April 4 I Sunday
“After His suffering, He presented Himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive.” —Acts 1:3
Although Jesus forewarned His disciples that He would suffer, die and be raised from the dead on the third day, His crucifixion devastated them. We know the disciples did not believe Jesus’s warnings, because when a group of women told them the news that Jesus was alive, the Gospel of Luke recorded that the women’s words “seemed to them like nonsense” (Luke 24:11).
That evening, Jesus appeared personally to ten of His disciples. They were terrified and thought He was a ghost, but Jesus said, “Why are you troubled and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at My hands and My feet. It is I myself! Touch Me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have” (Luke 24:38-39). They became convinced after Jesus ate with them, but when the ten disciples told Thomas, who was missing, he said, “Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Yet, Thomas did not hold onto his disbelief when Jesus appeared to all the disciples one week later; he simply exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:25, 28)
Jesus gave many convincing proofs over 40 days that He was alive. What we need to know more than Jesus was raised is that Jesus is alive! His resurrection is not just a past event that assures us of His victory over sin and our eternal security in Him, but His resurrection is a present event that gives us hope each day.
Jesus did not just leave us His teachings and tell us to live by them—He gave us Himself, alive in us! His life in the men and women of the early church, people with little education, money or influence, is what enabled them to turn the world upside down. They had to face these kinds of practical concerns of course, but their primary concern was that Jesus was alive, living in them through the Spirit and had business to do through them.
When Jesus calls us to a task, we can rest in His strength because He is alive. When we face crisis or illness, we can trust that Christ is in control because He is alive. Whenever tragedy comes our way, our confident hope is that Jesus is alive. It is because of the resurrection that we can be restored to a relationship with God, and the only explanation for the Christian life is that Jesus is alive and at work in us and through us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for raising Your Son from the dead, so I can have a relationship with You and that He remains alive, working in me and through me. Praise You!