by Diane Reece
On Easter, Pastor Jeff mentioned his top three reasons for rejoicing about the empty tomb:
1. Trust: We can trust in Jesus’ promises.
Jesus was about to go to Jerusalem, so he took his twelve disciples aside privately and said to them, “Listen to me. We’re on our way to Jerusalem, and I need to remind you that the Son of Man will be handed over to the religious leaders and scholars, and they will sentence him to be executed. And they will hand him over to the Romans to be mocked, tortured, and crucified. Yet three days later he will be raised to life again.” Matthew 20:17-19
Seven predictions. Seven very specific predictions. All came true. We can trust the words of Jesus.
2. Hope: Jesus rose. We will too.
We do this because we are convinced that he who raised Jesus will raise us up with him, and together we will all be brought into his presence. 2 Corinthians 4:14
Beloved brothers and sisters, we want you to be quite certain about the truth concerning those who have passed away, so that you won’t be overwhelmed with grief like many others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we also believe that God will bring with Jesus those who died while believing in him. 2 Thessalonians 4:13-14
3. Strength: The same power that raised Jesus works in us!
Yes, God raised Jesus to life! And since God’s Spirit of Resurrection lives in you, he will also raise your dying body to life by the same Spirit that breathes life into you! Romans 8:11
Then Pastor Jeff tells us the New Testament gives us even more reasons for rejoicing. He challenged us to come up with our own. So how about it? Have you done your homework?
1. Peace: I can rejoice because I have a peace inside that is settled. Regardless of the circumstances, it is there.
...then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:7
2. Love: I can rejoice in knowing Jesus loves me. I KNOW this. It, too, is settled.
There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!
Do you know you are lavishly and passionately loved? It’s true!
3. Identity: I rejoice that the old is gone, the new has come! My identity is in Jesus. I am who I am because of the redemption of Jesus.
Whether a man is circumcised or uncircumcised is meaningless to me. What really matters is the transforming power of this new creation life. Galatians 6:15
This is homework to take seriously. This is homework with lasting effects. Do your homework and Rejoice!
(All scripture is from The Passion Translation)