Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Jesus Lives and I Saw Him

Jesus lives

Luke 24:1-12
“Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”  And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.  It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.” NKJV

The greatest announcement ever made in the world was made some two thousand years ago. It was very precise and direct. “He is not here, but is risen! Why do you seek the living among the dead?” The women could not believe it; but they retold the story to an equally astounded group of disciples. Dead men remain dead but this Jesus Christ is different. “He is risen!”

Over the centuries, the same message has continued to be passed from generation to generation. Some believe it. Some scorn it and yet others just neglect it. In our Churches today, there are classes of men and women who hold varying views on the Easter message. “Jesus is risen!”

Saul of Damascus disbelieved the Easter message and decided to wipe-out the “sect of the Nazarenes”. He decided that the best thing to do to shut them up was to kill them. He witnessed the killing of Stephen and was satisfied with the outcome of the exercise. He went to the authorities of his day and obtained a letter of authority to deal decisively with everybody who belongs to “the Way”. But the Damascus road encounter with the Risen Christ Himself made the difference.

Saul who later became Paul wrote an Epistle to the Church in Philippi describing the lasting impression that Damascus road encounter made on him. He said: “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ  and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:7-11)  

Paul lived all his life trying to discover and understand the power that raised Christ from the dead. Paul believed that it is the same power that quickens sinners who are dead in sins and trespasses into a new life in Christ Jesus. He also believed that it is the same power that keeps Christians living as Christians. 
I want to share with you a true testimony of a brother I know very well and the testimony is a fact that proves what Paul believed. The brother has requested that I use it as fully as I want without mentioning his name:

“Last year I had a problem that made me feel so depressed that I felt God has abandoned me. I questioned very regularly why God should allow me to pass through such a harrowing experience. At one time I felt like saying: “My burden is greater than I can bear”; but occasionally I experienced in abundant measure “the sufficiency of God’s grace.” This kept me going for over ten months with this problem. 
On the night of August 31 something happened. I do not want to share the details of what happened, but the after effect of that event is that all the heaviness and burden of my problem came back to me as if everything happened only yesterday. I want to say that it made me to start questioning the reality and the love of God. I knew I would not sleep well but surprisingly I slept off. Between 0200hrs and 0300hrs on September 1, something happened that has since changed my life, my thinking and my attitude. I saw the Risen Christ. He spoke to me and upbraided me for my questioning His power and love in my life. He told me among other things: “the sorrowing crowd on Friday, (Good Friday) turned out to be the jubilating crowd on Easter morning. How else can I bring out the best in you except you pass through a period of testing?” I turned to Him amidst shouting of “Lord Jesus, You are Alive” and asked “Why the heavy burden?”. He answered me; “I have taken the burden away from you”.
Since the morning of September 1, I have had a very light weight of my burden to bear. My problems are still with me but I do not regard them as my problems any more but His. I have continued to enjoy a wonderful fellowship with the Risen Lord.”

Yes, the experience of this brother may not be the same for every Christian, but all who truly believe in Him, have a lasting and real fellowship. They can say from personal experience “His grace is always sufficient; Christ is risen and lives today!” 

You can have a personal testimony like this one. You can have an encounter with the risen Lord. He lives to save and keep His people. Accept Christ into your life today.

All you need to do is to admit to God that you are a sinner, confess your sins to Him and ask Him to forgive you. Invite Him to come into your life and rule as King. Let Him be your Lord and Saviour. Ask Him to make you what He wants you to be. You will begin a new experience and a new life. It is an experience that you cannot imagine. It is an excitement. Come to Jesus today!

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