[SW137] 04/19/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
He is risen! (He is risen, indeed!) We do not physically see Jesus Christ, but He has revealed Himself to us, and He and the Father have come to dwell in us!
Joy is in the hearts of all who believe! And that joy began a long time before Christ rose from the dead . . .
Imagine the joy of Moses, when he received the creation story from God, and heard that the Enemy of our souls would be defeated:
Genesis 3:14 The LORD God said to the serpent . . .
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
Imagine his joy as he prophesied of a coming prophet who would be like him, used by the Lord to set free the captives —
Deuteronomy 18:15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.”
Imagine the joy of David, who in the Spirit calls the Messiah “Lord, ” and speaks of His victory —
Psalms 110:1 The LORD says to my Lord:
“ Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
(also see Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:42-45)
And even from the beginning of the Psalms, David speaks what he hears from the Lord in the Spirit, prophesying about the Son of God:
Psalms 2:6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry
and you be destroyed in your way,
or his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Imagine the joy of Isaiah, when the Lord spoke through him and he prophesied of the Messiah —
Isaiah 9:2 The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.
4 For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders . . .
6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace . . .
Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
11 After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light[of life] and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Imagine the joy of Jeremiah, when the Lord spoke through Jeremiah, and he gladly prophesied —
Jeremiah 23:5 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
And He will reign as king and act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.
6 “In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely;
And this is His name by which He will be called,
‘The LORD our righteousness.’”
Jeremiah 33:15 ‘In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth.”
But they did not yet fully see how it would come to pass, nor did they see the Messiah face-to-face —
Matthew 13:16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 “For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
And the Apostle Peter says:
1Peter 1:10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven — things into which angels long to look.
Imagine the joy of Mary, when Jesus spoke to her in the garden at the tomb —
John 20:15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “ Rabboni!” (which means,Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.
Imagine the joy of the disciples, when Jesus came to them —
John 20:19 So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “ Peace be with you.” 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, “ Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
Imagine the joy of the Apostle Paul, who saw the risen Lord on the road to Damascus and in later visions —
Romans 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord . . .
And imagine the joy in everyone who even this day confesses that they are sinners in need of Jesus Christ’s forgiveness and cleansing, and receives all of what the cross represents —
1Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials . . . 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
He is risen, indeed, and He is alive today! He reveals Himself to those who believe, who love and therefore obey:
John 14:21 “ He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “ If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.”
Oh, it is indeed joy beyond anything we can think or imagine, when God the Father and God the Son enter a human heart to dwell there, by the Holy Spirit! There are no words sufficient to describe it!
Even though we have not seen Him in the flesh, as did Mary and the disciples, we see Him and FEEL HIM in our hearts! His joy is in us, His peace is in us! His Spirit makes us cry out, “Abba, Father,” because we know beyond any doubt that Christ has risen and God has adopted us as His own and has become our Father!
Oh, beloved, do you have this joy indescribable? Do you know beyond any doubt that Christ has risen and you are now a child of God? Have you had the witness of the Spirit, the “Abba, Father!” rising up in your heart, filling you with joy?
The Lord extends His grace to you today. On the day we celebrate His resurrection from the dead, He offers you resurrection, if you will turn to Him:
1Peter 2:21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH;
1Peter 2:23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.