The reading notes this week have been provided by Dave.
This week we’re going to take a look at the final two defining moment in the life of Jesus on earth. Firstly his resurrection from death (hallelujah!) and then his ascension to heaven. Today’s passage can be found here and is the beginning of an amazing transformation of Jesus’ followers.
On the whole I think that we are incredibly familiar with the idea that Jesus was resurrected – but have you ever wondered why it was important that Jesus came back from death? I mean, Jesus is the lamb of God, he opened a way for our sins to be saved when he was sacrificed for us. The lambs in the old testament didn’t need to be resurrected (in fact they ate them!) so why is Jesus? It’s ok I wouldn’t ask the question if the bible didn’t give me a really clear answer. 1 Corinthians 15:17 tells us that;
“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”
In other words, we can trust in the cross because of the amazing fact that Jesus was resurrected from the dead!
Have you ever had one of those moments where things just fall into place? When something someone says causes a chain reaction in your mind and things just make sense? We read in our passage about these women who had gone to pay their last respects to a man they believed dead. They arrive and find that they’ve been denied that job because the tomb is empty. Then in the space of a minute or two everything suddenly falls into place. Angels appear to them and remind them what Jesus had been telling them all along – we read “Then they remembered his words”. Ha, yeah just a bit! Biblical understatement always amuses me, can you imagine how excited these women would have been?! They’ve just realised that Jesus really was the son of God and that they have a hope in him! His resurrection has vindicated and confirmed his teaching. And their first action? To go and tell others of the good news! Jesus is alive!
A final thought on this from Donald Gray Barnhouse:
“The angel rolled away the stone from Jesus’ tomb not to let the living Lord out, but to let unconvinced outsiders in”.
“We hold so close to our hearts
The cross where Jesus died
But so much more than the blood-stained cross
Is that Jesus came back to life
The stone’s been rolled away
The tomb lay open and bare
They looked for Him, and then the angel said
That He is no longer here”