When Jesus was raised from the dead He did not go and see the most important people of the day.
He did not go and see the movers and shakers; He did not go to the rulers and leaders; He did not go to the religious.
The account of His first appearance as the risen Christ is a wonderful picture of how inclusive Jesus is.
Mary Magdalene was a women who we are told had been delivered from the demonic by Jesus (Mark 16 v 9).
In the eyes of the society of the day she would have been seen as a sinner; and as a women she would not have been able to give evidence in a court. We see the other believers not believing her when she told them Jesus was alive (Mark 16 v 11).
Mary was not the right or appropriate person for Jesus to come to first; or so society would have said.
But Jesus gave His life for everyone and Jesus dealt with the sin of the whole world (1 John 2 v 2).
The risen Christ has come for every single person in the world; man or woman, rich or poor, black or white etc.
Everyone can have a relationship with Jesus.
By coming first to a “woman sinner” after His resurrection we are being told He will come to anyone who wants Him.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you were raised from the dead for me”.
Mark 16 v 9…..Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important event in the history of the world and the most important influence on my life and yours.
It is trust, belief and faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ and in His resurrection that has brought us into the Lord’s salvation.
It is an event however that I cannot prove to anyone; I am a scientist “to trade” and use evidence, logical thinking and scientific proof in my secular job.
I cannot provide empirical evidence to show that Jesus is alive; I cannot give a scientifically logical argument to say that Jesus is alive; I cannot prove (in the scientific method) that Jesus is alive.
I just know that He is alive; I have faith that He is alive; I have a hope in something that I cannot physically see (Hebrews 11 v 1).
I cannot stand the risen Christ in front of people and say “look, I told you Jesus is alive”.
We are all in the same boat my friends; we know Jesus is alive and need to show people this fact through our lives; we need to show them that the resurrection of our Lord makes a difference.
You are the evidence that Jesus has risen; you are the evidence that Jesus is alive.
You are the salt and light in your school, workplace or community to show a needy world that Jesus Christ has risen and is alive today.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus is alive; help me Lord to reveal this truth to someone today”.
Hebrews 11 v 1…..Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen
Thomas doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead and only believed when he saw the risen Christ in the flesh with his own eyes.
I’ve heard a number of times people saying that it would have been wonderful to have seen the risen Christ, however this is not what Jesus had to say.
He said that people are more blessed if they believe without having seen Him (John 20 v 29); what on earth does He mean by this?
Jesus is saying that we are more blessed to believe by faith rather than by an experience or by something physical.
This is a wonderful truth but one not normally understood by the born again believer.
We are thoroughly blessed when we believe in Jesus and on His finished work on the cross.
Not only are we “saved” with a ticket into heaven, but we are “saved” into healing and wholeness, joy, peace and prosperity.
We move into this salvation through faith and Jesus is saying that we should move on in our Christian life through faith (in what we read in His Word and what we hear from Holy Spirit) rather than experiences.
Experiences come and go however the Word and Holy Spirit are here with us all the time; if we trust in the Word and Holy Spirit through faith we will be truly blessed.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that we come into salvation through faith”.
John 20 v 29…..Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed
Have you ever wondered why the gospel of Jesus Christ spread so quickly in the known world in the mid to late first century.
I believe it was because the apostles and disciples of Jesus knew without doubt that Jesus had been raised from the dead.
Many could witness first hand to the truth of His resurrection as many of them saw Him raised up after the crucifixion.
This was what they preached in the early days of the church; that Jesus had been raised from the dead and was alive today.
People, this is what we must also preach in our time.
Jesus was dead and now He is alive, Amen.
This is what we need to shout from the rooftops; this is what will change the lives of people if they trust and believe this truth.
This is the truth that saves people and sets them free (Romans 10 v 9).
Believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He raised Him from the dead is the doorway into salvation.
Thank you Lord that the entry into salvation is that easy for everyone of us.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”.
Acts 4 v 33…..And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all
In the week running up to Easter Sunday I plan to pen some thoughts about the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The death and resurrection of Jesus is the most important event in the history of mankind.
The resurrection of Jesus is pivotal to our faith, without the resurrection we would not have a faith known as Christianity.
The death and resurrection of Jesus gives us everything of value in this life; salvation, forgiveness, mercy and righteousness is only obtained because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.
All that we can ever hope for in terms of healing, prosperity, joy and peace is obtained through faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ; this is what 2 Peter 1 v 3 is telling us.
We are given all these good things through the mercy of God purely because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Without His resurrection we have nothing of worth.
Everything of worth in this life is because of the resurrection.
Jesus bought good things for us through his death and resurrection, and we celebrate that fact this week.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”.
