|by Angela Lambert|
April 16th, 2017 Easter Sunday
Gospel of John 20:1-9
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.
Jesus is risen! Just when we think all is lost, He makes something new. Jesus took His most beloved disciples by surprise, and He takes us by surprise as well.
|“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (MT 16:24-25)|
Death scares us by its finality, and the shroud of the mysterious unknown that surrounds it. Yet, in Christ we can be confident that with death comes resurrection. Jesus had warned, and promised:
|“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).|
Every change, even welcomed ones, require us to leave the old behind in order to embrace the new. It takes courage to leave a familiar prison, to embrace an unfamiliar freedom. Today, we celebrate the victory of Christ, Who provides both the courage and the freedom we desire.
God’s love for us exceeds all our expectations. His intervention in our lives, especially when we surrender completely to His will, always surprises us. If we trust in Jesus each day, allowing Him to lead, He will bring richness, joy, peace, and deep love to our lives in ways we might not have forseen.
Today we celebrate new life. We celebrate God’s love. We celebrate God’s power and His victory over sin and death. We celebrate His victory in our own lives and within our own hearts. Our confidence can be renewed, that no struggle or suffering can stop Christ. If we place our trust Him, He will heal and transform us, putting to rest the old for good and making something new. Today, we celebrate our fresh start. During Lent, we endeavored to face our sins and bring our guilt before the Lord. Now, we get to leave that shame in the past, crucified with Christ, and begin something new.
|Revelation 21:3-5“I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.”
The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”
- Consider Christ’s victories in your life.
- How have you grown?
- In what way do you experience greater freedom than before?
- What were you afraid of before, that you no longer fear?
- What virtues has Christ developed in you?
- How has your love for God and others deepened?
- How has God surprised you?
- When did He give you something more than you asked for?
- When did His plan lead you down an unexpected road?
- When have you experienced His loving mercy when you didn’t think you should?
- Reflect on Christ’s love for you and His strength.
Make a Resolution (Practical Application):
- Resolve to begin anew today. Make a concrete step to leave the old behind, no matter how comfortable it is, and allow Christ to lead you forward.
~ Written by Angela Lambert © 2017
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