Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Christ The Lord Is Risen Today"1 (Lyrics)
The phone rang. When I answered, a deep, intimidating male voice informed me that I was in serious trouble with respect to my income tax. The voice continued saying that the police were now on their way to arrest me, and that my best recourse was to follow his directions and press "1" on the phone.
This wasn't the first time that such a call had come to our home. I didn't discuss the matter with the caller. I hung up. I knew that the identity and mission of the caller were both fraudulent, and that if I pressed "1", something undesirable would come of it. This was a scam!
Knowing whom we can trust can make the difference between encountering trouble and having a happy outcome.
What is the outcome when we come to the end of the journey of life? What do we believe will happen when we die? Do we believe that we have a choice about our eternal destiny? If we do, whom can we trust in that choice?
In chapter 11 of John's gospel, we can read about a man, Lazarus, who died and left behind two very sad sisters. Jesus had been away when Lazarus died, and now, he was back and speaking with Martha, one of the grieving sisters.
John 11:25-26 – Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (NIV)
Life poses the same question to us. Who is Jesus to us? Is His identity such that He can offer us resurrection and life? Do we believe in Him? These questions are of utmost importance to us and our eternal destiny.
Jesus' true identity was validated three days after His crucifixion and death, when He rose again to life. We know of no other great leader, no matter how influential or well-known, who has risen up from the bonds of death.
The influences that we follow in this life determine how we will live. We are led by our deepest desires. When we have a deep desire to follow Jesus Christ, our lives begin to shine with the beautiful light exemplified by His life. When we follow Jesus, our life is complete, and we are assured of a life to come. This assurance is validated by the One who died and rose again and whose resurrected life was witnessed by many and written down in the Bible.
Because He lives, we who believe in Him shall also live! Rejoice, and shine for Him!
Prayer: God of resurrection power, You offer us new life both in our day-to-day living and also in that which is to come when this life is complete. You have given us Your Son, Jesus, Who died on the cross to pay for our sins and Who rose again to new life through Your resurrection power. Strengthen our faith daily, we pray, so that Your resurrection power will shine brightly in how we think and speak and act. Keep us strong in the knowledge that because Jesus lives, the same resurrection power that restored Him to life can restore us also, both now and when we complete this life. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.