4/15/17 Mike about 55
“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” (Matt 28) It’s the Saturday night before Resurrection Sunday, and some may think this verse is a little premature. “Save it for tomorrow morning” goes conventional wisdom, but I’ve experienced it today, so why wait? It wasn’t at a high holy day or a dynamic worship service – I was at a grocery store reaching out with the Gospel when I met a fellow believer named Mike.
I heard his story of how God worked through his personal tragedy – the death of his wife during childbirth – to bring resurrection to his life. For him it began 3 years later when at 11 AM one morning he realized he had been awake for three hours before the first painful thought that day of his wife’s passing. Mike realized there was hope and that God had much more life for him to live, and he has been growing in God ever since.
I get to experience resurrection throughout the year as I reach out with the Gospel. I relive the resurrection of Jesus when I hear stories from fellow believers of how they came to life in Christ though they had been dead in their sins. But what about the doubt, the criticism, the mockery even, that I get from unbelievers – where is the hope and joy of resurrection in those conversations? Believe it or not, I experience the same joy of resurrection in conversing with them.
How? First, I don’t want to belittle the importance of their estrangement from God, but I trust that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead can work to bring unbelievers to faith and raise them from the dead too, first spiritually, and in the next life, physically. I trust that their story isn’t finished yet. But talking with unbelievers also helps me experience Jesus’ resurrection anew in realizing that “there, but for the grace of God, go I”. I was once in the unbelievers shoes, dead in my sins, but “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” As we keep sharing the Gospel, we are reminded continually of the death and resurrection of Jesus in our own lives. As we worship our risen Savior at church tomorrow, let’s resolve to share – and live out – that resurrection power throughout the year.