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Going Deeper—God and Easter (with Study Guide #4b)

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Dear Readers,

The way our world celebrates Easter you might assume it’s a less important holiday than Christmas. Even Halloween and Thanksgiving appear to loom larger in our culture. But for us as Christians, as wonderful as it is to celebrate Christ’s coming, how much more do we have reason to celebrate His triumph over death and the gift of salvation!

However, it may not be a bad thing that society makes so little of Easter. This has helped me avoid getting caught up in the world’s trappings of the holiday. I mean, how much can we get excited about Easter baskets and candy as an adult? Okay, chocolate, maybe. So I only have one small box of Easter decorations compared to . . . well, I won’t say how many . . . boxes of Christmas decorations.

I cherish this time of year for the uncluttered and relatively stress-free celebration which encourages an emphasis on the spirituality of the holiday. The challenge is how to meaningfully celebrate with the Lord in my heart. On this planet, Easter provides the greatest reason of all to celebrate. How in the world can we do it justice?! Rejoicing, thanksgiving, and reverent worship suggests a start . . .

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By Ruth Wood and Kay Smith

More than any others, the words that have reverberated with life-altering power down through history are, “He is not here; He has risen!” (Luke 24:6) Imagine the jolt to the hearts of the first hearers of these words. Confusion, disbelief, amazement, hope, a jumble of emotions must have washed over Jesus’ beloved women friends when they came to the tomb and received this news.

God’s astounding power shook these believers to the core and completely caught them off guard. Let’s look at some focused glimpses in scriptures that highlight this power:

Why do you look for the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5)

He’s not in the tomb? How could this be? Our greatest enemy is death and here we see Jesus triumphantly alive! What greater power is there?

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.(Col. 2:13-15)

Because God raised Him from the dead, no powers in heaven or hell could stop Jesus as he routed the enemy powers. His conquering power means that ultimately sin and evil and death will never be able to hurt us again. All praise be to the Father, the Son and the Spirit.

. . . he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead . . . (Col. 1:18b)

God in His mighty power raised Jesus first among humans to one day follow in this body transformation. He is our “older brother” in this sense, and we all come after Him as we wait for that great day.

What practical implications does the resurrection have for us?

I pray . . . that your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know . . . His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Eph. 1:18-21)

From this scripture do you begin to get a sense of the immensity, the all-encompassing force of authority, the cosmic strength God exerted here? Why do we have such trouble believing in His power when it comes to our lives?

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us . . . (Eph. 3:20).

And here God’s “ability” is a comforting encouragement—He is God of the possible. If His power was enough to raise Jesus from the dead, is it not big enough to:

  • Raise new life out of a sin-wasted one?
  • Raise a hopeless relationship from the dead?
  • Raise a dead dream?
  • Raise purpose and meaning out of despair?
  • Raise beauty from ashes?

Thrill once again to the words and contemplate their mysterious meaning to you personally, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5)

Where are you looking for life among dead things?

©2013 Ruth Wood and Kay Smith. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Published by www.Comfort-Cafe.net. Contact info: ruthywood@gmail.com

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