Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Christ Is Risen Indeed

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

4th April 2010

The Christian faith stands or falls with the resurrection of Jesus. But the resurrection of Christ is not merely a doctrine to be defended. True, if Christ did not rise, then “we are to be pitied more than all men” (1 Corinthians 15:19) because we would have been deceived and in turn we would have deceived others, not to mention having lived and perhaps suffered for a lie. But there is more, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins”. (V.17) Christ’s resurrection and our salvation are inseparably linked to each other. The resurrection of Jesus must make a vital practical difference to our Christian life. The question is, how?

Here are some things to think about:

1. The resurrection of Jesus means that He can be trusted

Jesus promised His disciples that He would be crucified, would die and then rise again (Matthew 16:21, 17:23, 20:19). His resurrection means, among other things, that His Word can be trusted. If Jesus spoke truthfully regarding this, the greatest of all miracles, then we can be sure that He is reliable in all things.

2. The resurrection of Jesus means our sins have indeed been forgiven.

Christ’s sacrifice for sin has been accepted by God. This was foreshadowed as the high priest went into the Holiest Place once a year, on the Day of Atonement, to make the great sacrifice for sin. The people knew that if God did not accept the sacrifice the high priest offered, he would be struck down. For that reason, the priest had little bells on the hem of his garment so that those on the outside would be able to hear his slightest movement and know that he was still alive. A rope was tied round his ankle to pull his body out if he were struck down. The time the high priest was in the holiest place would have been full of tension. But what joy when he reappeared and pronounced Yahweh’s benediction of peace on them! The sacrifice had been accepted for one more year.

Jesus’ disciples had hoped He would be the Redeemer (Luke 24:21). But the Lord had been buried behind a great stone, and for a couple of days the disciples had no sign that His sacrifice had been accepted. But on the third day, Jesus rose again. Just as the high priest’s reappearance from behind the temple curtain showed that his sacrifice had been accepted, Jesus’ reappearance in His resurrection proved that His final sacrifice for our sins had been accepted by God. This is what Paul means when he says that Christ was resurrected for our justification (Romans 4:25). Through faith in Christ, I can stand before God as righteous as Jesus Himself, because the righteousness in which I stand is Jesus Christ’s own righteousness given to me. Now sin is as powerless to condemn me as death is now powerless over the Lord Jesus!

3. The resurrection of Jesus means that Satan has been defeated.

On the cross Jesus battled with and defeated the one who has the power of death, the devil (Hebrews 2:14). He disarmed the evil rulers and authorities, and He triumphed over them (Collossians 2:15). Every day, as we face a sometimes-hostile world, we need to say to ourselves: “Remember Jesus is risen, he is risen indeed.” He has conquered all of our enemies; we have nothing to fear.

4. The resurrection of Jesus means that new life is possible.

The Christian life is more than just believing certain things about Jesus, it is fellowship with Him, a friendship, a growing knowledge and intimacy with Jesus as risen Saviour and Lord. Paul’s favourite way of describing what it means to be a Christian is the phrase “in Christ.” That expression means that through faith we are united to Christ, the Spirit of Christ dwells in us, and all His resources are ours. Because Christ is risen, we can live in Him, dependent on His living presence, drawing from our union with Him.

5. The resurrection of Jesus means that the last enemy, death itself, is defeated.

Many scientists believe that we are in danger of doing irreparable damage to the ozone layer around our planet. Apparently we have created a “hole” that we may not be able to reverse or repair. Well Jesus did something much more devastating in His resurrection. He created a hole in death that can never be repaired. He broke its power, once and for all. Peter said on the Day of Pentecost: “God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:24).

The ability of death to hold those who belong to Christ has been irreparably damaged, because Jesus’ resurrection guarantees our resurrection. Of course, a time lapse exists between His resurrection and ours, but His resurrection means that “in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him”. (1 Corinthians 5:22–23).

No wonder Peter could write:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3–4).

Have a good week with the resurrected Jesus

Pastor Barry

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