our lives each and every day. Easter may be a date on the calendar, but the resurrection of Jesus Christ is something to be celebrated all year long. Let’s take a closer look at what the Bible tells us about the resurrection.
What Does the Bible Tell Us about the Resurrection?
If we piece together the events found in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20, we get a pretty full picture of what happened that Sunday morning. As soon as possible, on the morning after the Sabbath, several women went to the tomb where Jesus had been buried. They brought along spices so they could anoint his body. They didn’t have any way to remove the large stone in front of the tomb, but they went anyway.
Before the women arrived, an angel of the Lord rolled the stone away from the entrance to Jesus’ tomb, causing a violent earthquake. The angel, whose appearance was like lightning, sat on top of the stone. The guards who had been placed in front of the tomb to guard it were so terrified they collapsed like dead men.
When the women arrived, they saw the stone rolled away, and the tomb was empty. They were alarmed at the discovery. They were even more alarmed when angels appeared to them. They fell to their faces, and the angels asked them why they were looking for the living among the dead. Jesus was alive! They reminded the women that Jesus had said He would be crucified and rise on the third day. The women were instructed to go and tell the disciples and Peter what had happened.
Afraid and confused, the women left the tomb. While they were on their way, Jesus appeared to them. Matthew 28:9-10 says, “Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Greetings,’ he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’” (NIV)
The Apostle John gives a fuller account of this encounter with Mary Magdalene in John 20:11-18. You can read more about that encounter and further thoughts on the resurrection in this article by John D. Barry.
Jesus appeared to many people and spoke to them about the kingdom of God. Forty days later, He ascended into Heaven.
How Does the Resurrection’s Power Impact Us Today?
That all sounds well and good, but it was so long ago. How can the resurrection of Jesus Christ impact us today? It is Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins and His resurrection from the dead that makes it possible for us to have our sins forgiven and have a direct relationship with God. If Jesus died for our sins, where’s the power in that? He would be dead, and Satan would have won. But Jesus did rise from the dead. He is alive, and His victory is our victory. He conquered sin and death once and for all when He rose that beautiful Sunday morning. Because He lives, we can have new life too.
1 Peter 1:3-4 says, “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 Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.” (NLT) When we believe, we are born again into new life. Our life here on earth can now be lived with great expectation. We’re heirs with Christ Jesus, and one day we’ll receive a priceless inheritance we can’t even imagine.
Another impact of resurrection’s power is the ability to have a beautiful relationship with the Creator of the universe. Sin separates us from God, but because of Jesus, that relationship is made right. If we believe, we are made right with God because Jesus was raised to life. Now when God looks at us, He sees Jesus, and we’re considered righteous and forgiven. Romans 4:24-25 states, “God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” (NLT)
There are so many ways resurrection’s power impacts us today, but I’ll wrap this section up with one of my favorite verses. Ephesians 1:18-20 reads, “I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” (NLT, italics added)
I’ve faced many challenges in my life, many situations that seemed impossible. I’ve looked death in the face and prepared to meet Jesus face to face. Yet I’m still here. God still has a plan for my life. I continue to face challenges, and these words found in Ephesians are always an encouragement to me. I hope they are to you too.
How Can We Reflect on the Resurrection’s Power?
As the Nike slogan goes, “Just do it!” Let’s start right now. Scroll back up and read Ephesians 1:18-20 again. I’ll wait.
Now, let’s think about what those words mean. Let’s ask God to flood our hearts with light. Imagine the light of Jesus Christ filling your heart to overflowing. Ask God to help you understand the confident hope He has given you. Think about that phrase, “confident hope.” This isn’t a “Gee, I hope everything works out” kind of hope. This is a confident hope. A hope we can hold on to, rest on, and believe in with all our hearts. It’s a powerful hope! Next, remember that if you believe in Him, you’re one of God’s holy people. You’re His rich and glorious inheritance. Wow!
Now we’re getting to my favorite part. Ask God to help you understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for you. Think about this, God’s power is for you. Not just any power. It’s the same mighty power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead and seated Him at God’s right hand, the place of honor. The same power that is stronger than death is for you and me. Amazing!
Not only that, Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God, and do you know what He’s doing? He’s interceding for us. Romans 8:34 says, “Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (NIV) He’s advocating for us, fighting for us. It’s an incredible reality that impacts us every moment of every day.
Reflecting on the resurrection power can change our lives. It can be as simple as reading the truth found in God’s Word or thinking about what we’ve learned. We can also look up quotes on the resurrection and see how it has impacted the lives of others. Here are a few I found that were encouraging to me:
“If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”—Tim Keller
“The resurrection of Christ is one of the foundation-stones of Christianity. It was the seal of the great work that He came on earth to do. It was the crowning proof that the ransom He paid for sinners was accepted, the atonement for sin accomplished, the head of him who had the power of death bruised, and the victory won.”—J.C. Ryle
“Live in the awareness that Christ lives and that He lives in His people.”—Julien B. Well
Prayers to Remember the Resurrection’s Power
God of our Lord Jesus Christ, glorious Father, please give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that I may know You better. I pray that the eyes of my heart will be enlightened so that I may know the hope to which You have called me, the riches of Your glorious inheritance in Your holy people, and Your incomparably great power for us who believe. Thank You that this power is the same as the mighty strength You exerted when You raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at Your right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Adapted from Ephesians 1:17-21)
For this reason, I kneel before You, Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of Your glorious riches, You will strengthen me with power through Your Spirit in my inner being, so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith. And I pray that I, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all Your holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that I may be filled to the measure of all Your fullness, Lord God. Now to You, dearest God, who are able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to Your power that is at work within me, to You be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. (Adapted from Ephesians 3:14-21)
Whatever situation you find yourself in today, know that God cares. He sees you. Jesus is interceding for you, and the power that raised Him from the dead is available to you. Reach out to Him today and allow Him to fill your heart with light, confident hope, and deep love.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/thanasus
Passionate about helping people find joy for their journey, Josie Siler, a small-town Wisconsin girl, has big dreams. As an author and photographer, Josie shares God’s gifts of beauty, hope, and adventure with people who are overwhelmed by life’s circumstances, encouraging them to walk in the freedom and joy found in Jesus. Josie is the author of the award-winning picture book, Howie’s Broken Hee-Haw, published by End Game Press. She's also a chronic illness warrior who believes every day is a gift that should be celebrated. When she’s not writing or taking pictures, you’ll find Josie looking for adventure, curled up with a good book, or cuddling her teddy bear dog Ruby Mae (a.k.a. The Scruffy Princess). Connect with Josie at JosieSiler.com.
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