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The Resurrected Christ


(Taken from Luke 24)

 David Brueckner

hen we know the end of a story, we often miss much of the drama and suspense that the actual participants experienced. This is certainly true concerning the resurrection account. We need to put ourselves in the sandals of the people, who had just lived the three worst days of their lives.  Some sacrificed their businesses and careers to follow this man, whose dead body now lay in a new tomb. Aspirations went up in smoke, when Jesus was crucified.

  When they awoke Sunday morning, they had no idea that this would be the greatest day in the history of the universe. As events unfolded, they ascended from the depths of despair to heights of joy. It was truly the Lord’s Day.

Jesus is here!

  “Those who feared the Lord spoke often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard it” (Mal. 3:16). On Resurrection Sunday, two walked along the road to Emmaus and “as they talked together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.” Since the conversation was about Jesus, He entered into it. They ran back to Jerusalem and, as they began to tell the others, “Jesus himself stood in the midst of them.”  Jesus promised that, not only in official meetings, but wherever two or three gather in His name, He would be there. Because He lives, the promise is more than biblical teaching. It is a present-day reality!                         
  On that day, Jesus spoke to them concerning Himself and the work He had accomplished.  There is no one else worth talking about.  No one is good, except God.  God is only pleased with Himself and only satisfied with His own work. “Unless the Lord builds a house, they labor in vain that build it.” and if man intervenes, he ruins it, because in man, there is no good thing. At the end of every day of creation, God saw that what He had done was good.

  God the Father is only pleased with His Son. Paul said, “It pleased God to reveal his Son in me.” God can only find pleasure in a mortal man, when the life of Christ is born in him and His resurrection power is manifested through him. Therefore Jesus taught Nicodemus, “You must be born again.”

A missing corpse

  The women who came to the tomb did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  What a tragedy for the human race, if they had! The hope of all Christians everywhere is the empty tomb. Other religions have an object of tangible worship - the tomb of a dead prophet, a historical monument or a tooth from Budda.  Thousands flocked to see the dead body of St. Therese, when it was recently paraded around Ireland, but God will have nothing to do with dead religion. It carries a stench and is powerless to make men to live, who are dead in sin. Early Christians were accused of being atheists, because they worshipped no visible object. Christianity alone boasts an empty tomb and a throne occupied by the same One, who defeated the great enemy death.  “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore...” (Rev.1:1).                 
  When someone dies, the doctor may write any number of causes on the death certificate, but the root cause is sin.  As a result of the fall of Adam, the whole world was plunged into death. Death is directly related to sin.  Every cemetery is an awful reminder of the terrible havoc that sin brought. No one is exempt from its powerful grip, “for all have sinned…” (Rom. 6:23).      

  There is another death that people live, while they breathe and their hearts still beat. If there is no communication with God and they are unaware of His presence, then they are spiritually dead (see Eph. 2:1). Many exist physically, who are totally ignorant of a world of spiritual life, where God is nearer than their own skin. They have only a consciousness of that which is visible and tangible.                                    

The empty grave means life

  The only answer for mankind’s spiritual death is the empty tomb that speaks of life and victory. Man lies helplessly inert and his question is, “Who is going to roll away the stone of my tomb? Who can deliver me from this death?” Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life.” A young man came to me late one night and asked, “Can God forgive even me?  I’ve done some really bad things.” He knew that he could not help himself. That made him a prime candidate for resurrection power.

  Christ laid down his life of his own accord and paid a price He did not owe.  He gave a life, which hell could not claim, took it back on the third day and said, “Now I will share it with people.”  Herod could not kill him.  The devil could not deceive him. Death could not destroy him and the grave could not hold him. He’s alive today!   

  Many turn to dead religion for answers. They have a crucifix mentality and worship a dead man hanging on a cross. However, all over Spain and in 16 other countries, ex-drug addicts by the thousands have met the risen Christ. He is as real to them as Jesus was to the disciples in his day. They have composed the following song in Spanish, which translates:
He’s not nailed to that cross 
Because he arose and lives today.  
Don't seek Him among the dead, because He’s risen. 
One day He gave His life for yours,
But today if you’ll go to Him, you’ll feel His great love  
Because he arose and lives today.

  “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” the angel asked. How ridiculous to look for life in a graveyard! Often we approach the prayer closet as a religious ritual. We act as though we were kneeling in a cemetery and talking to a tombstone, rather than coming with boldness into the throne room of death’s Conqueror. We do not expect a hearing, much less an answer. We open the word of God in the same fashion, scanning shells of words, without feeding on the kernels of truth. Shame on us! Let’s read the Bible, as if for the first time and pray, as if it were our last chance. 
Gotta tell somebody

  A genuine meeting with the resurrected Christ will immediately turn you into a missionary.  The women at the tomb were told to go and tell that Jesus was alive. The two who met Jesus on the Emmaus road ran back to tell the others. After He came out of the tomb, He commanded His disciples to go  and tell  the news in all the world. Philip was told to arise and go to meet an Ethiopian in the desert. Ananias was told to arise and go to Saul of Tarsus. Peter was told to arise and go with the messengers from Cornelius. Now it’s our turn to arise and go with the message of a resurrected Lord to the 12,000 unreached people groups of the world.         

  In a song, Don Francisco tells the story of Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead. At the end of the song, as in the Bible, Jesus instructs him not to tell anyone, but Jairus cannot contain the good news and shouts repeatedly, “I gotta tell somebody…what Jesus did for me!”  What would you have done? You would have gone out of your way to tell others what had happened.  You would have steered every conversation in that direction. Now that you have experienced that same resurrecting power in your being and the risen Christ now lives in you – Can you be silent?                                               


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