The Lord Is Risen Indeed!
Many watched Jesus die that day--soldiers, religious rulers, disciples, friends, his mother. Many mocked and made fun. "If you are really the Son of God come down, then we will believe." Jesus could have come down off the cross, but then there would be no salvation.
The soldiers divided up His clothing amongst themselves, but they did not want to tear His coat, so they gambled to see who would get it. God had said they would do this hundreds of years before it happened, but no one believed what God had said. One soldier, however, watched Jesus die. He saw the darkness for the last three hours as Jesus suffered for the sin of the world. He heard Jesus say "It is finished"--the price of sin had been paid. He felt the earthquake. "Surely this was the Son of God," he said.
Jesus' friends carefully took His body off the cross and wrapped it in cloth with spices. Then they place it in a brand-new tomb.
The unbelieving crowd asked Pilate to seal the tomb so that no one could steal His body and say that Jesus had risen. They remembered Jesus' words that He would rise again, but they did not believe. Pilate gave the order to seal the tomb, and they did.
Early Sunday morning, the third day after Jesus had died, some women went to the tomb hoping to put more spices on Jesus' body. They were sad and they wondered who would move the stone away? Reaching the tomb they found that the stone had been rolled away and there was an angel sitting on it. "Why do you seek the Living One among the dead," asked the angel? "Jesus is not here, He is risen as He said. Remember how He told you. Come see the place and go tell His disciples."
The women, excited, but hardly believing ran to tell the disciples. Peter and John ran to the tomb and found it as the women had said, but Him they did not see. The tomb was open. The clothes were still lying in place, but Jesus' body was not in them.
Later that afternoon two disciples were walking on the road to the village called Emmaus. A third Traveler caught up to them. They did not know it, but it was Jesus. He asked them what they were talking about that made them so sad. They told Him about the things that had happened to Jesus.
"Oh foolish ones," said the Lord Jesus. "Why are you so slow to believe what God has said through His teachers the prophets?!" It was as if Jesus was saying: Why don't you believe God's report? The Bible says that the Saviour had to die, had to rise again to save His people before He could be their King.
They invited Him to stay the night with them when they reached their home. While they sat at the table Jesus took the bread and blessed it and immediately they recognized Him and He vanished from their sight. The two practically ran all the way back to Jerusalem to tell Jesus' disciples. While they were talking Jesus Himself appeared in their midst. He showed His hands, His feet, His side. Do not be unbelieving, but believe!
The Lord Jesus spent forty days with them before He went back up to heaven to His Father's throne. They worshiped Him and spread the news that "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life . . . He that believes in Him is not condemned, but he that believes not is condemned already because he has not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God . . . He that has the Son has life. He that has not the Son of God has not life."
We believe the words that our parents and our teachers tell us, why should we not believe the word that God tells us. I have believed it. Have you believed it? Have you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as your only God and Saviour from sin? To believe means to trust. It means to depend on and rely upon Him as the only One Who can forgive your sin and give you everlasting life. Christ died for you and arose again. Have you believed?
"I do believe, I now
That Jesus died for me,
That on the cross He shed his blood
From sin to set me free."
Part One, God Kept His Promise
Part Two, Jesus Is Crucified
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