What do you think Jesus’ resurrection has to do with your life? How real is the resurrection to you? Is resurrection power operating in your life?
The first Christians entered the upper room and probably locked the door behind them. They were afraid and in shock. How could their exciting adventure end in such failure and defeat? Crushed and fearing for their lives, they waited.
And then Jesus rose! There is overwhelming evidence for the resurrection, and it changed lives in that upper room. Those early Christians went from cowering in fear to fearless; from down trodden to hyped up; from wimps to warriors with overflowing faith. What happened in that room? Again, how real is the resurrection to us?
If Jesus’ resurrection changed those lives, what does Jesus expect of us? He expects us to discover and use the transforming power that He died for and then gave to us.
John 20:21-22 tells us that in the room with His fearful followers, Jesus breathed on them and told them to receive the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Power for ministry, for witnessing and serving. Jesus expects us to have that same Spirit.
Do you have it? Has someone talked you out of it? Has someone TAUGHT you out of it?
Jesus expects us to follow Him as the early Church did (John 21:19). He teaches that each disciple has an individualized call. The specifics may vary but the demand for obedience is the same. Here are some examples of how Jesus related to His disciples after the resurrection. Notice He came in person, He didn’t send angels. Notice also how He tailored each visit to minister to individuals:
- Jesus joined two disciples walking along the Emmaus road. They didn’t recognize Him until they stopped to eat. When He broke the bread they immediately knew who He was. When we take communion are we close enough to Jesus to recognize Him? Can we see how alive Jesus is and how He communicates His resurrection power through communion? (John 6:51)
- Resurrected Jesus appeared to Mary outside the tomb, They spoke but Mary didn’t realize it was Jesus until He called her name. She recognized His voice. Are we close enough to Jesus to recognize His voice? Does He speak your name?
- Thomas stopped believing after Jesus died. He figured that after three years of following Jesus and seeing miracles his relationship with Jesus had ended. After all, Jesus was dead. So, forget it. But Jesus knew him so well that He realized only first-hand seeing would do. So, Jesus met Thomas at his point of need. He appeared to him personally, intimately in the upper room. Jesus even used the same words Thomas used – “put your fingers in . . .”
- Peter was a mess after Jesus died. Jesus mended his heart and launched him into his divine mission with a very simple but extremely personal “follow me.”
The disciples needed proof of the resurrection. So do we! Who needs a dead Saviour? Because of the resurrection, we can live with peace and confidence (Ph.4: 6-7). The resurrection gives us purpose and something to get up for every morning (Eph. 2:10). The Word – resurrected and alive gives us direction (IITim. 3:16-17). A resurrected lifestyle is one that manifests resurrection power.
So what can we do to live a more resurrected lifestyle?
Worship More (Mt. 28:17). The great commission was born in a context of worship.
Expect More from God. We have the assurance of His constant presence with us.
Put Ourselves Out There to experience more.
Ask Big. We serve a big God!
Discover and use the transforming power Jesus died to give us!