3/25/13 – “HE IS RISEN – BE A WITNESS”


Luke 24:6 He isn’t here! He has risen from the dead! Don’t you remember what he told you back in Galilee,
Luke 24:7 that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again the third day?”
Luke 24:8 Then they remembered that he had said this.
Luke 24:9 So they rushed back to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened.

It’s around 3:00 O’clock in the afternoon on a Friday and Jesus utters those famous last words on the cross, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said these words the Son of God breathed His last breath and gave up His life. There is no doubt that His disciples seeing what had been done to their Savior, whom they thought would rise to power and rule over Israel at that time, were devastated. Even though Jesus had told them He would be delivered into the hands of Pharisees and then crucified, they still didn’t get it.

The rest of that day and the following Saturday, what was the Sabbath and normally a day of rest for them, was probably anything but restful. Their world and the hope they had in their Messiah had just come tumbling down. But the story was far from over. On that first day of the week, Sunday morning as Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb, they found the stone rolled away and Jesus no where to be found.

The angels revealed themselves and declare, “He isn’t here! He has risen from dead! Don’t you remember what He told you back in Galilee…”, so they rushed back to tell the eleven disciples and EVERYONE ELSE what had happened. On that morning something happened that would forever change mankind and the world. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who came to pay the price for man’s sin and deliver him from his sins, fulfilled what was needed to make full payment for all of mankind. Now man could once again be reunited with the heavenly Father and also be raised from the dead or born again.

There is no other person in the history of the world that has died in place of another taking upon themselves all their sin, sickness, disease, poverty, lack, and the very punishment we deserved for our sin. By grace we are saved (delivered, healed, preserved, made whole) through faith, it is the gift of God. Grace means for all who receive what Christ did for them they will get the gift of eternal life, which they did not deserve. Not one human on the planet deserved to receive this gift of eternal life and be restored back to the Father.

Grace was made available to us because of God’s mercy, which was also revealed to man on the cross through what Jesus had done for us. Mercy means for those who have received what Christ did for them, they are not going to get what they deserved. We deserved God’s wrath. We deserved to go to hell. We deserved His punishment for our sins, but because of His mercy through Christ taking upon Himself all that we deserved we will not get what we deserved.

There has been no greater event in all of history. The birth of Christ was significant, but Jesus on the cross and then being raised from the dead fulfilled what needed to be done for us to be restored back into an intimate relationship with the Father. Even though there were those in the Old Testament who were close to God, they could not experience His presence living within them. We have a reason to rejoice! Don’t you believe that the greatest event in history merits being proclaimed? It is the most significant event ever. Far, far, far, far, greater than any super bowl, concert, election, etc., and yet not many seem to be talking about it. It’s time for the church to become the living witness Christ made them to be.

Is. 60:1 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
Is. 60:2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.

There has never been a darker time in my lifetime than the one I see all around me right now. There is so much division and turmoil going on even within our own country, not to mention around the world. We have North Korea threatening a nuclear war against South Korea and the United States. Iraq is working on a nuclear weapon threatening to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. We have a government in America that does not see our $17 trillion dollar debt as unsustainable, and yet every day we ad 3.2 billion dollars to America’s already staggering debt.

All that to say time for the church to arise and shine! Jesus has risen and just like those who 2,000 years ago went and began to tell everyone, it is our turn. If you are a child of God, born again, it is time to let your light shine. It is time to get out and become a living daily witness to the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. We need to be telling Jesus’ story by telling our story. It doesn’t matter that not everyone wants to hear it, there are many who are bound in this darkness that are looking for a way out.

Scripture reveals to us in Ecclesiastes 1:9 that there is nothing new under the sun, for what has been will be. There have been times of spiritual awakenings in our country throughout its history. When are these spiritual awakenings seen? Usually when things start getting pretty dark, God looks for a people who worship Him in spirit and truth that are more hungry for God than they are for the things of this world. This hunger is seen not only in their desire for Him, but in their being bold to get out and become the witness they were created to be. Through this God begins to do miraculous things. There is another spiritual awakening beginning. Time to be a witness.

Matt. 5:16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your amoral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.

When you get born again the light came on in your personal home. That light is now within you. Time to let the light shine. Notice that Jesus declares we are to let our light shine – BEFORE MEN. What good is it to have the light that will bring people out of darkness but you keep it hidden. That would be like getting lost with a bunch of people in an old mineshaft where you are so far down there is no light, but you have a flashlight in your pocket, and yet you won’t take the flashlight out and use it.

I have been down in a mine so far that without any light you lose all sense of direction. I had a family member who had taken us to this mine. We began to walk through one twisting corridor and then into another. There were multiple routes down in the mine and multiple routes back out. After we had gone for some time walking further and further down into this mine they turned the light off. Within minutes with no light at all I can’t even describe to you what it felt like. You lose all sense of direction. You can’t even see the tip of your nose, it was that dark.

This is how a lot of people are right now. They are so surrounded by darkness they don’t know the way out. They have lost all sense of direction so they just keep going around in circles thinking somehow their life will get better. Yet here we are with the flashlight in our pockets so to speak. We have the light within, which is our witness of not only the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but also of His resurrection power to deliver people from their darkness, whatever it may be.

Acts 4:29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,
Acts 4:30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”

Christians pray for many things, but what if we started spending our time daily crying out to God with this prayer that the disciples prayed back in Acts. Their desire was to have the boldness to speak the Word of God, and that God would stretch His hand forth through theirs to heal, and that they would see the signs and wonders that were to be done through the power of the name of Jesus. God will and does still honor such prayer today. They got their prayer answered.

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.

After they had prayed they received a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit, began to speak God’s Word with boldness, and they gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ through signs and wonders being done by their obedience to step out and be a light in the darkness. I am ready to see more of God’s power displayed and people set free from the darkness of the day. Come on Christians, we have the greatest story of all mankind to tell! He is risen, now lets go and be His witnesses. Ask God to use you and get ready to see His glory shine through you. Share you story; because when you do you share His.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

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