Resurrection Sunday, April 1
reading: Matthew 28
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Imagine the shock the women experienced as they arrived at the tomb on Easter morning. Filled with anguish and sadness, an unexpected supernatural encounter awaited them. Although looking for Jesus, instead they encountered an angel “whose appearance was like lightning.” “He is not here, for He has risen” the angel declared. What an astounding declaration! Suddenly sadness flees and expectancy enters their hearts. Jesus has risen! Though crucified, He has defeated death itself, breaking through time, redefining it as He sets up His Kingdom plan on the earth. With one act, Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies in a way no one could have ever imagined. His mercy instituted a new covenant reconciling all of humanity to the Father. Seeing it with their own eyes, these two women could not deny Christ’s resurrection power. Can you imagine? Little did they know that resurrected life had just begun.
When Jesus left the tomb, He did not just disappear from the earth. Instead, He made Himself known in resurrected flesh because He still had a very important job to do. He needed to pass the baton, to commission His disciples. “All authority has been given to me in Heaven and on the earth. Go therefore and make disciples…” In His power, Jesus can do everything alone, but He chooses to extend the invitation to follow Him in intimate relationship so that we may partner with Him to advance the Kingdom of God on the earth. He died and rose so that we might join Him as ministers of reconciliation in a world desperate to know Him. We are His hands and feet in the earth. With the promised Holy Spirit living on the inside of us, we are ambassadors of resurrection life, partners in the ministry Jesus begun. This is Good News!
In His death, Jesus demonstrated His unconditional love and desire for us to be with Him for all eternity. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father until the day of His return. From His heavenly throne Jesus calls us to live in the same power and authority that He Himself walked in while on the earth. We are called by the living Christ to spread the Gospel—to proclaim and demonstrate His resurrection and to fall in love with Him. His resurrection equals fullness and wholeness for us and for those who step into our lives today. It means we are reconciled to the Father in intimate relationship. He is no longer far off. He is near to us thanks to the finished work of the cross. Just like the women who arrived at the empty tomb on Easter morning to be greeted with the good news that Jesus is alive, may you also receive the Good News that He is risen and then go forth and partner with Him in the power of the Spirit to advance His Kingdom to the ends of the earth.
special thanks to susan thompson
for her incredible job editing these devotions.
And we are very grateful for our contributing authors:
Palm Sunday - Marcus Harris
Holy Monday - Joel Fernandez
Holy Tuesday - Gina Green
Holy Wednesday - Bethany Pautrat
Maundy Thursday - Susan Thompson
Good Friday - Betsy Herman
Holy Saturday - Jordan Shimon
Resurrection Sunday - Cathy Harris