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Why Does the Resurrection Matter?

By Evangelist Shennette Sparkes



This week as we celebrate Easter it is so important for us to keep our focus on why the resurrection happens and why the Resurrection matters to us. The crucifixion of Jesus was a very important historical event. We usually hear more about the cross than the empty tomb in the church world, leaving the resurrection for Easter. But the resurrection is not just an Easter message; it lies at the heart of Christianity, even in one sense more important than the cross. For without the resurrection, the crucifixion was just an execution. Lots of people have died on lots of crosses, but there is only One who rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, JESUS. 

In my opinion, the resurrection of Jesus is the event that shaped humanity. The Apostle Paul said, “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:17–19 NKJV). That means if Christ didn’t rise, all the things we’ve done wrong would keep us separated from God forever. Thankfully Jesus did rise! 

 

Take time this week to focus on what the resurrection means to you. 


Reflection: If He didn’t rise from the dead, there’s nothing He can do for you: He can’t save you, He can’t forgive you, He can’t wash your sins away, and He can’t heal you... If He didn’t rise from the dead, then He’s just another dead guy.

The good news is Christ did RISE from the dead, and that changes everything! Thinking about this brings me tears of joy and sorrow. Sorrow because I hate knowing what happened to Jesus. JOY because I know he went through all of the beatings, torture, verbal abuse, and persecution for me and you. God is so faithful to us. 


*Read: Romans 3:23-24 , 1 Peter 1:3, Acts 4:33, Romans 10:9-13 , Matthew 10: 32-33 


Prayer: Thank you Lord for sending your only son to die and rise from the dead so that I may have eternal life. Thank you for loving me so much that you sacrificed your BEST, your son so that I can be in the right relationship with you. Thank you that I have salvation healing, and power available to me because of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Bless me with Your righteousness, Your freedom, Your light, and Your love in Jesus' mighty name. 


B. The Power of Forgiveness 


Often time we go to God in prayer asking that He forgive us, yet in our hearts, we are holding grudges and bitterness against another person who has hurt us. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, Jesus included within that prayer (aka The Lord’s Prayer) the key to being forgiven.“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father in Heaven will not forgive your sins.”Matthew 6:14-15

It isn’t an easy thing to forgive people who have harmed us, hurt us, or betrayed us,  however how easy it is for us to expect God to forgive us when we have rebelled against Him, denied Him, and disobeyed Him grievously. We automatically expect Him to forgive us, but we aren’t willing to extend to others the same mercy and grace that we expect of our Father in Heaven. God requires us to extend the same grace and mercy to others that Jesus extends to us. We must stop being so offended that we hold grudges and bitterness in our hearts. God wants to use YOU, however he can only use those with a pure heart and clean hands.  I have seen in my own life how powerful forgiveness can be. It heals families, relationships, and broken hearts. If Jesus could forgive the people who talked about him, brutally beat him, tortured him, and murdered him who are we not to forgive others? What excuse do we have not to forgive? The Bible calls us not only to forgive people once or even seven times but to forgive them seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22). This number represents God's grace and unconditional love for us. Jesus died in our place so that the Heavenly Father can completely forgive and accept us. Even if that person never apologizes it’s your responsibility to forgive them. Our healing starts where forgiveness begins! 


Reflection: 

Spend time this week asking God who he needs you to forgive. 


Ask God to give you the strength to forgive that person wholeheartedly. 


Ask God to teach you how to love more like Jesus. 


Read: 

Micah 7:19 

Matthew 5:43-46 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 


Prayer: Father God thank you for forgiving me and loving me despite my faults. Father God, I’m sorry that I still find it hard to forgive (name of person or persons). You know what they've done and how badly they've hurt me. But I know You love them too, so please help me to forgive them in the same way I ask You to forgive me. I  want to be free from the burdens of unforgiveness. I want to serve you with my wholeheartedly. Thank You, Lord, for giving me the strength to forgive those who have hurt me or disappointed me. Thank you, God, for ( add your own words here) 



Thank you

Shennette Sparkes 





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