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Easter Sunday – faith reborn and a new beginning


The third day has come. Jesus is risen. He is faithful to his promise!

BY TARA-LEIGH COBBLE*

It’s early Sunday morning. The sun is just starting to peek over the hills, and you’re on your way to visit the place where, just two days ago, they buried your best friend – the man you believed was the Messiah. You’ve never been this sad before. Your heart is broken. And you are scared. Scared of what this new week will bring now that Jesus is gone. Where do you go from here?

 

You go to his tomb. It’s surrounded by Roman guards, but you are desperate to be near and grieve your friend, so you go anyway.

 

Out of nowhere, the ground begins to shake beneath your feet. What is going on? You find the guards passed out in fear and one who appears like a beacon of light looking directly at you and the friend who came with you. And he speaks.

 

“‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you’” (Matthew 28:5-7 NLT).

 

This is the scene Mary Magdalene and Mary, Jesus’ mother, experienced early Sunday morning. What they were expecting was to visit Jesus’ burial place, maybe lay some flowers at his grave, and grieve in silence. Instead, what they got was an encounter with an angel telling them that Jesus was alive! He was not dead. He is risen!

 

Their great grief had been turned to hope! And now they rushed so others would know. 

“The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there’” (Matthew 28:8-10 NLT).

 

In that moment, their hope becomes sight! These women got to meet their risen Saviour! What seemed impossible mere moments early was a reality.

 

The third day has come. Jesus is risen. He is faithful to his promise!

 

“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Now, he was asking them to be faithful followers and an action step of faith. The women didn’t simply encounter Jesus, hug it out, celebrate, and go on with their Sunday as if nothing happened. No, Jesus asks something of them: “Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”

 

The first ones to encounter Jesus were told to go and tell. Go tell the other disciples so they can also see me for themselves. There are things for them to do as well. 

Easter Sunday may be the culmination of this Holy Week, but Easter itself is not an ending; it’s a beginning. It’s a chance for us – whether long-time Christians or individuals just hearing about Jesus for the first time – to allow what has happened over this week to change us. Jesus didn’t endure everything he went through for us to remain unchanged.

 

Easter isn’t an inspirational story to hear and file away until next year. It’s a chance to be made new! We can share in the resurrection life of Jesus with its promise that we, too, will overcome the grave through his saving power.

 

If you’ve never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, now is your chance to do just that. Invite him to come into your life, surrender everything to him, and allow him to make you new. That act of faith is all that is required to be forgiven of all your sins and reborn into the new life Jesus offers.

 

“The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart. And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced’” (Romans 10:8-11 NLT).

 

Just as Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of God alone, there is nothing you can add to Jesus’ work of salvation on your behalf. Forgiveness of sin and new life is yours when you place your genuine belief in the One whose work was done for you on the cross.

 

And if you already claim Jesus as Lord, then what are you waiting for? Like the women whose faith was restored when they encountered the risen Jesus, following and obeying Jesus is where we find our purpose and our hope. We can begin, as they did, by going and telling others that our great Saviour is Risen Indeed. Go and tell how Jesus has radically changed you from the inside out. Show others how you’re different because of the new life you have been given. Share the source of your unexplainable peace, joy, and generosity. Be the Gospel in action.

 

Easter is the final, glorious, day that marks the end of this journey to the cross, but it is the beginning for all those who will put their faith in Jesus and all he accomplished for us.

 

“‘Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:19-20 NLT).


Article courtesy of the Bible App – Walking with Jesus series by Tara-Leigh Cobble (speaker, author, teacher, podcaster from the US)

 

 

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