Connecting People to Christ

Easter Retreat 2023

April 7  |  April 8  |  April 9

Easter Weekend Devotional:

Resurrection Sunday

When Everything Changed

In an instant, the stone rolled away to reveal an empty tomb. Jesus was alive and the prophecy of Genesis 3:15, for which the world had waited since the Garden fall, was fulfilled. The blow satan struck was a scratch in comparison to the head-crushing defeat Jesus dealt the evil one.

According to Isaiah, Jesus strapped on righteousness as a breastplate, clad Himself in the garment of vengeance, and wrapped Himself in zeal. He waded into our sin problem like a pent-up flood and fought until the battle was done. (Isaiah 59:15-20). Sin and death were overcome. Judgment was satisfied. Payment for sin was made.

Jesus conquered death and the grave!

The resurrection is the miracle of all miracles. With the resurrection, we are amazed by Jesus dying and coming back to life just as he said he would. But the real miracle is God’s amazing love. He loved us enough that he chose to suffer and die for our sins. If he can raise himself from the dead, surely he could have saved himself from the cross. But he didn’t. Instead, he chose to die on the cross, be buried, and then rise to show us his great love. Can you imagine a love so rich and powerful?

His presence was enough.

The disciples wanted Jesus, living, breathing, and walking among them more than anything. His presence was victory enough for His followers. They savoured His sweetness. Rejoiced in His nearness. Delighted in the miracle before them.

Did any of them understand the magnitude of the battle He won? The depth of redemption He bought? Did they suspect the power, wisdom, and strength they would soon receive?

Probably not. Like most of us, they lived in the moment with no thought for future generations, but Jesus knew. As He stepped forth from the tomb, time split into before and after. He emerged with healing and redemption in His holy hands. Salvation was accomplished. Power would soon appear.

Just as the disciples, we, too, have a tendency toward complacency over the resurrection. We’re grateful for what it means for us and our eternity but heedless of what it means for the generations to follow.

Would Thomas have expressed his uncertainty if he knew his name would be maligned as a doubter two thousand years later? Would Peter have returned to fishing if he’d known he would soon restore strength to lame limbs with a word? Of course not.

Power and presence

The joy of His presence was enough for those who loved Him, but Jesus would not be with them for long. His death and resurrection were necessary steps in His journey back home to Heaven. Because He went, He told his disciples, they would do more, pray more, and get bigger answers than they could yet imagine. They would do greater works than He had done. Whatever they asked would be granted. The Helper, the Spirit of Truth, would come. Power would fill them.

The same resurrection power is present in us. Jesus preached the gospel, healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead, made blind to see and deaf to hear, and lame to walk. We, His followers, are expected to do more than He, but do we?

Eyes that see only today.

As we ponder the Easter Weekend devotionals for Resurrection Sunday, we, too, stand in the light of the resurrection with eyes that see only today. We can’t see hundreds of years from now, the generations of family to come, the history yet to unfold. If we could, would we burn with passion for lost souls? Align our lives with righteousness? Share Christ with all we meet?

In Jesus, we possess the words of life and the light of the world. How dare we keep it to ourselves?

Today is a glorious day of celebration for disciples of Christ, but it is also a time for contemplation of the resurrection power in us and our willingness to step into the life Jesus rose to give us.

Let’s ask ourselves these questions:

  1. To what greater work I am called?
  2. How much bigger can I pray?
  3. In what ways can I change the world because of the Helper’s work in me?
  4. Power was promised and given. How can I use the power I have for the Kingdom?

Easter changes us from the inside out. Your life should be different because of Easter. Others should tell you are different because of Easter.

Once again, see yourself in the story. Walk with the women on that early morning, still crying. Close your eyes and see the women being greeted by the gardener and finding out he’s really the Christ. Run with Peter and John to the tomb. Stand there amazed. Hear the voice of the angel. Celebrate! Then Go!

Devotionals for Easter Weekend Suggested reading:

The account of the resurrection in all four gospels:

Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-21:25

Acts 1:1-8

Songs for reflection: