Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!

Dear Friends,


"Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb...Then the angel spoke to the women. “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."  Matthew 28:1,5 (NLT)

On Easter Sunday we celebrate the truth that God raised Jesus from the dead.  As Christians, this is where our hope lies - in a living God with whom we can have a relationship.  "And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."  Romans 5:5 (NLT)

In his letter to the Corinthians Paul says "Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters,of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him."  1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (NLT)

Our hope in God is not just for the here and now, it is for the future too because we know he has prepared a place for us in heaven so that we will one day join him and live with him forever.

It's our faith and hope in the resurrection that makes our life worth living.  We know because of Jesus there is more to life than just this one on earth, and that death is not the end for us.


Read the Message paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 15.
"12-15 Now, let me ask you something profound yet troubling. If you became believers because you trusted the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, how can you let people say that there is no such thing as a resurrection? If there’s no resurrection, there’s no living Christ. And face it—if there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything we’ve told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you’ve staked your life on is smoke and mirrors. Not only that, but we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ—sheer fabrications, if there’s no resurrection.

30-33 And why do you think I keep risking my neck in this dangerous work? I look death in the face practically every day I live. Do you think I’d do this if I wasn’t convinced of your resurrection and mine as guaranteed by the resurrected Messiah Jesus? Do you think I was just trying to act heroic when I fought the wild beasts at Ephesus, hoping it wouldn’t be the end of me? Not on your life! It’s resurrection, resurrection, always resurrection, that undergirds what I do and say, the way I live. If there’s no resurrection, “We eat, we drink, the next day we die,” and that’s all there is to it. But don’t fool yourselves. Don’t let yourselves be poisoned by this anti-resurrection loose talk. “Bad company ruins good manners.”
34 Think straight. Awaken to the holiness of life. No more playing fast and loose with resurrection facts. Ignorance of God is a luxury you can’t afford in times like these. Aren’t you embarrassed that you’ve let this kind of thing go on as long as you have?

58 With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort." 1 Corinthians 15:12-15, 30-33, 58.
 


In the light of that first Easter Sunday and those verses I'm prompted to consider how I am living my life.   How am I making the most of the life I have been given?  Am I living for God or is it all for myself?  Is my life glorifying God?  I want my life to count for something, actually, to be specific, I want it to count for God and for eternity.  I want to use my time living as he wants me to live.
To Think About:
What is your response to Easter Sunday?

Are you making the most of the life God has given you?

What are you doing to prepare yourself for eternity?

Vicki


 

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