Remembering what the Lord has spoken is a challenge for many of us. While he speaks to us week after week, month after month and year after year, how much of what he says do we actually remember? It appears that many do not remember because they do not take the Word of the Lord seriously, while others receive it in stride and do not believe it. There are also those who instantly resist or reject the Word of the Lord. This was the case of Peter when Jesus was trying to explain that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law—and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Rather that asking for further explanation, Peter quickly rebuked Jesus, saying, “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!” (Matt. 16:22). While this utterance of Peter seemed well-intended, Jesus saw the spirit behind it and rebuked him: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men” (Matt. 16:23).
Our unbelief is often grounded on the fact that we do not have the things of God in our heart. We do not concern ourselves with eternity, but only the things of men—our comfort and whatever can give temporal satisfaction. Rather than thinking about the future, we are engrossed with the “here and now”. These are the things that crowd our hearts so that we end up in unbelief. We set aside the words that we hear until the Lord does what he says he will do, or when the things that he says will happen actually occur. This was the case of the women who went looking for Jesus’ body in the tomb. The angels told them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered his words” (Luke 24:5-8). Up until that moment, no one among them remembered what Jesus had been telling them all along.
When Jesus told them about his impending death and his rising again, and all the other matters that would transpire, he did it for a purpose. He said, “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He” (John 13:19). His death and resurrection proved that he is indeed what he claimed to be—God. Jesus is alive and He lives forevermore. Even the grave could not hold him and the apostle Paul joyfully proclaimed, “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:54-55). Therefore, we should not go looking for Jesus in the grave. He is alive and he is with us. Let us seek him through his Word.
The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ should be an encouragement to those who are facing troubles of many kinds, because Jesus’ ministry was appropriately presented by the writer of the Book of Hebrews when he said, “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Heb. 7:25). He is our only link to the Father. He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). This was made possible through his death and resurrection. We must remember that the coming of Jesus alone is not sufficient to save us. He must die so that we can be redeemed from our sins through the blood that he shed. But without his resurrection, life for us would have been hopeless. If Jesus did not rise, there would also be no resurrection of the dead. But while we rejoice with the resurrection of Jesus, the ultimate rejoicing is yet to come. This grand celebration will happen when he comes again to take us upon himself, so that where he is there we will be also.
The message about the Lord Jesus Christ is great but we have the tendency to forget. For this reason, a date was set to commemorate the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. All the Feasts that were ordained in the Bible are to accomplish the same purpose—to remind us of the love of God. Therefore, let us celebrate. Remember this: Jesus is alive! Hallelujah!