The Power of Christ’s Resurrection
“He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Matthew 28:6-9
Amanda has come through some dark troubling days in the past weeks. I have shared in a previous message that she and her husband Juan were living on the street and stayed overnight at a used car lot. Several weeks ago they were able to get temporary housing through the city’s program that put them up at a motel. But warrants for their arrest put them in jail. Amanda was released but Juan continues to serve for several years.
We have remained in touch and have supported Amanda as she has sought a place to live. We are grateful that she wants to stay off drugs and alcohol and is trying to trust God with her life. Thankfully our prayers for her have been answered, and this week she moved into an apartment on the Eastside. Since she didn’t have anything, we helped her by giving her household items.
Knowing the past Amanda has suffered, we celebrate her faith and her willingness to overcome drugs and alcohol and live a new life with Christ’s strength. She is a testimony of Christ’s transforming power. When Christ comes into our lives, we are forever changed. He can take our lives out of the deepest darkness and bring us into his glorious light.
The women who came to the tomb Sunday morning could not have felt any more discouraged. Their Teacher was dead, and all they believed was destroyed by his crucifixion. But everything changed when they encountered their Teacher, who is now the Risen Lord. They were dramatically moved from weeping for Jesus to worshiping Jesus, clutching his resurrected body. The reality of Christ’s resurrection transformed their lives forever.
The historical reality of Christ’s Resurrection is at the core of the Christian Faith. Christ’s bodily resurrection undergirds the whole meaning of our salvation in Christ the Risen Lord. The resurrection is NOT a metaphor for life triumphing over death, or a hope that we all go to heaven. Jesus’ real living body is what ushers in the New Age of God’s Kingdom on Earth and the new humanity transformed by his death and resurrection.
If Jesus’ body is still in the tomb, then the foundation of our Faith either collapses into despair or struggles to be held up by a false existential leap of faith that has no factual reality. If Jesus’ body is dead, we have no reason to believe in him. He would merely be another martyred religious teacher.
Jesus is risen! I grew up in a church hearing those words, but I never understood the reality of Easter. At age 19, I heard the Gospel for the first time and encountered the transforming love of Jesus Christ. It was not an emotional experience that I had. I had no tears. I had no words. I repeated no canned script of salvation. I simply met Jesus Christ. My rebellious heart was hit by a love I’d never felt before. My life was never the same. This is the power of the Risen Jesus. Dead men have no such power.
Jesus is alive in our ministry of CCDC, impacting the lives we seek to serve in his name and his power. Our hope is solely in Jesus the Risen Lord. Amanda’s faith is young and fragile, so we will continue to support and encourage her to live her new life, and not slip back into her old ways. Help us with our ministry so that we can continue to be there for Amanda.
May God’s Peace be with you,
Pastor Jim and Debby Riley