How to Live the Bible — Resurrection Day

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This is the one-hundred-fiftieth lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.


Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
John 20:1-2

A photo of an empty tomb to illustrate Christ's resurrection

How difficult was it for the One who is Lord of the universe—who had a hand in creation itself, who is the very force of life that holds living things together—to wake up from the sleep of death and set aside the burial cloths draping his body?

As was always the case, Jesus’ revelations of himself did not happen with television cameras focused on him. Not even a respectable crowd was gathered. An alarming word from young Mary Magdalene about Jesus’ body being gone produced a panic and a footrace among two of Jesus’ beloved disciples, Peter and John. One looked and merely saw the emptiness of the tomb; the other saw the connection between this moment and the mysterious words of Jesus—and he believed.

Now things were really complicated and the disciples went home. So Jesus first appeared to a brokenhearted Mary who stayed at the tomb. Mary was the first to behold something the world had never seen before—a resurrected, transformed life.

Resurrection day for Jesus was simply the first installment of a resurrection of masses of people when this era of the history of the universe draws to a close. What God promises to those who belong to Jesus is not the loss of self into a nothingness bliss, but the resurrection and remaking of everything that is right and good in the world he created. And until then, he invites us to begin living transformed lives, continually shaped and changed by the hope of the redemption of all that God has made.

Ponder This

Where in your life do you need the resurrection power of Jesus at work today?
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Mel Lawrenz (@MelLawrenz) trains an international network of Christian leaders, ministry pioneers, and thought-leaders. He served as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for ten years and now serves as Elmbrook’s teaching pastor. He has a PhD in the history of Christian thought and is on the adjunct faculty of Trinity International University. Mel’s many books include Spiritual Leadership Today: Having Deep Influence in Every Walk of Life (Zondervan, 2016). See more of Mel’s writing at WordWay.

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