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April 12 Sunday Update and Devotional


A Video Update from Devon

Devotional on Christ's Resurrection

Larry Malament

On the Friday night before Easter, called “Good Friday”, we “recall” the death of Jesus.  Why do we call it “Good Friday”?  The book of Genesis tells us that when God created the world, at the end of each day He declared that all he had made “was good”, and on the day he created Adam and Eve he declared that his creation was “very good”.

But shortly following the creation story everything we read in the bible about “mankind” is anything but good. From the moment Adam and Eve decided to turn away from God and declare they could live however they wanted, everything about the world became bad, really bad, and nothing has changed since that day.  The world has only become a darker, and more fearful place.  What was once declared “very good” is no longer good.

Good Friday though is the day where hope returned to sinful humanity. Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthian church: 2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Good Friday is “good” because Jesus, who was and is perfectly good, became our perfect sacrifice by dying on the cross, and paying the penalty for our sin so that all who put their trust in his death for their sins, and seek forgiveness will experience eternal life.

Another reason “Good Friday” is so good is the anticipation of what happened three days after Jesus’ crucifixion – His Resurrection; The ultimate and undeniable proof that his sacrifice for our sins was acceptable to God.

Just as we must understand what Good Friday means for us, even more importantly we must understand what the Resurrection means for us. 

Read John 20:1-31

In verses 30 and 31, John tells us he wrote his gospel and chose specific signs that Jesus performed to highlight who he is.  The Resurrection is the final sign, the most miraculous sign, the most remembered sign that points to Jesus truly being the Christ, the Son of God, and it declares that it is the ultimate proof that he is alive.

Of all the miracles that took place there is no greater miracle that John records than the Resurrection.  Jesus has risen from the dead! 

Genuine Christians believe that Jesus physically rose from the dead.  They believe that the resurrection was a real event in history with irrefutable evidence: here are just a few evidences that prove his resurrection was real:

  • The tomb was empty of his body.
  • There were grave clothes left behind filled with 75 pounds of expensive spices. Roman soldiers guarded the tomb so the disciples could not steal the body. If thieves stole the body, they would not leave the clothes or spices behind, and his opponents would not take the body or otherwise they might help prove the “resurrection” was real because of an empty tomb.
  • There were numerous eye-witnesses: Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, the 12 disciples, Cleopas on the road to Emmaus, and more than 500 other eyewitnesses.
  • Jesus not only appeared physically, but he spoke, he drank, and he ate.

20:8 - Although they struggled at first to believe, after seeing the empty tomb, and meeting with Jesus they did believe.

Did the resurrection really happen? Yes.  History records it, eyewitnesses proclaimed it, many willingly suffered for it, and today the church still relies on it by celebrating the future hope it offers. 

The hope the resurrection offers:

John wrote this book about Jesus’ life to tell us the “good news” of why he came to earth.

Sin has captured and scarred every human throughout history.  It has darkened the world. The weight of these sins committed by those in the past, those in the present, and those in the future, crushed Jesus while he hung on the cross, but it was meant to do so.  God crushed him, and judged him, and poured out his anger and wrath on him as punishment for our sins.

Jesus came so that we might have hope in something more than the temporary offerings of money, success, pleasure, material things, and fame.  He came because his father so loved that world that whoever would believe in Jesus might have eternal life.  He came as the good shepherd to lead, care, and protect his sheep. He came that he might die so that we might live.

The resurrection means that the power of sin that holds people captive, and destroys lives has been broken. All who are trapped in sin can be freed, and all who will be punished for their sins can be forgiven if they trust in Christ.

The assurance the resurrection offers:

  • His resurrection promises eternal life: 20:18 - The resurrection means that the power of death has been broken. He is alive and all who believe in him will have eternal life.
  • His resurrection brings us peace: 20:19, 21, 26 - Three times Jesus speaks “peace” to them, the very peace he promised in John 14:27.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do, I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

  • His resurrection fulfills the promise of the Spirit: 20:22 – The resurrection meant his promise to send the Holy Spirit was fulfilled because he is alive.

We celebrate his resurrection because it’s true; because he is alive. He came back from the dead, and fulfilled all of his promises.  What assures us that this is true is that He always present in His Spirit transforming everyone who puts their trust in him.

John 20:30-31 – “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

The resurrection is the greatest sign of all. It is the sign that proves Jesus is alive, and that if we believe in him, we might have eternal life. What a joyful moment this day truly was for his disciples and what a joyful day for us both now and the day when we will see him face to face.

Listen or Sing to These Songs

A Prayer Guide

  • Thank God that all those who trust in Jesus as their Savior have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

  • Please pray for those on our Grace Church prayer list, particularly the most recent: Despi Mahaney, Bill Mahaney, Caellan Ricucci, Larry Keys, and Sharon Pyle.

  • Ask God to give wisdom to our governing authorities that they would make a wise decision about relaxing confinement restrictions.

  • Pray for those who are confined to their homes by themselves. Ask the Lord to encourage them even as they face the loneliness of no companionship.

  • Pray for our economy to return, for all those without jobs, for those who are struggling financially, and for God’s people to see and meet these needs where possible that they might have an open door to share the gospel.

  • Thank the Lord for the many opportunities to share the gospel that have occurred, and ask him for more. One person in our church wrote to me to share their experience as they sought to help people at their job (essential) because of the example set by our church in serving one another: "It is kind of cool, because when asked "Why do you do......." I am able to point back to the care and love received from my church family. (This has opened opportunities for discussions around Jesus!)"

  • Ask God to bring this time to an end so that we can enjoy the benefits and blessing of gathering as the people of God in the presence of God.

  • Thank God that soon all the pain, sickness, loneliness, and tears will all be over when Jesus Christ returns for his bride. Ask the Lord to come quickly.

A Sermon to Listen To

Take some time today or this coming week to listen to the below sermon from 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 from Larry.

Truth is Stranger than Fiction

Did you memorize this last week?

If not, you can do it this week! It is wonderful truth to remember!

Question: What is your only comfort in life and in death?

Answer: That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. 

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.