Death has been swallowed up in victory... Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Corinthians 15:54,57

Easter Greetings from CLR and New Beginnings

Incredible – but True!

In the Old Testament there was talk of a bodily resurrection.  Job confessed that conviction when he said:

Job 19:25–26 ​- I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. - And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; (NIV84)

In the Gospels, Martha spoke about it with Jesus concerning the death of her brother, Lazarus:

John 11:24 ​- Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (NIV84)

Yet, when Jesus talked of his own death and resurrection his closest disciples refused to hear of it.  The story went like this:

Mark 8:31–33 ​- He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. - He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. - But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (NIV84)

Nearly everything about Jesus was incomprehensible to our flawed reasoning.  A virgin birth is not scientifically a possibility.  Turning water into wine, walking on water, healing the sick and raising the dead is impossible by all standards of measurement.

The idea that the only innocent one had to die to save all the guilty ones is foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18).  And to then talk of a resurrection was just too much to grasp, even for some religious leaders of time (Acts 23:8).

Even after hearing and witnessing the most incredible things from Jesus his own disciples just could not grasp the message that the tomb was empty.  Some, on their way to Emmaus, clearly had been swept up in the daily atmosphere of their culture to miss the truth.  And such is what happens today.

Whether we are talking to an abortion-minded client in a pregnancy resource center, a neighbor about politics or a family member about gender choices this is a disparity between the revelation of Scripture and the shifting opinions of our culture.  Even Christians find themselves like Emmaus disciples, slipping from the truth and sliding into the illusions of contemporary values and opinions.

The story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the pivot point of all history.  It has significance that reaches all the way into eternity.  The empty tomb was the visible, tangible and undeniable evidence that God had accepted this final great payment for sin.  This reality moved the Apostle Paul to confess:

Romans 8:38–39 ​- For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, - neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV84)

How could Paul be so sure?  He may have seen Jesus in a vision on the road to Damascus but he did not see the execution or the dead body or the empty tomb.  He did not place his fingers in the nail marks or cast his hand into to wound in the side of the risen Savior.

Paul embraced faith.  He couldn’t see it.  He couldn’t touch it.  He told the Galatians:

Galatians 2:20 ​- I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (NIV84)

Faith is the greatest miracle in our lives.  It is that incredible ability to believe the unbelievable (Hebrews 11:1).  It is the message of faith – the message of sin, sacrifice, the Savior and the resurrection that colors everything we do.  It gives us hope in the face of despair and confidence despite all worldly logic to the contrary.

On behalf of the staff at Christian Life Resources and New Beginnings - A Home for Mothers we wish you a most blessed celebration of the Lord’s resurrection.  It brings meaning and perspective to everything we encounter and to our respective ministries.  We rejoice in our partnership with you in sharing the message that “He is risen!  He is risen, indeed!”

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