We all will have experiences in life that shake our faith. We’ll all go through something we don’t understand. These moments become defining moments in our lives. Do we back away from the Lord when these events occur? Or, do we press into Him? Do we seek Him? Or, do we abandon Him?
This is what the disciples were facing at the crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus dying shook their faith. They didn’t understand! This is the reason Peter denies Jesus, the disciples scatter, it’s why Judas hung himself. They didn’t understand.
John 12:16 (TPT) Jesus’ disciples didn’t fully understand the importance of what was taking place, but after he was raised and exalted into glory, they understood how Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies in the Scriptures that were written about him.
The thing that shook their faith should have built their faith. Jesus tried to tell them:
Matthew 16:21-22 (NCV) Jesus began telling his followers that he must go to Jerusalem, where the Jewish elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of the law would make him suffer many things. He told them he must be killed and then be raised from the dead on the third day. Peter took Jesus aside and told him not to talk like that.
How often does God try to speak to us, but we won’t listen. Jesus told them, “Pray with me,” instead they fell asleep.
They’re not listening, they’re not praying, so they’re not prepared.
Christ being in our lives doesn’t mean things won’t die. It simply means that dead things can be resurrected. God wants to take those places that are dead in you and He wants to breath life back into them. That is the message of Easter. That is the message of resurrection.
Romans 8:11 (NLT) The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
The resurrection of Jesus gives you the power to close the gap between the life you are living and the life you could live.
2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (TLB) I think you ought to know, dear brothers, about the hard time we went through in Asia. We were really crushed and overwhelmed, and feared we would never live through it. We felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us, for he can even raise the dead.
Romans 4:17 (NLT) That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.
Abraham didn’t have to figure it out, he didn’t have to understand it, or have all the answers. He just had to believe.
John 11:1-6, 17-25 (NIV) Now a man named Lazarus was sick . . . . So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus . . . . On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days . . . and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.”
Resurrection is not an event. It is not a some day thing. Resurrection is a person.
This story is a story of people who it didn’t work out the way they thought. They didn’t understand what God was doing. But they would have never seen their miracle if they didn’t choose to trust God through the pain.
Some of you have quit too early. God is saying, “You thought it was over, but it isn’t over. I am working something greater than you thought. Don’t turn away from me. Keep believing and you will see the glory of God.
Easter is not an event. Easter is an experience for those who will believe.