10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet
12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw
someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!
Without a doubt, Jesus is alive today! He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End! He is the One who was, who is, and who forevermore will be! Jesus was born like us except sinless; conceived by the Holy Spirit. He was fully God and fully man. He lived life in our flesh, faced every temptation that we face, and yet overcame them all. He alone lived a sinless life, but then gave it away being put to a sinner’s death on a cross. He paid the debt that we owe! He bore our sin and shame so that we might be forgiven and set free!
Then, three days after Jesus gave His life on the cross…
1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.
Jesus didn’t raise again to life just for His own sake or just to show off the power of the Heavenly Father. He pioneered a way where there was no other way.
Now, by simple faith in Jesus and the work that He accomplished through His death and resurrection, we can also rise again in new life.
We were born once of flesh, but we can be born again by the Holy Spirit! Born not into sin, but into a full and abundant life empowered to no longer submit to sin or be weighed down and held back in life by it. Born again as a victor and overcomer in life; more than a conqueror!
The person that we were when we walked through these doors this morning does not have to be the same person who walks out. Right here and right now is an opportunity for every one of us to put to death our old selves and to rise up into a new life; eternal life!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
For all of us, right now can be the moment when we cast that old self aside and step into the new self that Jesus declares that we are!
Today can be a day of freedom from all of the sin that weighs us down! Today can be a day of renewal as we cast off all of the lies that we’ve believed about ourselves and allow the voice of Jesus, the voice of truth, to define who we are!
Today, we can put to death our old selves and allow Jesus to resurrect us to a new life in Him!
Then, whenever our old self tries to trip us up again, whenever the devil tries to lie to us and put our guilt back on us, whenever others try to shame us by holding our past sins against us… Just like the angel asked at the empty tomb, we can ask them,
“Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
Why do you look for the living among the dead?
Who are you talking about?
You must be mistaken.
You must have me confused with someone else.
That’s not who I am.
That person is dead and gone.
Why are you looking for the living among the dead?
The apostle Paul explained our salvation like this
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
So literally, the next time that our old self tries to zombie itself back to life, we can just ask,
“Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
The old is gone and the new is here! That old person is dead and gone. We’re a brand new creation now living a new life in Jesus!
Jesus who gave His life for us.
Jesus who loved us when we were unlovable.
Jesus who never abandoned us when everyone else turned their backs on us.
Jesus who never gave up on us, but always hopes, always perseveres, and always loves.
Jesus who never fails us! Jesus is alive!
Jesus came the last time not to judge or condemn us, but to save us. Jesus came to fulfill all that God requires to become righteous and then to freely give that righteousness to all who will believe in Him and call on Him for their salvation.
We don’t love and serve a God who looks down on us in our sin. We love and serve the One, True, Living God who did all that He could do to love and serve and save us! He can totally and completely relate to us!
13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
He didn’t rise again to sit on His throne as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to sit in the seat of judgment against us, either!
31 …If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
Jesus is interceding for us. The enemy may stand before God day and night accusing us, but in the court of Heaven, the Heavenly Father looks to Jesus and He intercedes and defends us day and night imparting His righteousness to us. We do not stand condemned, we come boldly before the throne in freedom to receive all of the grace and mercy and forgiveness that we need!
Today, if you put your faith in Jesus, if you offer up your life into His hands; all of these things are yours and so much more! On that final day of Judgement when Jesus does take the throne as Judge and we must give an account for our lives, we can do so with confidence knowing with certainty what the verdict will be; FORGIVEN!
Hell does not have to be our destiny and condemnation does not need to be our reality. There is a way!
Jesus is THE way, THE truth, and THE life! There is a way to cross over from death to life, from condemnation to freedom, from shame to confidence. It is only through Jesus!
Today, we have a choice, so let’s take time right here and right now to choose life. Let’s choose to put to death our old selves and allow Jesus to resurrect us into a new, eternal life of freedom and abundance and joy and so, so much more!