The Coffee Break leader said, “We want to give our condolences to Judy, who lost her husband, I piped up, “He’s not lost. I know exactly where he is.”
Yes, because of Jesus’ resurrection, and my husband, Paul’s, faith in him, I am assured that Paul is alive now in Heaven with Christ Jesus. He’s no longer suffering the physical limitations of the past few years.
Tomorrow we celebrate Easter, which commemorates Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. A week earlier, he had raised Lazarus from the dead, who had been in the tomb for four days.
Before raising Lazarus, in a conversation with Lazarus’ sister, Martha, Jesus had said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” (John 11:25, NIV).
When Jesus rose from the dead, after his horrific death on the cross, he defeated death. Isaiah 25:8 says, “He will swallow up death forever.” Isaiah 53:12 says, “he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors.” Jesus came to give us eternal life. John 1:4 says, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it (also translated: “the darkness has not overcome it!)”
The Apostle Paul declared that by Jesus’ resurrection, he proved he is the Son of God. Because of God’s mercy, we are all called to belong to him. (Romans 1:4).
I love Easter. It has always been my favorite holiday. What joy to know Jesus Christ arose victorious over sin, death, and the devil! Because of this truth, we do not need to be in slavery to the devil and his works. If we believe in Jesus and ask him to forgive our sins and take over our lives, we can live purpose-filled lives here on earth and eventually the joy of eternal life in Heaven.
Whenever Jesus said “I am,” he was making a statement that referred back to the Old Testament when God called Moses to go back to Egypt and lead the Hebrew people out to the promised land, Moses asked God, “Who shall I say sent me?”
God answered Moses with these words: “I AM WHO I AM.” Moses was to tell them, “I AM sent me.”
So when Jesus said, “I am” he was actually saying he was God. This is why the religious leaders of the day wanted him crucified for blasphemy. They didn’t believe he really was God, so the fact that he claimed to be God was blasphemy in their eyes. However, when Jesus rose from the dead, he proved he really was God.
Jesus also claimed to be “the way, the truth, and the life.” Millions of Christians have found this to be true. He is the way to the Father; following him as his disciples brings joy and peace. He speaks the truth in love and teaches us the truth and how to live it. By his death, he paid the penalty for all our sins. Therefore, if we believe Jesus is the Son of God and confess our sin to him, Jesus gives us life—abundant life now and eternal life for now and eternity.
Our choir sings a beautiful anthem titled “I Am the Resurrection” using some of the I Am statements of Jesus. Perhaps you could hear it tomorrow if you go to FRCOC.org and click on Sunday Sermons. It should show the whole service. The choir will sing three songs, including the Hallelujah Chorus.
Another Easter song I’ve been thinking about lately is “We Will Glorify the King of Kings.”