April 23, 2017
[wolf_dropcap text=”P” font=”Montserrat”]raise God from whom all blessings flow! It is an extreme delight to greet you with continued Resurrection Joy as we stand one week removed from celebrating the Lord’s conquest over death and the grave! God be praised! We are reminded that there is no force nor foe, plan nor plot, energy nor enemy that can stand toe to toe with the awesome, audacious and almighty hand of our God. What a mighty God we serve! Due to this confidence, we can live in the unwavering assurance of his sovereign power, the victorious redemption of his finished work and the glorious hope of his triumphant return! Hallelujah and Amen! Without a doubt, the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ invites us to believe and implores us to share that declaration that because God is the greatest power, we cannot be defeated! Surely, this is Good News! However, how do we reconcile the Good News of Jesus Christ with the bad news of the world? What does the Gospel mean to a world who continues to reject it?
Many followers of Jesus were expecting full political restoration of the nation of Israel. They longed for the replenishment of military power and imperialistic prominence that they experienced so many years ago under the rule of David. Many believed that if Jesus was truly the Son of God, he would have the power to fulfill scripture based upon their interpretation of what a King could and should do. With this mindset, many of those people missed the saving grace in front of their face because of their unwillingness to sincerely seek and experience the presence and power of God through Jesus Christ. In similar fashion, many people today continue to miss Jesus Christ because he does not fulfill personal, self-assigned expectations. People wave their proverbial fists in the name of atheism and agnosticism because they have yet to see the power of Christ in their own crises and socio-catastrophes. This may lead one to ask, “To whom does Christ reveal himself?”
As my faith wrestled with the events and appearances of Christ post-resurrection, I noticed that Jesus only revealed himself in his glorified body to select groups and individuals. While it was still dark, he appeared to the women who journeyed to anoint his body. He appeared to two men as they walked along the road to Emmaus. He appeared to ten of the disciples and then to all of the surviving eleven. Before his ascension, he appeared to over 500 witnesses, but he never appeared to the Pharisees, scribes or the government. Jesus only revealed himself to those who truly believed that he was exactly who he claimed to be. Today, may your faith in the person and power of our resurrected Savior lead you to experience an unshakeable and unmistakable encounter with him through worship and praise! Rejoice and be glad!