As He Said !

Southaven, Ms

By: Mike Upchurch

Well, it’s been one week since we celebrated Easter. I somewhat miss it even now. But I’d like to revisit a subject now that Easter has passed. Someone once asked me what I felt the greatest or most important verse in the Bible might be.  

Many might respond to that question with John 3:16, as it summarizes the Gospel story. But to me the greatest verse, the one carrying the most impact for those of us who are Gentiles, is found near the end of the Gospel of Matthew in Chapter 28, verse 6. This verse wasn’t spoken by Jesus, or by the writer Matthew, but rather by an angel. An angel who had been in the presence of God. 

It tells of a wonderful truth. It speaks of a miracle. A miracle important to all the world! It tells of the wonder of something taking place so important to Christianity that had this miracle not taken place, none of us would ever be able to enter Heaven!  

The angel was speaking to Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James who had come to anoint Jesus’ body following His crucifixion on Friday (the Levitical Law prevented them from doing so on the Sabbath).  This is that verse along with the prior verse included for context……

5  “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.

6  He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭28:5-6

He is RISEN!  He said He was going to and HE DID!!  That is great news!  For you see, without the wonder of Jesus coming back from the dead in His earthly body, then we would not be resurrected either. If Jesus had not overcome death when he died in our place for our sins, then HE would still ascend to Heaven as God’s righteous Son, but we would be doomed. 

Our sins might be covered with His payment rendered for us, but eternal life in Paradise would not be available to us, for there would be no resurrection power for us.

In the book of Colossians and in Revelation too, Christ is called “the firstborn of the dead”. That is a critical title. His being the firstborn means we can be born from the dead, too. If He hadn’t risen, then neither could we.

Well, you might argue that Lazarus was risen from the dead, as well as others Jesus touched and raised. And even Elijah and Peter raised the dead. Yes that’s true, but those people raised from the dead eventually died again because they were still in their mortal bodies.  Flesh and blood can’t enter Heaven. NO mortal body can enter there. Only those resurrected to an eternal, immortal body can enter those gates.  Jesus received His immortal eternal body upon ascending that day with the disciples looking on. 

That truth, spoken by the angel on that resurrection Sunday, sets us free from the bonds of death. We will now be able to leave this earth when our mortal body passes from this life.   Our spirit will rise to be with the Lord forevermore because of His resurrection power! 

So to celebrate Easter after it has passed seems ok to me, as every Sunday is Resurrection Sunday if you think about it. He is RISEN!  And that is worth shouting about!  He has risen, just as He said, and we will too!

And that’s the way I see it!

Pastor Mike