Apostle Don Meares
He Is Risen
24 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ”
8 And they remembered His words. 9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.
What does the resurrection mean? It means that every claim that Jesus Christ ever made is true. It means that those of us who believe in Him have eternal life. Jesus says, “ And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die (John 11:26).” It means that Jesus Christ is, in fact, the Son of God. He is out of the grave. He is the Living Savior. On the third day, He rose again just like He said, and He is coming back soon. Every knee will bow, and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord (read Philippians 2:10).
The Christian faith rises and falls on the resurrection. Our message would be powerless and hopeless if Jesus did not come out of the grave. But because He lives, He is worthy of our allegiance and service. The angels rolled away the stone, not just to let Him out but to let us in. The empty tomb is the only tourist attraction in the world where people line up for blocks and blocks to see nothing because Jesus Christ is alive.
The resurrection story means that Satan is defeated. The enemy has been stripped of all his authority. Jesus Christ went from the cross into the caverns of hell and defeated every demonic force as He took the keys of death. Our Savior is more than a conqueror. He has given us freedom from sin and death. For whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36).
What the Resurrection Means to Us
We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we do know who holds tomorrow. The God that we serve is not the “Great I Was.” He is the “Great I Am.” He has all the power in Heaven and Earth. Jesus said He would be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, but on the third day, He would rise again (Mark 9:31). Yet, His followers forgot what He said. In those three days, they were weeping and mourning. They had no hope. We too, in times of crises, in times of stress, we forget how sweet life would be if we remembered the promises of God. When we feel lonely, rejected, or abandoned, we must not forget that He promises to never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
If you have been genuinely abandoned but are in the family of God, you need to know that you have an unlimited future. If you’re having challenges in your health, remember that Jesus said that signs should follow them that believe in His Name. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will be made well (read Mark 16:17).
You have a divine right to expect healing from God. If He can walk out of the grave, He can certainly heal you of any sickness or disease. If your finances are falling apart, when everything you’ve worked for seems like it’s sliding through your hands, the Bible says God will give you the power to get wealth to establish His covenant (Deuteronomy 8:18).
We are heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, which means that what God has, belongs to us. In the same way, what we have belongs to God. We have the best of that trade-off. We now have eternal life with God and live in a mansion in eternity. There’s a reason to rejoice about who you are and where you are. You are a child of the Most High God. He lives in you, and you live in Him.
Many of us tend to feel sorry for ourselves when life doesn’t go well. But we need to remember that God loves us with unfathomable love. You are a very special and unique person to God. When you were born, the genius of God exploded. There’s no one else like you. God created you to be an original, and you were not made to live like a copy of someone else. God doesn’t manufacture junk, and He does not sponsor flops. Even when you fall flat on your face, pick yourself up. Square your shoulder, lift your head, and come out swinging. Tell someone, “This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!”
Let us remember Acts 17:28:
“for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’”
You cannot be defeated when you have your being in Christ Jesus. You are more than a victor. You are a conqueror. You are more than what the world says you are because when God is for you, no one can be against you (Romans 8:31). Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world (1 John 4:4). No weapon formed against you shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17).
The Divine Message of Jesus’ Appearances to People After the Resurrection
There’s a divine message in each of Jesus’ appearances after the resurrection. His first appearance to Mary Magdalene was to demonstrate His purpose on Earth. He appeared to Mary Magdalene, a woman with seven evil spirits cast out of her and later became a deep believer in Him. This is to show us that Christ came into the world not to condemn the world, but the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). He came to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). He came to save those who were in the gutter. He came to say, “My grace is sufficient for you. I will always receive and accept you, forgive and make you become what you can be in Christ Jesus.”
The goal of our church is to take our time to get to know people who are down and out. We want to tell them that Jesus Christ is life and that He is the beginning of a new beginning. He will give you a new name. He will give you a new hope, a new dream. He will give you a new lifestyle. If you will trust Him, He will live inside of you and transform your life. Any road without God will not work.
When Jesus appeared to Simon Peter, it demonstrated the absolute persistence of God. Jesus comes to Peter alone after he has denied the Lord three times. When many believed that Peter lost his soul, Jesus’ appearing to him tells us that no matter how deeply you have sinned, God will not give up on you. He is persistent. He is the Hound of Heaven who pursues the wounded heart. He is the Great Shepherd searching in the night for the one lost sheep. He’s not looking for you to condemn or hurt you. He’s looking for you so that you may have the forgiveness He offers. Jesus Christ longs to restore you and give you dignity filled with hope, love, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit. He loves you and will do everything to pursue you. Because He lives, you can live too regardless of what your past is.
In Luke 24:36-49, Jesus appeared behind locked doors to demonstrate His power to the disciples. He appeared to them while they were hiding. They are fearful that they will not be found out. And when He appeared, the disciples were glad to see Him. We can imagine they were cheering and celebrating, seeing Jesus and knowing He was alive. When He walked through the wall, He showed His ability to release them from anything they had proposed about themselves. Jesus showed them that God was going to use them. God had a purpose and a plan for their lives.
Some might be behind walls of impossibility, bitterness, rejection, fear, or anger. But whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Jesus Christ is still removing stones—gravestones that hold the living inside of graves that other people have put them in. Jesus is still removing stones to let you out. Today, God is saying to you: Walk out of your grave in Jesus’ Name. Live an exciting life as He did.
In His last appearance, it was to demonstrate His plan for His followers as He gave the Great Commission. Let’s take a look at Matthew 18:19-20:
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
God is with us when we are fulfilling His plan. Discipleship and winning the lost is the most important thing because the soul in us shall surely die. After all, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). We were born in iniquity and sin, but we who believe in Him have life. Jesus Christ came to give us life. Choose Him today.
Jesus Christ’s resurrection means so much to us. It means eternity to us. God wants to give us peace. He wants to break all the lies of the enemy, causing torment. Through His resurrection, Jesus proved that He is an overcomer. He gave us His Holy Spirit. His Presence changes our lives and proves that He is alive. When we receive Him, He will mark us for His purpose. He will transform our lives. If you choose and accept Him, freedom will be yours. He will be with you.
Our Heavenly Father, may the resurrection story of life over death, hope over despair, and victory over defeat explode within our souls from this day forward. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Watch the entire message of The Resurrection Story here:
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