April 08, 2012

In the Beginning, Anew

Matthew 28:6
"He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."

I have a friend I haven't seen anymore. Her home is in Los Angeles, but she lives in her head inside a dream. Other friends tried calling her to see if she can come out. And, help her lose the down that she's found. Unfortunately, she cannot be reached. Friend, what if your world should fall apart? Will you implode, too?

Think about a time when your heart was broken because your expectations were dashed and your world fell apart. That is exactly what happened to the women who came to Jesus' tomb. They had put all their hopes in Him as Israel's promised Messiah and had given Him their love and devotion.

Now He was dead.

Can you imagine the sudden change in their emotions and outlook when an angel told them He had risen? Hope sprang to life again. Even though this event happened 2,000 years ago, the empty tomb still holds a message for us. Like these women, we can be dramatically changed when we consider the ramifications of Christ's resurrection. It should affect how we live from this day forward.

Jesus' resurrection proves that there is life after death. So many people today think that earthly existence is all there is. But this belief robs life of purpose and meaning. God created us as eternal souls, and Jesus demonstrated that death is not the end - much more awaits us.

The empty tomb also gives us hope and dispels our fears about death. We have One who has gone before us and shown us what's ahead. Those who trust Him as their Savior (Rom. 10:9-10) will be resurrected to new life just as He was.

By accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you begin your life anew that very moment. In a way, it's your own Genesis 1:1; that is, God creates you through the blood of Jesus to be a new creature. Consider II Corinthians 5:17-18,

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;"

And, Romans 6:4 goes even further: "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."

Thus, walking - not sitting, resting or convaslescing on a mountain top - but walking in the newness of life is what we're called by Christ to do. To be sure, we are to walk all the days of our life in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16) and redeem the evil days (Eph. 5:16) with the Gospel of peace (Rom. 10:15).

None of us know what day the Lord will call our name, signaling the end of our earthly life. Yet we do know that He has promised to prepare a place in heaven for us (John 14:1-3). Death is not the end, but simply the stepping into eternity and beginning the greatest adventure of our lives: Coming home to Christ.

Dear Reader, one day you will die (Heb. 9:27). When that day comes, where will you be spending eternity? Are you going home to Christ?

Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

(portion of this posting is courtesy of Dr. Charles Stanley)

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