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He Is Risen
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He is Risen! He is Risen!
Consternation, dismay, disbelief and later joy and exhilaration. These were the emotions exhibited by the disciples at and subsequent to the loss of their beloved Messiah. The two disciples on the way to Emmaus, so bereft with grief and sorrow, dejection and despair, are unable to recognize the Risen Lord, even as He walks alongside them and tells them the things in the Scriptures that are foretold of Him. Their hearts burning within them, they are unable to relinquish the feeling of loss and pain they are experiencing. The revelation that He is alive elicits a response of exhilaration; even at His immediate departure they must at once return to tell the others what they have been privy to (Luke 24: 13-33).
Lack of comprehension and a deeper understanding of the divine presence that moved among them prevented the disciples from understanding Jesus’ prophecy about His death and resurrection. They knew He had raised Lazarus from the dead and that circumstance they attributed to one of His miraculous deeds. To actually rise from death without an unseen agency, boggled their minds. They forgot that He was indeed the Son of the Living God and nothing is impossible with God. The event of His crucifixion so stunned them that it did not even surface on their minds that what He had told them before His crucifixion did in fact come to pass. Surprisingly and ironically, the authorities remembered what Jesus had said about His returning in three days and made sure that that possibility never occurred. They placed the largest boulder they could find to cover the entrance and installed guards day and night to watch over the tomb (Matt. 27: 63-66).
The women, who showed more courage than the men who fled at His
crucifixion, are visited by Him on this Resurrection Day. They had seen where and how the body was laid and returned on the day after Sabbath to anoint the body with spices. The angel permits them to enter the tomb to see that He is not there, for He has risen from the dead (Mark 16: 6-7), but he tells them “to go and tell His disciples and Peter that he goes before you into Galilee where they will see Him.” As Scripture says, He will not let His Holy One see corruption (Psalm 16:10). The great prophets, Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, have all remained in their tomb, but Jesus, who was not only a prophet, the Son of Man, is the Son of God and He is risen to sit at the right hand of His Father in Heaven (Col.3:1).
Thomas, ever doubting, would not believe the other disciples’ declaration that they have seen the Lord, that He has indeed risen. He says unless he sees the pierced hands and sides he will not believe. The omniscient Christ who sees and knows all things confronts Thomas with the invitation to place his hands in the wounds in his sides and to look at his pierced hands. This revelation shocks Thomas to the extent that he boldly cries out: “My Lord and my God!” (John 20: 24-28)
The Resurrection allowed the disciples the boldness to preach Christ. As His witnesses to all that He said and did, their first-hand experience gave them authority to speak in His name and resultantly gave rise to the Christian Movement. Christ’s instruction to them after His resurrection that they would receive the Holy Spirit who would empower them to do the things He did, did in fact materialize (Acts 1:8). They were able to make the lame walk, heal the sick, cast out demons and bring people to Christ (Acts 3:7). His commission to them was to go to all the world, tribes, nations and tongues and proclaim the gospel of Christ (Mark 16:15). He expects us as believers and witnesses of His Word to do the same and so change the world.
Phyllis M. Inniss
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