JESUS IS ALIVE!
Intro: The tomb is empty! Jesus, the One Who consistently showed us the Father through His life on earth, has risen from the dead. Now, in the days before He ascends to His Father, He continues to show the Father's character and love to His disciples. The men and women who knew and loved Jesus are now fearful, desolate and grief-stricken, not understanding what has happened to their hopes that Jesus is the promised Messiah. But the risen Jesus appears to them on several occasions, transforming their sadness into joy, demonstrating His Father's love, care, compassion and power. Let's ask the Lord to make Himself this real to us as we read on.
He is still saying "Come and see"!
Day 1: John 20:11-18
"Jesus said to her, 'Mary!'" Mary is sobbing so profusely that she doesn't recognise she is seeing angels in the empty tomb, and then she thinks that Jesus is the gardener! But He speaks her name. Here is the risen living Jesus, walking and talking – His voice recognisable to Mary when He calls her name! Jesus is alive! He calls us by name and we are precious to Him as Mary was! Look at Mark 16:9-11.
Isaiah 43:1 says: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!"
Jesus has spoken of His Father 110 times so far in John, but has always called Him, "My Father" or THE Father"- NOW He says to Mary,
"YOUR Father!" Jesus has finished the work of redemption – He has gone through the Cross to bear our sins, and through Him, we come to OUR Father! Relationship with the Father, broken by sin, has been restored! Mary, overwhelmed, and full of incredible joy, runs to find the disciples to tell them "I have seen the LORD"! Jesus is gloriously ALIVE and He wants the world to know, and He chooses forgiven sinners, called and precious, to tell them!
Day 2: John 20:19-23
"Peace to you!" Jesus walks through locked doors! He shows His friends the wounds in His hands and His side – this is truly ME! There is no other story in the world of famous person, religious deity or whatever to match this incredible, amazing, astounding resurrection of Jesus! AND there are still no locked doors, forbidden countries or boundaries that can keep Him out! The disciples were filled with ecstasy! But Jesus knows they need more than their present feelings of overwhelming joy. He breathes His Spirit into them, and gives them His peace – 'shalom' peace for body, mind and spirit – the peace of God which passes understanding. He sends them out as the Father sent Him – in close relationship with the Spirit in them, in the peace and covenant love of the Father!
Day 3: John 20: 24-31
Thomas has gone down in history as the doubter! Actually, we are told he became a missionary as far as
! Here is Thomas, not believing
unless he sees with his own eyes, the living Lord. The disciples are again
behind locked doors, so fearful still of the religious leaders, and Jesus comes
with His greeting "Shalom peace"! He picks out Thomas to come and
feel the holes in His hands and side – Thomas, awestruck, cries out, "My
LORD and my GOD". Jesus has words especially for us here – and calls us
who believe but have not physically seen Him, "Blessed". There is so
much meaning in the word, "Blessed" and also "Shalom". We
are safe, secure, protected, provided for, strengthened, healed, forgiven,
showered with love and kindness – take time today to think of how God is
blessing and touching your life, and come before Him with a heart of thanks,
saying "My Lord and my God!" We have not seen Him, but we believe in
Him, and He loves us! Spain
Day 4: John 21: 1-8
The disciples have gone back home to
and some of them go out fishing with Peter. How often, when we are not sure
what to do next, and may feel afraid and powerless, we just go back to doing what
is familiar. Jesus will meet us right there! Jesus calls His disciples,
"Children". He cares, as our Father cares, for exactly the problem in
your life right where you are right now! Day is breaking and it would no longer
be a good time to catch fish, BUT Jesus comes – He is standing there on the
beach calling to them. Is there a situation today where you feel you have
failed or circumstances are preventing you from moving on? Jesus calls you,
"My child!" And He has the answer! As the disciples obey Jesus, they have
an overwhelming catch – always there is over-abundance with our Father! I
wonder if Peter heard the local cockerels crowing – it was daybreak – his heart
is torn as he remembers, and he leaps into the water to meet his Lord. Do you
think Jesus splashed into the waves to meet him, love and mercy in His eyes?
Day 5: John 21:9-14
“Come and eat breakfast.” Today I am copying a piece I saved from a Joseph Prince devotional email : "Jesus represented the Father’s heart and will when He was on earth. ( John 5:19) He cared when His disciples were out at sea the whole night, cold and shivering. He cared when they caught nothing that night. ( John 21:3) He cared that they would not have fish to sell. So He gave them a huge catch early the next morning. ( John 21:5–6) He knew that they were cold and hungry, so He prepared breakfast for them, served over a fire of coals to keep them warm. Jesus showed us that God is our loving heavenly Father who cares about the big and small things that happen every day in our lives. Nothing escapes God’s eyes because He loves you!"
Day 6: John 21:15-19
Jesus fully restores Peter. Peter denied Jesus three times. Jesus gives him the opportunity here to confess his love three times! And three times gives Peter an important commission, trusting him and believing in him as a beloved friend! This is how Jesus forgives – restoring and bringing us into God's full plan for our lives. You don't have to read much further in the Bible to find out what happened at Pentecost and who preached the day that 3,000 people believed in Jesus as Saviour! He has chosen you. He believes in you, values you and has a purpose and plan for your life serving Him and blessing His family and the world!
Day 7: John 21:20-25
"You follow ME!" Jesus' answer to Peter's question is full of meaning for us. We can easily use someone else as an excuse not to obey what Jesus is telling us. It is not about whether our family or friends want to follow Jesus or not, or whether they have a different calling from us, Jesus says, "YOU follow Me!" This is the end of a wonderful amazing time in John's beautiful Gospel, and this is the message, he leaves us with – "Follow ME!" John wrote this book that we might believe (20:30-31). He tells us that all the books in the world could not contain all that Jesus said and did – and nor will we ever come to an end of discovering more about our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, as we walk and talk and live with Him for the rest of our lives.
Summary: JESUS IS ALIVE!
Through His death and resurrection, Jesus has brought us to OUR Father!
Let us renew our trust in Him today – put our hand in His and
re-commit our lives to love and serve HIM forever!