Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday Devotion

Matthew 28:1-15; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18

We reach the final day in our road to the cross devotion. Sunday is a day of victory over sin and death. Early on that first Easter Sunday morning, several women went to the tomb and discovered Jesus was not there. The stone had been rolled away. It is believed that Jesus made five appearances on the first Easter. Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, Peter, the two disciples of the road to Emmaus, and Thomas.

Christianity rises and falls on the resurrection. Every promise of the Old Testament depends on it. Every word spoken by the prophets hinges on it. Even the words of Jesus find validity or falsehood in this one defining event. The confidence of Christianity is based on whether or not the resurrection occurred. Most secularists do not find it hard to believe that: 1. Jesus was a moral teacher; 2. Jesus was unjustly tried; 3. Jesus was sentenced to death by crucifixion. It is the rest of the story they find hard to believe. Christianity rises and falls on the resurrection! There are many realities if Jesus is not raised from the dead, but the good news is that he did rise from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, however, gives us those realities:

12Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, “There is no resurrection of the dead”? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; 14and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is in vain, and so is your faith. 15Moreover, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified wrongly about God that he raised up Christ—whom he did not raise up, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18Those, then, who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. 19If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.

If the resurrection were false, there would be three stinging realities:

We would have a worthless faith. Christians are to be pitied if the resurrection did not occur. Our faith is worthless if Jesus did not come out of the grave. Our good news loses hope if Jesus still laid in that borrowed tomb in Palestine. We would still be in our sin if not for the third day.

We would be false witnesses. If Jesus be not raised from the dead, Christians are frauds and Christianity is a hoax. The Christian faith would be unreliable and Christians would be phonies. As Christians, we stake our entire faith on the truthfulness of this event known as the resurrection.

We would have no hope. The logic goes something like this: If Jesus remained in the grave, God did not accept his payment for sin… (and) If Jesus didn’t accept God’s payment for sin, you still owe a debt … (and) If you still owe a debt, you are responsible for your sins… (and) If you are responsible for your sins; you have no hope.

The good news is that your faith is of worth because Jesus is worthy.

The cross demonstrates God’s willingness to save us; the resurrection demonstrates God’s power to us. Praise God! Jesus is alive. He is risen. He is risen indeed.