Acts 13:30 “But God raised him from the dead.”
Matthew 20:32 “And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you.”
Imagine if Jesus came to your home today and asked you this question, “What do you want me to do for you?”
Some of us would answer…”Jesus, heal me of my physical illness.”
Some may answer…”Jesus, cure my child or mother or friend of their cancer.”
Some may say…”Restore my marriage – my relationship with my family – my communication with a lost friend.”
Some of us still would ask for financial freedom and stability, success in our careers, or maybe even the house or car we have always wanted.
Acts 13:30 reveals to us one of the greatest things we could ask for: RESURRECTION. We have come to believe that the key to the Christian life is to simply believe in the resurrection of Jesus. We have condensed “Christianity” to this: if we believe that we are full of sin, and believe that Jesus lived a perfect life and died and rose from the grave, then we have gained a golden ticket to heaven, to be cashed in the moment we close our eyes on this earth and open our eyes at the pearly gates. Amen!
But what if there is another resurrection, in which we have forgotten to believe? Our resurrection! What if being a Christian is not simply about knowing that we will be in heaven when we die? What if through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we may experience communion with God every day on this earth, not having to wait until we die to know the presence of the Lord? We pray the “sinners prayer” as if it is magic words that will allow us to wear long white robes and sit on clouds playing harps in heaven. But what about now? What about the rest of the days and weeks and years we have to navigate on this earth? Where is the hope? My friend, it is not the Lord’s will for us to wander aimlessly, trying to be as good as we can be, until the day we die and finally get to be in heaven. Nor is it God’s will for us to live according to our own devices, enjoying all this life has to offer, but still get a passage to heaven because we said the magic prayer at church professing that Jesus died and rose again. We see the resurrection of Jesus, and we stop there. We forget about our resurrection! For the resurrection of Jesus made way for us to be transformed and resurrected now.
I know far too many Christians who profess that they believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus, yet they are dead inside. They are living like zombies. They are ransomed and freed slaves, choosing every day to go back into captivity. They are gripped with fear and rage and worry and bitterness and addiction and strife and…
There is another resurrection. Ours! Believe this: the same power and the same Holy Spirit that rose Jesus from the grave has been given to us by a mighty loving God, to raise us from the grave as well. God is about the business of bringing things back from the dead. Is your marriage in crisis? God wants to resurrect your marriage to be one of love and laughter and truth and respect. Have you given up on a calling God gave you many years ago? God wants to resurrect that dream and remind you that He never forgets His promises. Has your sense of self-worth been murdered by life’s circumstances? God wants to resurrect your confidence into one that is based on a foundation of who you are in Him. Has your past haunted you and threatened to destroy your future? God wants to resurrect your hope and give you a vibrant future of life and possibilities.
So, Jesus is asking us…”Beloved, what do you want Me to do for you? What do you want Me to bring back from the dead? And before you answer Me, remember Hebrews 11:6. Without faith it is impossible to please Me, for whoever would draw near to Me must believe that I exist and that I reward those who seek Me. You must believe that I can do what it is you are asking Me to do. You sit there and doubt Me because your marriage is failing apart. But when have you come to your knees and surrendered your marriage to Me and asked Me to resurrect your relationship with your husband? Ask Me to bring your marriage back from the dead…and believe that I can! You walk through your day captured in doubt and worry, questioning My presence and My sufficiency and My sovereignty. But when do you delve into the Scriptures and allow yourself to be rejuvenated with My Truth? Ask Me to bring your joy and strength back from the dead…and believe that I can! Don’t just stop at believing in My resurrection. Believe that My resurrection can make a difference in your life now, not just in the eternal life. Believe that the very same power that rose Me from the dead is alive and active and ready to raise you from the dead. Oh, My love, I have something so much more for you than this way you are living! Invite Me to be Lord of your life, not just Lord of your afterlife! What do you want me to do for you? What do you want Me to bring back from the dead? Receive not just My resurrection, but yours as well! Don’t just invite Me into your heart, but invite Me to be Lord of your life. I cannot wait for you to invite Me in, so I may show you the great wonders and blessings I have for you! Commune with Me now! Don’t want until you are dead to live in victory!”
Can you hear it? The sound of the stone rolling away. Can you feel it? The earth tremble as God is opening your tomb. Arise, my love. The grave no longer has a hold on you!