A Pastor’s Thoughts: The Resurrection

A Pastor’s Thoughts: The ResurrectionPastor Kevin Boothby, Tracy Creek Memorial Church. Provided photo.

By Pastor Kevin Boothby, Tracy Creek Memorial Church —

For many years Christians have gathered to celebrate Easter. The celebration is obvious: The resurrection of Jesus Christ, but what does that mean for us? If you will, take a step back with me and recount the footsteps of Christ on that week 2,000 years ago.

It begins on that fateful Sunday around 33 AD, that had been foretold centuries before. Jesus approaches Jerusalem. The journey has been long, walking 15 miles from Jericho. His disciples get Him a young donkey, per His command, and on it He sits, riding into Jerusalem.

“Hosanna” they shout. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” They know He is King. But why is He here? Is it because God has sent them a Savior to deliver them from the Romans, who took over the city long ago?

The next morning, He goes back into Jerusalem. His aim isn’t to challenge Roman authority. He goes for the heart of the Jewish people: the temple. Looking around, he sees them making dishonest profit. He flips over the tables, overturns their chairs, money flies all over the place. “Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations? But you have made it a den of robbers.” (Mark 11:17)

Over the next five days He will have several run-ins with Jewish and Roman authorities. They will call Him a blasphemer, a liar, a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Jesus’ words, and the time He spends with those they wouldn’t associate with are not received well by the leaders. They challenge His authority. They don’t believe that He is the one that God sent to save them. They take offense.

On Friday, They lead Him out of the city, to a hill called “Golgotha”. In John 19:18, 30 it says, “There they crucified him… ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” He is placed in the tomb, and they seal it shut. The King of the Jews is dead.

Then, on the third day, a miracle happens. Mary, whose brother Jesus had raised from the dead, walks over to the tomb. The stone is now rolled away. She looks inside. There are two angels; she says she doesn’t know where His body is. “Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Forty days post-resurrection, Jesus goes back up into heaven. Scripture says that He is still there, at the right hand of the Father. But what does this mean for me? It means this: Because Jesus lives, I can live. Not just in this life, but forever!

When we put all our trust in Jesus, God does two things for us. First, He nails our sin to the cross. In Colossians 2:13-14, we see that for those who believe in Christ, God has “…made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

Secondly, God gives us His righteousness; 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, about Jesus, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Since we cannot become right with God ourselves, He has provided us a way to become right with Him by sending His Son (Jesus) to die in our place. Thus, we are not righteous, so God “gives us His own righteousness.”

God is beckoning us to believe. In John 11:25-26, Jesus says, “…I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever lives and believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

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