Celebrating the Resurrection

Happy Easter!

Today, we celebrate the victory and truth of Jesus’ resurrection. May these verses resonate deeply within you as they are within me. For, as Paul says below, without the resurrection from the dead this whole faith thing is useless.

The resurrection did happen, though! As the eyewitnesses testified (below and elsewhere), Jesus rose from the dead as was predicted in the Scriptures and what a glorious day that was.

The Faithful Women Are the First Witnesses of the Resurrection
But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.” (Luke 24:1-7 NLT)

The Message Passed Down
And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things. (Luke 24:46-48 NLT)

Why the Gospels (Eyewitness Accounts) Were Written
The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. (John 20:30, 31 NLT)

Why Is the Resurrection So Important
And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! (1 Corinthians 15:14-18 NLT)

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all of you. Death was beaten, for the Son was resurrected from the dead. And this same ever-lasting life is available for all of us.

The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.” Luke 24:5-7

And as we reflect on the mystery of Jesus Christ and the Good News, always remember why the Gospels were written:

The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. John 20:30-31

A Dull Heart

I have understood the effects of worrying for a while. I try to not worry about things in my life, but fail many times. I came across this verse a few days ago and was amazed to think that worrying dulls my heart in a similar fashion to being drunk all of the time. It provides me with a great reminder for how important it is not too worry.

“Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Luke 21:34

What Is Your Identity?

What is in an identity?

A few things over the past couple of weeks got me thinking about my identity and how identities change. First, my pastor brought up an interesting point about one of the parables Jesus told in Luke 16 (versus 19 – 31). While Lazarus was named in this parable, the rich man was not. In fact, during the entire parable, he is in fact only identified as “the rich man”.

Identity

Then, a few nights ago, Michele and I were talking about our son’s WEE School registration. The story had a funny twist in that Michele never actually got any names of the women she met. Instead, everyone introduced themselves as “Jake’s mom”, “Rachel’s mom”, “Peyton’s mom”, etc. Chele and I had a great laugh over that story, but it also got me thinking.

It amazes me how identities are so fluid… yet so important. Before Asher came along, I never had an identity as “Asher’s dad”. Before I met Michele, I never had an identity as “Michele’s husband”. I do now and they are identities I take very seriously.

Likewise, before I became a Christian, I never had the identity of “Leo: Christ disciple”. Before, I was more likely “Leo: pleasure seeker” or “Leo: wannabe rich man”.

I love my identity as “Leo: Christ disciple”. It is an important factor in my life because it sets the foundation of how I am going to approach each day. Through this identity, I live each day without fear, knowing God is always with me. This new identity also gives me purpose. Through my Christ-based identity, I now live each day so that I can have an impact on other people’s lives.

There are a few of my identities. What are some of yours?

Photo courtesy of Freddy The Boy on Flickr.