1st April, 2018 [Resurrection Sunday]
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Hymn of meditation: PH 205
I shall sing joyfully to all,
Christ has risen indeed.
He overcame death and now lives,
He lives among us now.
God sent His Son, They call Him Jesus
He came to love, heal and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon.
An empty grave is there to prove
That my Saviour lives
Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
And now I know [Yes I know] He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives
Christ came to this earth, in human form, to be born and at the appointed time, went to the cross to die and rose again for our justification; and as the hymn writer says, because Christ lives, we can face tomorrow. No matter the challenges that come our way, the fact that our God lives is a sure guarantee that we can face tomorrow. That is why in Isaiah 25, the prophet reminds us of the most important thing in the Jewish nation. From the verse 6 – 9, “On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine– the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD; we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
In the Hebrew understanding, anytime a feast is mentioned, the kingdom of God is the subject matter. The prophet addresses the fact that, there will be a time in their history when they will all come together to celebrate the Lord’s goodness. Christ rose from the dead and will one day be descending in majesty. Thus, we are called today to rejoice and rehearse these things so when the Lord finally appears, we shall see Him and rejoice accordingly. Zechariah 12:10 – “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son”. This is to alert us all that the Messiah, the creator of the whole universe who laid down His life for this sinful world will, one day, come in His glory and all who have accepted Him as Lord and Saviour will rejoice in Him.
All that Christ did; suffering and going to the cross, and rising from the dead is for our justification. Therefore, He can look on us, sinful as we are and call us His own, justified children who are permitted to be with Him and rejoice with Him forever.
For so many years, a lot of people have written many books about Christ but may not have accepted and come into His saving knowledge. It is for this reason that the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, this year has chosen to talk about the Gospel as Jesus Christ Himself and not as a mere message. Many believers of old also faced similar crucifixion as Christ did but none was destined to take away the sins of mankind except our Lord. Moses died and is now no more. So was Mohammed, Confucius and the rest, but only Jesus spoke of His death and resurrection in advance and He fulfilled all that He said.
The Good news is that, no matter what we face, because of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, God has made a way for us to walk in total victory in spite of all the devil’s plots and plans against us. Apart from the disciples who bore witness to His resurrection, many others also saw Him and testified, deepening our faith that whosoever puts his trust in Him will not go ‘empty-handed’ or disappointed. Persecutions and trials may come but we will rise up again to the glory of God: As Christ lives, we shall also live. Christ is risen, indeed He is risen and has gracefully given us the Holy Spirit to continue His work here on earth to make our lives a testimonial to the rest of the world that we serve a living God.
One question remains, from past years till date, have you ever proven to someone that you are serving a living God? The one who laid His life and rose up again?
All He expects of us is to go and tell the world that He is risen just as He said. When Jesus met with His disciples after the resurrection, He reaffirmed what He had told them earlier that all authority and power had been given to Him so they need to go up there to preach the Good News to all creation, teaching them to observe whatsoever He had taught them. This is the mandate God is giving us with the promise to be with us through the ages, strengthening us to go on.
As I bring this message to an end, I want to restate that yes, Christ is risen with power for His own to continue to fulfil the Great Commission. Let the whole world know that indeed He is risen and that you have a God who never fails.