He Is Risen!
by Stephanie Olson, Co-founder Set Me Free Ministries
As we look back on our celebration of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, let me ask you a question. Have you ever heard anyone say that the Bible is nothing more than man’s interpretation of what the authors believed God was speaking to them? If the Bible is mere interpretation of man, which of God’s promises are true?
We are told in Romans 8:37-39, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
That is a beautiful scripture that many of us hold on to. We are also promised in Psalm 46:1 that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Promise upon promise in God’s Word tell about His love for us and His eternal protection. Yet, statistically, if men, not God, wrote these words, at least one, if not more, of these promises has to be false. Which one would you remove?
Yet, so many of us look at the Bible not as the infallible Word of God but as a lovely ancient book containing several men's personal interpretations of God's inspiration. And yet, God gave us His Word so we could know His character–know the very essence of Who He is. God provided us with His Word so He could share His love with us, communicate His desires for us, and give us a tool to live by. But if we don’t use this amazing, man-penned yet God-breathed tool, we won’t know Who He is. Even Jesus said, “Yet it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to fail and become void.” The Jewish people knew when Jesus said this that the Law He was referring to was the Word of God.
It is so easy to be “cafeteria Christians,” picking and choosing which scriptures in the Bible work for us and which ones don’t quite measure up. So, when we have a full understanding of what God’s Word is to us–something to live by, study, and make a lifestyle–we can truly live the lives God intends for us. Psalm 119:9-11 says, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
So, what in the world does this have to do with Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Well, we are told in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
And then we are told in John 10:9, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.” And in John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”
I’m not sure that is always pleasing to our ears. The gate is narrow? Jesus is the gate? Are you telling me that Jesus is the only way to heaven? The broad way leads to destruction? What is that? Hell? That just doesn’t sound pleasant. But here is the Good News: Jesus Christ!
God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die for our sins. Hebrews 9:22 tells us, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
Jesus came to be bruised, beaten, battered, tortured, humiliated, and killed because there was no other way. His blood was shed for you and me, because He loves us. If there were any other way to cleanse us from sin, wouldn’t the Bible tell us so? If there were any other way, why would He have died?
But it didn’t stop there, did it?
“But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.’” (Mark 16:4-6)
Which of God’s promises are true? All of them! But with the promises come some hard words and hard truth. We have to take it all. But I, for one, am so grateful that God loves us so much that He would lay it out so clearly. I, for one, am so grateful that Jesus loves us so much that He would shed His necessary blood for our sins. And I, for one, am extremely grateful that Jesus Christ is no longer in that tomb!
He is risen! He is risen indeed!