He is risen!  He is risen, indeed! 

What do those words mean to you?  It is the resurrection of Jesus that separates us from all other religions.  “Only Christianity has a God who became human, literally died for his people, and was raised again in power and glory to rule his church forever.” (NIV Study Bible)

The Easter Story is told year after year.  Always the same story, just told from different perspectives or in new creative ways.  But the story remains the same.  Just as God remains the same.  The questions I want you to think about are: What does this story mean to you?  Does it somehow change you?

It certainly changed the people who were there.  As far as they were concerned, when Jesus died, all hope was lost.  The one they thought they were waiting for — the one they thought would make a difference in their lives — died on a cross.  In their minds, he was gone forever.

But then something miraculous happened.  What was once dead came back to life.  A world that was dark had new light — a light like no one had ever experienced before.  Sadness and despair were turned into great joy.  Hope was restored.  But not for everyone.  At least not yet.

The disciple Thomas had a hard time believing when the other disciples told him they had seen the Lord.  Thomas wanted proof.   What he was hearing was too good to be true.  He wanted to see the nail marks in Jesus’ hands and put his finger where the nails were and put his hand into Jesus’ side.  Unless he could do that, he would not believe.

Thomas got his chance.  A week later, when Jesus appeared to him, Thomas didn’t need to touch Jesus to pronounce him, ” My Lord and my God!”  Thomas often gets a bad rap for his doubt.  His actions earned him the title, “Doubting Thomas.”  But we have to give Thomas a little credit for his honesty.  It was his doubt that caused him to seek the truth.

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Thomas and the disciples were given the chance to see something that we will not see in this life.  A living, breathing, risen Lord.  Thomas needed the eyes of sight to make him believe, but we have to see Jesus with the eye of faith and believe.  Jesus promises us that when we believe, we will be blessed, and by believing we will have life in his name.  We, too, can have hope and great joy!

The risen Jesus changed the lives of everyone who saw him and changes the lives of everyone who didn’t see him and yet believes.

How has this changed you?

Pastor Stef






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April 2021