Just before His death on the cross, Jesus proclaimed to His disciples, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:18-20). Jesus had to rise from the dead. He promised to do this, and if He had failed, what could we believe about all His other promises? Only by His resurrection could He confirm to His disciples and the world that He alone had the power over life and death. The resurrection also confirms that sin does not have the final word! We need not fear being eternally separated from a holy God. Jesus makes the way of reconciliation possible for us through His death and resurrection. On top of all these amazing truths, there is something else that gives me the greatest comfort. The resurrection of Jesus is all about the presence of God with His people! Before His death, the anxiety of the disciples went sky high because Jesus told them He was leaving them. However, His reassurance was clear: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (verse 18). Jesus could never have accomplished this if He were confined in a grave, becoming to us just a “memory” or a past good example. He promised presence! I love the Bible and appreciate so much the teachings and doctrine of Christ’s supremacy. However, my faith and confidence are not rooted just in words from the past but in a living and risen Savior! I need the Word of God for sure…but I also need the presence of the Lord Jesus, God’s living Word, living within me. I pray the Lord will spare us as believers from the “religion of the Pharisees.” They had plenty of the Word of God. They studied each day. They memorized and spoke the Word to the people, but they rejected the presence of God through Jesus. As a result, they lived their faith as the original zombies…looking alive on the outside but dead within. Jesus promised those who believe in Him, “Because I live, you also will live” (verse 19b). As we celebrate this Easter season, may we rejoice most of all in the Lord Jesus himself…loving Him, obeying Him, and enjoying His amazing life through His presence! He is alive!
Pastor Mark Boucher