Sunday, April 8, 2012
On the third day he arose. Resurrection Sunday! Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! The resurrection is the foundation of our Christian faith. Jesus’ resurrection gave proof that he was the Son of God and that He had conquered death. Acts 1:3 tells us that after the resurrection there was a period of forty days in which Jesus appeared to His disciples and followers. Jesus had spent three years with his disciples trying to prepare them for his final days on earth, yet they didn’t really grasp the meaning of his words. Were the disciples really any different from us? They too had to see, to witness, to experience what Jesus said before they truly believed. So…after three years of teaching, Jesus spent forty days with his disciples in what can be called a “cram session,” a review of all he had taught them.
Look at the things Jesus did during those forty days to prepare his followers to continue the Gospel after his ascension to heaven.
1. He appeared to his devastated follower bringing relief and joy that he was alive (Acts 1:3).
2. He taught them many things concerning the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). Luke tells us, “He went on to open their understanding of the Word of God, showing them how to read their Bibles this way” (The Message).
3. He commissioned them to “go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life” (Matthew 28:19 The Message).
4. He lifted his hands and blessed them and then left them and ascended to heaven (Luke 24:51).
Jesus restored their faith, gave them hope, and set them out to share the Good News. The early church very soon began meeting on Sunday in honor of the resurrection of Jesus, which took place on the first day of the week.
As a result, 2,000 years later we still celebrate a risen Savior. We still set aside Sunday as a day to worship this risen Lord. And he still restores faith, gives us hope, and still wants us to share the Good News. Let’s celebrate Resurrection Sunday every day by following Jesus.