Day 22 of our series based on Easter Sunday Sermon by Jeff Schachinger. Any of the Devotionals can be read as a stand alone quiet time(s). Don’t rush through this devotional. It is packed with content, feel free to take it one or two sections at a time. You can see more devotionals here
You can listen again here:
Q: If you had to identify the single most important even in all of Christianity what would it be?
Many people would say the cross, but we must remember that Jesus was not the first person to die on a cross. Many people died on a cross, but only one came back from the dead and rose again. This even of Jesus rising from the dead is the reason we even have Christianity. Without the resurrection, we could only go as far as saying Jesus was a good guy.
However, we know Jesus didn’t come to heal for the moment, but he came to heal for good. The cross was a challenging thing to understand as well as the resurrection.
After Jesus was crucified everyone handled this differently:
- Peter went back to fishing
- Thomas continued to doubt
- Joseph offered to bury the body
- John took care of Jesus’s mother
- The rest were scattered and went home thinking about
The death, burial, and resurrection challenged them to their core.
1 Corinthians 15:12-22
19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
Without the Resurrection, our faith is pointless. Many didn’t fully understand the power of the cross.
Jesus Has Risen
24 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
v13 – They were walking away from Jerusalem. Why would they be walking away from one of the greatest even in history?
v14 – What do you think they were talking about?
- How Peter denied him?
- How they beat him so badly?
- How the people wanted Barabbas?
- How hard it was to watch the nails go into Jesus’s arms?
- What did he mean when he said “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
- Maybe he wasn’t the Messiah
They understood the Cross, but they missed the resurrection.
Q: Where would you be after the crucifixion?
Q: Where are you now?
- Are you going back to your old life like Peter?
- Doubting Jesus in your life like Thomas?
- Excited and rejoicing seeing the empty tomb knowing your life will forever be changed?
- Walking away hopeless because of disappointments?
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
Jesus was testing them and wanted to see how much they know. What they believe. One of them is Cleopas and one of them is unnamed. Maybe this unnamed person is actually you and me. Perhaps the author left that person nameless so we, the reader, may find ourselves in the story.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
They resigned themselves to believe that Jesus was just a good guy. In v16 it says that “they were kept from recognizing him” What kept them from seeing Jesus?
***What stopped them from seeing Jesus is what stops us from seeing Jesus as well: DISBELIEF.***
It is not about just believing that Jesus walked, lived, and died. Our faith cannot end at the foot of the cross. This is why their faces were downcast and they resigned to believe that he was just a good guy. Lets look at what they say.
“he was a prophet” (v19)
“but we had hopped he was the one that was going to redeem Israel” (v21)
Their faith didn’t go beyond the cross.
Do we see Jesus off the cross? Is Jesus still dead to us?
Q:What are your “I had hoped that by now he would [blank]”
Q: What have been your disappointments that challenge your faith?
We want everything fixed immediately. We want things to change on our time frame. However, Jesus works on his own time frame. He wants change that will actually last.
Just because we want something to change, doesn’t mean that it is a lock that it will. What if Jesus doesn’t change the thing that you are hoping will change? Will you still believe that Jesus rose from the dead? What would it take to convince you?
Lets look at Peter:
12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
Peter was with Jesus for three years and yet he still wondering what had happened! How didn’t Peter know?! Why did Peter give up and go back to his old life?
- He lost his faith at the cross and the disappointment of it.
The power and the life are in the resurrection. We can’t miss this. Things in life may not go as we wish they would and this may cause a hit to our faith. Jesus has been with you and has always been with you! We can’t leave Jesus on the cross or in the tomb. Jesus is with us every step of the way. Every step we take, every tear we cry, every move we make, He is with us. Without the resurrection our faith is powerless, useless, and pointless. However, with a deep faith in the resurrection and it’s power, anything is possible! We can put away our fears, doubts, insecurities because Jesus is not still on the cross! It is the third day and Jesus is alive for you and me.
Q: What fears, doubts, or insecurities are you struggling with now?
Q: How does the resurrection put all of those at ease?
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
They finally got it! When they broke bread together and they finally saw him!
Q: Where do you see Jesus right now in your life? (On the Cross, in the Tomb, or Risen)
Q: What does the fact Jesus has risen mean for you right now?