We have already observed in our meditations this week that it was a MUST that Jesus was LIFTED UP on a cross. However, if the story had ended here, there could be no salvation. A further essential MUST was that He MUST be RAISED UP. Paul said, ‘If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty’, 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verse 14.
The three Persons in the Godhead were active in Jesus’s resurrection. Peter preached, ‘Him GOD RAISED UP on the third day’, Acts chapter 10 verse 40. JESUS said, ‘I lay down my life that I may take it again’, John chapter 10 verse 17. Paul speaks of ‘the SPIRIT of Him who RAISED UP Jesus from the dead’, Romans chapter 8 verse 11.
During the past year, tears, fear and unbelief have dominated people’s lives. However, light has begun to shine, as people seek to rebuild shattered dreams; nevertheless, they know deep within that their hopes will be short-lived.
In contrast, the Bible take us into a peaceful garden and an upper room; yet, even here, we find tears, fear and unbelief, John chapter 20 verses 11-20. The hopes of the followers of Jesus for a bright future had gone with the death of Jesus. A weeping Mary Magdalene was searching for Him in the garden and most of His disciples were gathered behind locked doors. One of them was absent and doubted that He was alive, when his fellow disciples said they had seen Him.
Tears were wiped away, fear was replaced by confidence and doubt by belief, when each of them saw Jesus RAISED UP! The message of the gospel today is that the One who died for our sins is alive. Belief in Him brings lasting peace, hope and joy! We praise God that Jesus, who was LIFTED UP, was also RAISED UP and ‘lives according to the power of an endless life’, Hebrews chapter 7 verse 16!