“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.” Mark 16:6
Easter is a holiday that is celebrated around the world. Children all over the world are often looking forward to candy and the Easter bunny. The majority of the focus is on the candy and having a fun time.
While searching for eggs and candy is going on, there are also many people talking about Jesus. The same questions arise every year around the world: Who was Jesus? Was Jesus real? What did Jesus teach? Did Jesus rise from the dead?
From the world’s point of view, it does not make sense that Jesus rose from the dead. No one rises from the dead, or he was not really dead.
Many people had been standing there watching as Jesus was crucified on the cross. They saw Him physically die and get buried in a tomb. As this occurred they had forgotten what Jesus had said would happen.
Three days later as some women went to the tomb, they got there and found out that His body was no longer there. They were afraid. Yet, an angel was there who told them not to be afraid, because Jesus had risen just as He said He would.
The world tries to deny that Jesus did actually rise from the dead. If He did rise from the dead, then it means He was right. If He was right, that also means that people are dead in sins, unless they turn to Him. The world does not want to be wrong, so they continue to deny the truth. They do not want to change their ways to follow God.
As a believer, you can be confident that Jesus did rise from the dead. And if He rose from the dead, He will forgive you and save you for all eternity.
Give your life to God and follow Jesus. He is the conqueror of life and death, nothing can destroy Him.
Today celebrate what Jesus did for you by dying upon the cross so that you may live for all eternity. Do not be like the world and question whether Jesus is alive.
He is alive!
Know this and believe it!
Let the world know that Jesus is alive today and the tomb is empty.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know that Jesus is alive; that you will tell others that Jesus is alive; and that you will serve God with all of your life.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. Ephesians 2:1-2
When a person is born, he is seen to be alive, however, when he begins to sin, he is no longer alive, but dead, even though he is alive physically. Sin causes a person to die. They die spiritually, because they no longer have the life of God in their lives.
The people of this world are living for themselves and temporary pleasures. People sin and accept and promote sin in others. It is a life that is against God.
Without God in the picture a person cannot see or know that in reality he is dead. Paul says he is dead in sins and transgressions.
Every person that has been born, has also sinned. This means that every person who has been born is also dead, even while they walk this earth. They are living in sin and in bondage to sin. True life can only be found in Jesus.
Once a person believes in Jesus and accepts what He has done for him, he is no longer dead. He is now alive in Christ Jesus with an eternal life.
Paul points out that as a believer one was once dead in sins, but is no longer dead in those sins. This is showing that there is a change in life. The believer should no longer be chasing after those sins or living a sinful lifestyle. He should no longer be living like this world.
The believer is now a new creation in Jesus. He is now following God, rather than this world and Satan.
As you look at your life, who are you following? If you are following Jesus, you should be dead to sins and transgressions. Do not seek to find ways to sin or promote sin, flee from all sin. Do not allow yourself to follow the ways of this world and cause yourself to die again.
Live for God, not self or this world. You turned away from this world, now stay away from it. Live the full life that God is giving you. The ways of this world only bring about death.
I pray today that you will know the life Jesus offers you; that God will show you the way of true life; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; and that you will be alive in Christ Jesus for all the world to see.
So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 2 Corinthians 5:9
Goal setting is something that every successful person states is a requirement to do in order to accomplish anything. Setting a goal gives a person something to aim for. Without any goals set, a person will just aim at nothing and will just wander around never really getting anywhere.
One of the most common goals that people are told to make is in investing for a future retirement, setting money aside. Often people who have this goal will begin by setting aside some money on a regular basis. A little here, a little there and it begins to add up. Without a goal, people will spend every penny they have and leave nothing for retirement.
There are an infinite number of goals that a person can make. Some are houses, things, positions, marriage, education, titles, travels, and the list goes on. Those who set and focus on their goals, can usually obtain them, if they put the needed work into it.
While there is nothing necessarily wrong with these goals, the believer should have a different, higher set of goals. Goals to reach the lost, to be more like Jesus, to know God’s word more, to pray more, to minister more, and the list goes on. However, there is one goal that Paul recognized and aimed for that will include all other goals. That goal is to please God.
As a believer sets the goal to please God many things will happen. He will turn away from sin, pray more, be more of a witness, disciple more, encourage more, serve more, worship more and again, the list goes on.
The benefit of pleasing God is that it is an eternal goal with eternal benefits. This goal is with the believer in life and in death. The rest of the goals that this world likes to set are just temporary and will not last forever. Once a person dies, it is over.
Take a look at your own life. What goals are you setting?
There is nothing wrong with setting the temporary goals, but the goal of pleasing God should be number one in your life.
How are you doing at working at pleasing God with your whole life? Are you pleasing Him just on Sunday, or everyday of the week?
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that your goal will be to please God; that God will give you an eternal perspective on life; and that your life will be one that God will be pleased with.
Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, LORD, and grant us your salvation. Psalm 85:6-7
When a person passes out, that person is as though he is dead. He is unable to do anything at all, and appears to be dead. In order for him to do anything again, he must be revived, brought back to consciousness.
The same thing occurs when a person has a heart attack and his heart stops beating. In reality the person has died and needs to be revived in order to live again.
Being dead does not do any good for a person in this life. He cannot do, think or say anything to or for anyone in this world. His life is over.
Many people in this world are living in this very way. They are alive physically, but are very dead spiritually. While most have never been alive spiritually, there are many who have been.
Throughout the churches around the world, there are people who had come to Jesus for salvation. They were excited for a time and followed God with excitement.
Somewhere along the path of life, something made them give up the spiritual life. They died spiritually. There is no more excitement about going to church, or worshipping, or praying, or reading God’s Word, or telling others about Jesus. In reality they are dead and need to be revived.
Unlike many people in this world, God is right there ready to revive His people. He wants His people to be alive and living for Him. God’s love will never fail to love everyone, no matter if they spiritually died again or were never alive spiritually. God wants to give everyone His salvation.
Take a look at your own life. Are you alive or dead to God?
To determine which you are, think about what excites you. Are you rejoicing in God throughout your day?
Or is God just a quick passing thought on Sunday, because that is just what you do on Sunday?
You can be going through all the motions, but still be dead. Allow God to enter your life and make you alive. Find the joy of His salvation. Rejoice in what God is doing in your life.
Allow God to revive you.
I pray today that God will revive you; that you will rejoice in God’s salvation; that you will live for God each day; that you will know the love and salvation of God; and that you will be a witness to this world of Jesus.