1 April 2016

Jesus is Risen!

The apostles are credible witnesses. They weren’t gullible fools who accepted whatever came their way. They were completely assured about the resurrection only after Jesus gave them many convincing proofs. They saw him, touched him, ate with him and talked with him on many different occasions. They could not resist the evidence.

From Pentecost onwards, when the Holy Spirit came on them, they started preaching Jesus as risen from the dead. Though the religious leaders threatened them, mistreated and threw them in prison, the apostles and early disciples all continued to proclaim the message of which they were so certain. “We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Their testimony is recorded for all generations in the Holy Bible. As we read it, we must reach a decision. Truth does not change even though we don’t believe, but our eternal destiny, in heaven or hell, depends on what we do with the gospel of truth.

Since Jesus rose from the dead, as Scripture affirms, then we have hope that we too, who will one day yield to death, will also be raised to life by God Almighty. Life is not absurd. There is an eternal destiny, either good or bad, awaiting each and every one of us.

If you die unforgiven, sin will be a burden that you will have to carry beyond the grave to your condemnation and eternal punishment, with those who defied or ignored their Creator, and did not believe in the name of his unique Son.

On the other hand, those who trust in Christ are forgiven, beloved by God the Father. Though they are harassed by life’s troubles, the disciples of the risen Christ find a sure hope in his resurrection; by this hope they are able to face physical death. In the midst of their trials and suffering, Christians look up to heaven, where their Lord is, who went before them to prepare a place for them. The grave is not the last word for them. When the King of kings returns he will call his subjects by raising them to incorruptible and everlasting life, completely redeemed in soul and body. They will thus meet the Father. “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3).

Their pilgrimage to the Father would then come to a close. The joy of the children of God, crowned with eternal glory, will be theirs forever.

(Gospel e-Letter - April 2016)