Tag Archives: Resurrection of Jesus

A LOOK BACK: Fulfilled: Easter Sunday

bflw-devotional-800x490Writing the Life-Giving Water devotionals is not only an important ministry, but is a deeply rewarding spiritual discipline for me as well. With that said, observing Sabbath (aka rest) is an important spiritual discipline as well.

So here is a LOOK BACK to a devotion I wrote in the past. Read it, reflect on it, be challenged by it. Who knows how God will speak to you through it and how it will bear relevance in your life today? May the Holy Spirit guide you as you read the suggested Scripture and subsequent devotion.

Journey with Jesus: Easter Sunday – The Resurrection of the Lord

SCRIPTURE

Mark 16; Matthew 28; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Kings 19:10-12

ResurrectionAN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT

My friend and I were traveling back home after a long and terrible weekend. Our rabbi, our Lord, had been crucified like a common thief. What a sad and terrible event. What were we to do now that he was gone? Everything he taught, everything he called us to do, seemed to all be in vain.

While traveling we ran into a person who happened to be traveling alone and wanted to join us for some company. We certainly were in no mood for conversation, but it seemed harmless to let him join us. We said very little, for what could really be said? After sometime, the man broke the silence by asking us why we looked so down in the dumps. We told him the whole story.

He told us we were foolish for being upset that the one we believed to be the Messiah had died. How could he say that? He then started giving us his interpretation of the Scriptures, about how the Messiah would be the suffering servant and that the prophets foretold that this would happen.

We were amazed at this man’s confidence that all was well despite the circumstances. As we approached our home we invited him in to share dinner with us. It was the least we could do and we were interested to hear more of what this stranger had to say. He was going to keep going, but after insisting he agreed to stay. We gave him the honors of blessing the food and breaking the bread. It was then that we realized who this man was…he was our Lord…he was Jesus the Christ…risen from the dead!

REFLECTION

Often times we are looking for the Lord to manifest in miraculous ways. We are looking for the clouds to open and to see the Son of Man descending like God from the sky. We are looking for the earth to shake and lightning to flash across the sky. We are looking for a major, earth shattering event!

Yet, as can be seen in the various accounts of the resurrection, each person experienced Jesus’ resurrection in different ways. In Luke, the men traveling to Emmaus saw Jesus in a stranger passing by. They carried conversations with him, talked with him, listened to him and DID NOT recognize him. Yet, through the act of breaking bread together, they realized who he was.

Reflect on all of the times you have felt the presence of the risen Lord. Perhaps you were lonely and someone was present for you in just the right time…or perhaps you were afraid only to find that the fear had been lifted. Perhaps you were helping someone out only to find out you were the one who was helped. Remember that Elijah did not see God in the fire, or the in the earthquake, or in the raging wind…rather, it was in the sound of a gentle whisper (or the sound of sheer silence as the NRSV translates it) that God’s presence was known. This Easter, open your heart to the subtlety of the Resurrection and be transformed by it. Know that Christ is with you always, and where you go…so too Christ follows. Perhaps in you, the risen Lord will be revealed to someone else.

PRAYER

Lord, be present in me, through me and in spite of me for the transformation of this world. Amen.

The Bedrock of Faith

Read John 20

ALSO IN SCRIPTURE

“I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

BedrockOver the course of the month of March, my family and I sat down to watch the Bible series, which aired for five consecutive Sundays on the History Channel.  The last two and a half episodes were centered around the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It is during those episodes that we become acquainted with Thomas, one of the twelve disciples.

In the series, the shaved headed Thomas always looks dour and disgruntled. He always seems to be warring with his being a disciple and the things Jesus is teaching. He is never fully convinced of who Jesus is, or so he appears, and the miracles just don’t seem to be convincing him.

Even when Jesus appears to him in the upper room, following the resurrection, Thomas still refuses to believe. “No, I can’t believe it,” Thomas exclaims, “It can’t be real.”  Even as Jesus is standing right before Thomas, he is shown to be doubting the reality of what he is witnessing. In fact, in the TV series, it seems that Thomas isn’t doubting at all…he just simply doesn’t want to believe.

While the series wasn’t entirely true to the character of Thomas, as Thomas never refuses to believe the reality of the resurrection when Jesus is standing before him in the room, it is a fact that Thomas has become known to us as the doubter.  And in his doubt, it seems that often times the Bible, and we people of “faith”, seem to look down upon him for having his doubts.

What’s more, often times we, as Christians, look down at people who struggle with doubt.  We act as if we are so sure about everything.  We say  amongst ourselves, “Oh come on! How could you not believe?” Perhaps we feel good about ourselves in doing so. Perhaps it gives us a sense of comfort to know that we are standing on a faith of solid rock; yet, even if that is the case, we are only left with a false sense of security.

Even the most solid rock in the world can be utterly cracked and disheveled by a major earthquake. There is nothing on this earth that stands the test of time without experiencing uncertainty and doubt.  I can be said that the life that denies the existence of doubt denies the very nature of what it means to be alive.  After all, what do we know? Honestly, what are we so sure of that there is no room for doubt?

The truth of the matter is that there is no life lived that has not experienced doubt. Thomas is not the weakest link in Jesus chain of disciples, he is one of the strongest links. He refused to believe something just because someone else told him it was true. He had to experience it for himself; it had to become real for him in order for him to accept it.

When we stop to think about it, one would have to say that, in fact, one cannot truly believe something unless they have experienced the truth of it. Mary had the privilege of witnessing Jesus outside the tomb, why then would we deny Thomas the experience of witnessing Jesus? Why would we want to deny anyone, including ourselves, the opportunity to personally witnessing the presence of God in our lives?

The next time you have doubts, be honest with yourself. Embrace those doubts and ask the necessary questions you need to ask.  Recognize that doubt is not your enemy, doubt is not the opposite of faith. Come to the understanding that doubt is the bedrock from which faith springs! Know that you are not alone in your doubts and that from your doubts your faith shall rise.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY

Doubt is the bedrock from which faith springs.

PRAYER

Lord, I believe. Help me with my unbelief. Amen.