Matthew 28:1-10

1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Matthew 28:16-20

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Because He lives, we have hope.

Because He lives, we are certain that whatever hardships we face in this lifetime, they are not our destiny.

Because He lives, we have confidence that our best days are still ahead.

Because He lives, we are never alone!

Acts 1:3-5

3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

This is the same promise that Jesus gave before His death on the cross:

John 14:15-19

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

John 16:7

But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.

Because Jesus is alive forevermore, so also will we live with Him eternally!  We have not been abandoned as orphans, we are children of God; adopted into His family.  We have been filled with His very Presence through the Holy Spirit!

Jesus gave His live on the cross to take upon Himself the penalty and punishment for our sin.  He was cursed so that we are blessed.  He died so that we might live.  He was pierced for our transgressions.  He was crushed for our iniquities.  The punishment that brought us peace was on Him.  By His wounds, we are healed.

Jesus endured a time of pain and suffering, but they were not His destiny!  So it is also with us who choose to follow Him!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

That same Spirit that rose Jesus from the grave, that same Spirit that was hovering over the waters in the very beginning, that same Spirit who emboldened and empowered and equipped the first believers to perform all kinds of signs, wonders, and miracles dwells in you and I!

We now have a choice of how to live our lives!

Romans 8:5-11

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

What an incredible reality!  The same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead living in us!  That same resurrection power is available and accessible to us!

Life can’t get any worse than being dead, right?  You can’t hit a lower, rock-bottom low than to be dead.

However, not even death can stop the Spirit of the one, true, all-powerful, living God!  Nothing is impossible to those who believe!  Nothing can stop those who follow Jesus!

This doesn’t mean that there won’t be hardships or opposition or difficulties, but it means that we will overcome them all!  Paul described it this way:

2 Corinthians 4:7-10

7 …we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

Because He lives, so also we will live.  Eternal life begins the very moment that we choose to put our faith in the free gift of God’s salvation; the moment that we ask Jesus to forgive us of all of our sin and surrender our lives to following Him; the very moment that we say, “Yes, Lord!” to Jesus!

At that time, the same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the grave comes and dwells within us.  He empowers us and equips us and encourages us and guides us and more IF we choose to live in accordance with Him.  IF we choose to set our mind on what the Spirit desires.  IF we choose to be governed by the Spirit’s peace.

Today and every day, let’s choose to live a full and abundant life lead by the Holy Spirit!  Let’s choose to allow the resurrection power of God to raise us up into a new life!  Let’s choose each and every day to make the most of every opportunity and to make that the best day of our lives!  After all:

Psalms 118:24 (NLT)

This is the day the LORD has made.

We will rejoice and be glad in it.