I am fighting back the tears as I reflect and write to share my encounter with the Living One.
On a cool, sunny morning, the sun was just barely breaking through the olive trees in the Garden of Armethia, I ducked my head under the grayish stone as I stepped into the cool, damp cave dug in the side of a hill.
Only the sun through the door kept me from tripping. Glancing around the cave… there was nothing notable there but a cold, empty stone bench tucked in the corner of a cave. There was no tunic, white cloth, or blood stain… nothing.
Emotionless, I walked back out of the empty tomb. Looking up my heart was gripped by the Holy Spirit in the fullness of TRUTH and HOPE of the resurrection. On the stone door of the cave were carved the words,
“Why do you look for the living among the dead?
He is not here. HE IS RISEN!”
Walking where Jesus walked in Israel, was a great opportunity. BUT to be where scholars most likely believe Jesus had laid, in the tomb of Joseph of Armethia, to be standing where Jesus rose from the dead… MY spirit knew... Jesus is ALIVE!
Tears streamed down my face. Jesus rose from the dead for me… and for you!!
The angel told the truth who said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said! Come, see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him.’ See, I have told you” (Matthew 28:5-7),
There are many who believe in Jesus as a prophet, a teacher, or a good man. Many believe t hat he died on the cross for our sins. Yet if there’s no resurrection, then our faith is in vain. “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sin.” (1 Corinthians 15:17) The complete victory was Jesus’ sacrifice for sins and the resurrection. Jesus rose from hell and the grave conquering both sin and death! Hallelujah!!
Lord, we come in Jesus name and by His precious blood. We give You abundant praise for Your mercy and g oodness to us! We praise and thank You for your perfect power and plan, Your love demonstrated through Jesus – His life, death, and resurrection so we may know You, the One true God!
We praise you this Easter and Passover. Lord in Your mercy and grace, pour out Your Spirit to our loved ones who don’t know You, to the thousands of Jewish worshipers gathering in Israel this week. Lord, thank You, for Your perfect plan. You blinded their eyes, so the gospel would go out to all people. Now Lord, we ask, “open the eyes of their hearts” to see Jesus! Deposit a spirit of faith and truth! Bring Your great salvation to many. Reap a harvest Lord!
In union with Christ, by faith in Jesus’ name, I pray each of us receive more fully the love of Christ, that we may know it by experience at work in our own hearts toward others, loving effusively and forgiving immediately, as God for Christ’s sake has loved and forgiven us. Thereby, we realize the fullness of God having a capacity to love and forgive as Jesus did.
Lord, may our love and devotion be like a fire in our souls, that we live with boldness in our true identity as Your royal priesthood for now and eternity, and boldness to tell others of Your great love in the gospel.
May the JOY of Jesus’ presence permeate our hearts and homes this Easter like never before!! Maranatha! The LORD Jesus is coming!! We exalt YOUR Holy name!! Hallelujah!