He Is Risen!
Luke 22:54-62 (ESV)
54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.
Luke 23:44-47 (ESV)
44 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour,[b] 45 while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus,calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!”
Matthew 28:5-7 (ESV)
5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”
John 20:11-16 (ESV)
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 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.”16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
John 20:19-21; 26-28 (ESV)
19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me,even so I am sending you.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Luke 24:45-48 (ESV)
45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written,that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and[a]forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.
John 20:30-31 (ESV)
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Matthew 28: 18-20 (ESV)
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
I love the characters in the story of the Resurrection. They are us. The Bible does not surround Jesus with superheroes. Prostitutes, tax collectors, and the demon possessed hung out with him. Before and after he died, his followers scattered in despair. Even after he rose again, people didn’t believe him.
That’s just the way people are. It’s a messy story.
Jesus died and rose to save people who really need saving, people who were dying in some way because of it.
With the Resurrection of Jesus came an important question: “Can things be different for us too? Do we have to life like that? Or can we live like this – like you?” We don’t want “that,” the way we already know we can live: We can be cowardly, overwhelmed by grief, broken by our sinfulness, doubting, full of despair. Nailed it. But if what you are saying is true, there is a new way to live.
“[Jesus’] purpose in dying for them is that their lives should now be no longer lived for themselves but for him who died and rose again for them…. in Christ [we] become new people altogether—the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new.” (2 Corinthians 5:15-17)
“God has restored our relationship with Him through Christ—not counting our sins against us —and has given us this message of reconciliation. We are now Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were appealing direct through us… We appeal to you, on behalf of Christ, ‘Make your peace with God.’” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)
Paul is writing this. Paul, one of the very people who were so full of sin, so broken, so dead inside. Paul is the voice of the Resurrected, through whom God wants to spread the Good News to the World. Jesus is alive, and because the dead can live again through the power of God, no one needs to be “dead in their sins.” All can be brought to life through Christ.
- The cowards can become unashamed. The disciples who hid in fear became the voice of the Gospel.
- The used can become worthy. The prostitutes and demon possessed were the first to witness the risen Christ.
- The broken can be mended. Jesus specifically meets with Peter to let him know that God wanted him in his kingdom.
- Those dead in their sins can be made alive. That which has brought shame and despair can be transformed into boldness and hope.
This is the power of the Resurrection.
We can all live like this.