Living God's HeartLiving Gods Heart

5b“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?
6He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!”

Luke 24:5b-6a (NLT)

He is risen! He is risen, indeed!

I hope you celebrated a wonderful Resurrection Sunday a few days ago. At the end of our service, several of us were sitting around…not wanting to leave the holy area where God’s presence had been, I suppose…and I think it was our pastor who said “I wish every Sunday was Resurrection Sunday.”

Yes, we had a great morning – a special early service followed by a potluck breakfast followed by a regular service. But the reason behind it all is that Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

He is alive! The resurrection is the turning point of Scripture. Everything prior to that point in history was leading up to it and everything after that event flowed out of it. The Old Testament builds toward the lamb of God slain for the sins of the world. Jesus is that lamb of God. But it’s not His death that gives us life. Yes, it is His death which pays the required penalty for our sin, making it possible for us to live eternally with God in heaven. Yes, it is His death which bridges the gap between our holy God and sinful Sandy. Yes, it is His death which demonstrates how very much He loves us.

But it is His resurrection that seals the deal. It is His resurrection that proves He is the King of Kings, Almighty God who holds all power in His hands. It is His resurrection that makes it possible for Him to be seated in heavenly places at the right hand of God. And it is His resurrection that makes it possible for us to be seated in those places with Him.

The angels asked the women “why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?” Jesus is alive! His heart still beats. His hands still move. His ears still hear. He is the lamb who was slain yet lives forevermore.

The resurrection shows us – it demonstrates for us – the kind of power that is available to those who believe.

Come with me to Ephesians 1:

19I [Paul] also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21Now he is far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
Ephesians 1:19-23 (NLT/NIV)

The power and authority that is in Christ is also alive in us. His heart beats in us. That power and authority becomes available to us and through us when we submit to His headship. Verse 19 says it is God’s power for us who believe…it is God’s power thrown open by our obedience. If you look through Biblical history, both Old Testament and New, the Israelites had power when they were obedient. The Apostles had power in their obedience. They were ineffective in their unbelief.

Yes, I’m using the words belief and obedience in the same way and that’s because in the ancient, middle-eastern mindset, they can’t be separated. To believe means to act on or live by that belief. It means to obey. You can’t have one without the other. It is our faith and obedience that gives us access to God’s power.

How great is that power? In verse 21 Paul struggles to find words that are big enough and well, powerful, enough, to describe God’s power. He uses these words:

  • Arche – means principality, also means source or beginning – Jesus is the originator of all things
  • Exousia – means authority, power or jurisdiction
  • Dunamis – the word from which we get dynamite – explosive power, ability, miraculous, creative power
  • Kyriotes – means dominion or ruling power, governmental power
  • Onoma – the power to name something – this power comes from having ownership, control or authority over something

Paul is saying that God has made Jesus far above all those kinds of power. Far above. And he goes on to say that Jesus is far above all those kinds of power not only in this world, but in the world to come.

And that very same power that raised Jesus from the dead is alive in us who believe – He makes that power available to those of us who believe.

Do you believe when you pray that you can change the world? Do you believe that when you talk to someone about Christ that you can change the world? Not because of who you are, but because the power that raised Jesus from the dead is alive in you.

There are many reasons why we might not be experiencing that power in your life, but one of them is that we simply haven’t owned it – we don’t expect to change the world (or often even to have an impact) when we do things for Christ. Yet Scripture says that the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead is alive in us. Oh ye of little faith! (Oh, me of little faith!)

God’s message to me this Resurrection Sunday was that He is alive! He is alive because of the awesome power of God that was able to raise Jesus from the dead! That power is “for those of us who believe” – it’s in me!

I don’t waste that power because I didn’t believe I had it. I don’t waste it because I don’t even try to use it.

Let’s believe in – that means expect! – powerful moves of God and let’s step into them.

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