He’s Not There!
He is not here; He has risen just as he said! (Matthew 28:6)
Most people know that Easter is a celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. But do you know that you will be resurrected someday too? So will everyone who has ever lived.
What will happen then? The Lord Jesus Christ will judge all of us and divide us into two groups:
And he [God the Father] has given him [God the Son] authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. (John 5:27-29)
You may be wondering, If that’s true, how can I get in the right group? How can I know that I will rise to live? Good news! God wants you to be in the group that will live, and He has made that possible. Jesus said this:
I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; And whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26)
Do You Believe?
To believe or not believe—we each have that choice. If we choose to believe and follow Jesus, we will be in the group that rises to live. That is the only way to heaven. There is no Plan B.
Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose on the third day. He is alive in heaven now waiting for that day of resurrection when we will all stand before Him. He loves us and wants all of us to be in the “rise to live” group.
For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who believes in him shall have eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:38-40)
God created us to live with Him forever in paradise, but Adam, the first man created, sinned and brought the curse of death to the world. Since then, every person has been born with a sinful nature. God is holy and there can be no sin in His presence. Without a Savior, we are doomed because we have all sinned. But God does not want to leave us in that condition. His Son, Jesus, came to earth to live and die for us. He paid the price for all we do wrong. Jesus took our punishment for us because He loves us.
Death Is Not the End
Death can seem so final, but God has provided hope through Jesus. Through the Holy Spirit’s power, Jesus was raised from the dead, and the Spirit will also raise to life everyone who believes in Him.
So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back. (1 Corinthians 15:21-23)
We will all face our final day on earth, but we don’t have to fear that day—that’s what Easter is all about! What seems so final is not final. What seems so hopeless is filled with hope! What seems like defeat becomes victory!
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55)
Easter Brings Hope
Jesus’ death and resurrection make it possible for us to live eternally with Him. Jesus loves you personally. He cares about your life and all that concerns you. He is asking you, “Do you believe?”
Jesus wants to give you the gift of life. You cannot save yourself. You cannot find forgiveness for sin apart from Jesus. He said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Do you believe this? Choose today to believe and follow Christ. Receive His gift of life and celebrate this Easter with the true joy of knowing Him.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
Jesus’ love and sacrifice bring hope—to you and to me. Take a moment to tell Him how you feel. Ask His forgiveness for all you have done wrong. And begin today to live with the hope that only He can bring.