Crossroads Baptist Church
Easter Sunrise Devotional
April 16, 2017
It’s early Sunday morning… It’s still dark outside… A chill is in the air… Consider with me the lives of three women who were the first to hear of the Easter miracle. Jesus of Nazareth died late on a Friday afternoon hanging on the cross, he was buried in a borrowed tomb just before the beginning of the Passover Sabbath. We join the women on their journey – a mission of love – early Sunday morning to honor the memory of their dear friend and teacher. As their final act of devotion, these grief-stricken ladies make their way to Jesus’ tomb to prepare His body for burial – one last chance to say goodbye. Their hearts are heavy, their eyes swollen from constant crying and loss of sleep. It all seems like a nightmare. Upon arrival, they are shocked and bewildered to find the stone rolled away from the entrance of the tomb and Jesus’ body gone. Their emotions come crashing around them. What had happened? What did this mean? Who would do such a thing and take Jesus’ body? What do we do? Suddenly two angels stood before them, asking, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen”. I picture these ladies kneeling, trembling, shaken to their very core… Can you imagine how their hope began to soar as the angel said, “He is not here but He is risen. Remember how he told you . . .” (Luke 24:6). Overwhelmed by their recent dreadful circumstances, they had forgotten what Jesus had promised—the four most powerful words ever spoken: I will rise again.
Easter According To… You
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest happening in human history. It is the main event in God’s redemptive plan to save a sinful world. The Truth of the empty tomb is the cornerstone and foundation of all we believe as Christians. As a matter of fact, according to Scripture a person must believe in the Easter resurrection story in order to be truly saved…
- Romans 10:9–10 (ESV)
9because, 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. 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Over the past several weeks, we have been studying a new sermon series entitled “Easter According To…”, weaving together the Easter story as revealed in the four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, each writer covers the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from their own unique perspectives, each giving special emphasis to certain key points of this miraculous event. We’ve heard their stories – we’ve read how that first Easter changed their lives forever…
Now let’s get personal. What about you? What’s your story? How has the FACT of the resurrection of Jesus impacted your life? As the old hymn reminds us, do others see Jesus – the resurrected Savior – in you?
Paul stated to the Romans it is the very resurrection of Christ that gives us power to live the Christian life. The Bible does not teach that we will be perfect: sinless – but instead that we can sin less, not by our own desire and abilities, but by the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit that lives in us.
- Romans 8:9–11 (ESV)
9You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is proof that God will do what He said. Remember God’s faithfulness in what He did on that pivotal, powerful Easter Sunday morning and be filled with faith and hope at how He is still at work today in your life – a life zealous/passionate for His work.
- Titus 2:14 (ESV)
14[Jesus] who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
Does your life and your work for Him reveal to a lost world proof of an empty tomb and a living Jesus?
The Hope of Resurrection
By Billy Graham
He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus . . . —2 Corinthians 4:14
The resurrection of Christ brings hope. The late Emil Brunner once said, “What oxygen is for the lungs, such is hope for the meaning of human life.” As the human organism is dependent on a supply of oxygen, so humanity is dependent on its supply of hope. Yet today hopelessness and despair are everywhere. Peter, who himself was given to despair during the episode of Calvary, writes in a triumphant note, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again into a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
There is hope that mistakes and sins can be forgiven. There is hope that we can have joy, peace, assurance, and security in the midst of the despair of this age. There is hope that Christ is coming soon—this is what is called in Scripture “the blessed hope.” There is hope that there will come someday a new heaven and a new earth, and that the Kingdom of God will reign and triumph. Our hope is not in our own ability, or in our goodness, or in our physical strength. Our hope is instilled in us by the resurrection of Christ.
Prayer for the day
My hope is in You, my resurrected Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! May I never despair, as I remember Your triumph and love.