1 Peter 1 v 3…..Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
If you read my DIG yesterday you will know that I was given a right grilling by an eight year old the other night.
“But God loves you more than me or other people; you talk to God more” was one statement she came out with.
I was able to explain to her that this is not the truth.
I said that God loved her as much as me (and that He also loves others just as much, including the horrible girl in her class, the boy in her school who swears and the big lad who annoys her at the kids club).
God loves everyone in the world and sent Jesus for everyone in the world; everyone has the opportunity to accept the salvation that the finished work of Jesus brings (2 Peter 3 v 9).
God has no favourites; in Acts we read that He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10 v 34).
John 3 v 16 says for God so loved the world; the Greek world is cosmos and means all the people in the earth.
Friend, that includes you.
God loves you as much as He loves anyone else in the world; you are not excluded from the love of God.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you love me”.
John 3 v 16…..For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The Christian life is one of choices; we listen to various influences and then choose how to act.
I had the most wonderful chat yesterday with an eight year old girl who wanted to know if it was the devil who was forcing her to eat too many biscuits.
I had a great time explaining to her that it may well have been the devil speaking to her (or it could have been herself) but she made the choice to eat those extra biscuits all on her own.
She was not using this as an excuse but asking an honest question; too many believers however are too quick to say “the devil made me do it”.
We give him far too much credit; the devil can not make you do anything.
Yes, the demonic realm can try and influence you but cannot force you into anything.
Everything you do is after you making a conscious decision and choice.
We all choose how we behave and act.
We can choose to believe what God says and act in a way to bring life or we can choose to listen to the enemy or ourselves or other men and act ungodly (Romans 6 v 16).
Don’t blame the devil or anyone else for your errors and mistakes; take responsibility for your own behaviour.
If an eight year old can understand this concept then so can we!
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for my free will; thank you that your Word can help me to choose to act appropriately”.
Romans 6 v 16…..Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
In the 9th chapter of Luke Jesus send out His disciples to preach, heal and deliver.
If we are disciples of Jesus today He has given us the same commission.
Along with that commission He has given us the same power and authority.
The Greek word for power is dynamis and means strength, power and ability (it is the root word of dynamite).
The Greek word for authority is exousia and means power of choice and power of authority and right.
We have power and authority given to us from Jesus to deliver people from bondage and to heal all sickness and disease.
We have enormous power and authority bestowed upon us through our faith in the Lord Jesus.
It is time for us to realise that power and authority and yield it as we preach the kingdom of God to a needy world.
We can do mighty things my friends in the power and authority of the Lord Jesus; we can change the world if we believe and go.
We have nothing to fear in this commission; not only has He given us power and authority but He has given us the promise that while we do this He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13 v 5).
We could argue that we have greater power and authority than that given to the disciples as Jesus comes with us wherever we go.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you have given me power and authority to preach and deliver and heal in the name of Jesus”.
Luke 9 v 1 and 2…..The he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick
As born again believers we are accepted by God and because of this we are given blessings, favour and grace (see Ephesians 1 v 16 in DIG from yesterday).
The Greek word for accepted in Ephesians 1 v 16 is only found in one other verse in scripture, and that is Luke 1 v 28 where it is translated as highly favoured.
Mary was highly favoured by God; highly favoured to be part of His wonderful plan of redemption for mankind by being the mother of Jesus.
God had a wonderful plan for Mary.
As an accepted one, you too are highly favoured, so God has a wonderful plan for you.
God had a plan for you before you were born (Jeremiah 1 v 5).
You were in God’s thoughts before creation and he has a plan and purpose for your life; that should make you feel very special.
God does think you are very special; read Psalm 139 to see what God really thinks about you.
God had a plan and purpose for Mary and He has a plan and purpose for you.
You are accepted and valued by the Lord and have a part to play in His Kingdom; your “job” is to spend time with HIm,listen to Him and find out your plan and purpose.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you have a plan and purpose for my life”.
Luke 1 v 28…..And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women
This verse is a wonderful encouragement for every born again believer, saying God accepts us and loves us because of our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Many people today feel rejection however the Word says we can have acceptance from the Lord of Lords and Creator of the universe.
The Greek meaning for this word accepted is awesome.
It means to make graceful (charming, lovely, agreeable), to peruse with grace, to compass with favour and to honour with blessings.
This is what you are given when you trust and believe in Jesus.
God will honour you with blessings.
God will surround you with favour.
God will shower you with grace.
What an awesome promise, all because you put your faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
In the eyes of God you are charming, lovely and agreeable; what an encouragement.
Who cares what men think if God accepts us and gives us grace, favour and blessings along with that acceptance.
Thank you Lord for your acceptance.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that right now I am accepted in Your sight”.
Ephesians 1 v 6…..To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved