On Easter Sunday we celebrated Jesus’ victory over death. Jesus rose from the tomb in splendid glory. His resurrection was the fulfillment of the promises made in both the Old and New Testaments. His rising from the dead confirmed His divinity. The gates of Heaven were opened. Now we must each ask ourselves, “Will I rise too?” I invite you to read more.
In 1 Corinthians 15:14 Paul writes, “And if Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, your faith.” Paul goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 15:17, “and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.” Finally, Paul tells us, in 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life.”
Easter brings immeasurable joy! Jesus made eternal life with God possible. Words fail to adequately convey the true mystery that took place on that first Easter morning. Just think, we no longer have to live in fear of death. However, although Jesus has conquered sin and death, sin and pain continue to surround us until He comes again at the end of time. Therefore, Easter serves as a reminder for us that we too need to rise up from the death of sin.
Our 40 days of fasting are over. Our Lenten journey has come to a glorious culmination on Easter. We are left to ponder some important questions. Has our fasting, alms giving, and prayers actually changed us? Will that change be lasting? Have we truly been reborn? To gain clarity, I suggest we ponder the following questions.
Will I rise to make God first in my life?
Will I rise as a disciple, to walk in the footsteps of Christ?
Will I rise and turn my face to those who insult me?
Will I rise and accept persecution, on behalf of my faith in Jesus?
Will I rise to love my neighbor?
Will I rise to love my enemy?
Will I rise to love rather than hate?
Will I rise in humility over pride?
Will I rise in chastity over lust?
Will I rise in truth over lies?
Will I rise in joy over sorrow?
Will I rise in hope over despair?
Will I rise in contentment over envy?
Will I rise in gracious speech over gossip?
Will I rise to clothe the naked?
Will I rise to visit the sick and homebound?
Will I rise to visit those in prison?
Will I rise to feed the hungry?
Will I rise to welcome a stranger?
Will I rise to defend life over the culture of death?
Will I rise against injustice?
Will I rise to defend religious freedom?
Will I rise in grace and strength over the sin in my life?
And finally, when life is over, will I rise to be with my Lord forever in paradise?
Jesus rose in victory on Easter morning long ago. Now He invites us to rise. Will we?
Heavenly Father, at His birth, your Son Jesus took on our humanity. He experienced all it means to be human except sin. He laughed, cried, suffered, and died. He bore the guilt of my sins. But He rose triumphantly over death, to open the gates of Heaven. Now Father, I must rise to walk in His footsteps. Grant me the strength and resolve to run the race of life and finish well. I long to one day be with You forever in paradise. Amen!
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