Saturday, April 23, 2011

"He is not here, but raised up." (Part 3 of 3)

The men said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” (Luke 24: 5-7 The Message)

On 10th April 2011, a local newspaper reported that a couple found a newborn baby girl abandoned in a graveyard at Taman Setapak Indah, Kuala Lumpur on the day before. They saw the baby, wrapped in a blue towel from their home several meters away. A baby in a graveyard. What a sad scene it would be for them when they found her left abandoned alone. It must be a surprise for them to discover that a living little one was crying on the ground surrounded by empty silent tombstones. It wasn’t a familiar scene for them since they live near the graveyard. It had been years since they only see dead bodies were buried in a cold and moist 7 inches below the ground bedroom. But that day they saw a ‘life’ among the dead.

… ‘Life’ among the dead…

About 2,000 years ago, a group of women who went to Jesus’ tomb that early morning, they were also surprise when they found the entrance stone rolled back from the tomb and they couldn’t find the body of Jesus. It was quite odd. Odd and strange because all this while, they never expect that there was no dead body in the tomb. Their own eyes had “saw the tomb where Jesus’s body was placed.” (Luke 23:55)

The couple never had seen a ‘life’ in the graveyard. The women however never had seen ‘no dead body’ in the tomb. The couple saw a baby wrapped in the blue towel. The women only saw the linen cloths without the corpse. For the couple they called police for help. But for the women, they didn’t call anybody. Instead, out of nowhere it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there saying, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery?” 

“He is not here, but raised up.”

After the resurrection, Jesus appeared many time to his disciples. He appeared to Mary Magdalene in the garden, to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, to Peter in Jerusalem, to the 10 disciples in the upper room. Eight days later he again appeared to the 11 disciples (now including Thomas) in the upper room. Sometime later, he appeared to 7 disciples while they were fishing in the Sea of Galilee and to the 11 disciples on a mountain. Again, he also appeared to more than 500 people in one time. For the next 40 days He was seen by hundreds of eyewitnesses.

Then He said, “Everything I told you while I was with you comes to this: All the things written about me in the Law of Moses, in the prophets, and in the Psalms have to be fulfilled… You can see now that how it is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third day, and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name to all nations- starting from here, from Jerusalem! You’re the first to hear and see it. You’re the witnesses…” (Luke 24:44-48 The Message)

Christ followers see the victorious Jesus: the conqueror of the tomb, the one who defied death. After He rose from the dead, He didn’t go immediately to Heaven but instead He went and visited people. This visit of love reminds us that it was for people that He died. Max Lucado end this well when he writes, “Let us be reminded that we, too, will be granted that same victory!
Could it be true? Could it be true that Jesus is God? Could it be true that He died on the cross according to God’s plan, as full sacrifice and payment for our sins? Could it be true that He had rose from the dead on the third day? Could it be true that Only through Jesus we can have a personal relationship with God?
What do you say?

Before I end this not so proper structured article, I want to ask one final questions:
Are your faith is real?
What I mean is, is it based on your own decision, full conviction, firsthand experience? Or is it based on others such as your parents, friends etc? Do you own your faith or do you borrow it from someone else?
-The Beginning-


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