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A Resurrection Reason to Rejoice

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; …Wherein ye greatly rejoice…” (1Peter 1:3,6{A})

Have You Met the Real Resurrection

After 22 years of serving the Lord, I am still awed at the truth that I serve a risen Saviour. It is an awesome reality that we who are Christians serve a man, Jesus Christ, that was dead but now He lives. I am absolutely convinced that as I write this message, Jesus Christ is by the right hand of the Father in heaven. There is a man in heaven. A living, breathing man; the Son of God is alive in heaven right now. Hallelujah!

All over this world, at least once a year, multitudes gather to celebrate or at least acknowledge the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. But sad to say, their life after the mere acknowledgement has changed very little, if any. That is the very reason Jesus rose from the dead. He rose to give us hope of a real life, hope that we can be born again. This is the hope of the born again experience, finding life after being raised from the pain and death brought about by the sin in our lives. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”(1 Corinthians 15:20-22)

Beyond Resurrection

Peter also understood very well this promise of life that came through resurrection. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1Peter 1:3) Peter is saying that because of God’s abundant mercy, we have a living hope. And how was that abundant mercy manifested? This mercy came through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Peter declares that the resurrection of Jesus Christ has given him abundant mercy and a hope that is living. Listen to this verse in the Amplified; “By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” This boundless mercy and ever-living hope came as a result of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

But the results of resurrection didn’t stop there. “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”(1 Peter 1:4,5) Beyond resurrection there was an incorruptible inheritance and the promise of being kept by the power of God. The same power that raised Christ from the dead will keep the child of God. Look at what comes as a result of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead:

  • An abundant boundless mercy
  • An ever-living hope
  • An inheritance which is beyond the reach of change and decay –reserved in heaven for you
  • A promise of God’s keeping power (guarded and garrisoned by God’s power)

And then Peter tells us what our attitude should be toward the resurrection. “You should be exceedingly glad on this account…” (1 Peter 1:6A) Peter was admonishing those who were born again that there should be a great rejoicing over the resurrection. He was also giving hope to those who had not yet believed. There is hope of life after sin has ravaged and destroyed. There is hope of truly living when you embrace the power of His resurrection.

Have You Met This Resurrection?

There are two things I want you to ponder here. 1. Who was writing this? Who is telling us about the fruits of resurrection? Peter…Peter who denied the Lord and ran from the cross. 2. Resurrection is not a mere historical fact. Resurrection is a living person. It is literally and physically the living person of Jesus Christ raised from the dead.

So what do we have in these verses? We have the testimony of a man who had an experience with resurrection. Peter who denied the Lord and ran from the cross has experienced the resurrection. He has come face-to-face with the resurrection. But remember, resurrection is not a mere historical fact. Resurrection is the living person of Jesus Christ raised from the dead. Peter would confront the living person of Christ whom he had denied. Can you imagine how Peter must have felt? But out of this meeting he now declares he has received:

  • Abundant mercy
  • Ever living hope
  • An incorruptible inheritance
  • A promise of being kept by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead
  • Exceeding gladness

Now Peter boldly offers these same fruits of resurrection to whosoever will.

Let’s take a look at this meeting where Peter met the Resurrection, the risen Saviour. “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” (John 20:19) Jesus came and stood in the midst of the disciples, and Peter was there. Can you imagine how Peter felt? He had denied the Lord, and everyone knew it. But now, here stands Jesus, the Resurrection, looking at Peter. What would Peter say? How could he respond? Some of you that read this can appreciate how he must have felt. So let’s see how Peter responded to this meeting. Let’s see his reaction. “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.”(John 20:19) Notice, the disciples, including Peter, were glad and filled with joy when they saw the Lord.

How can this be? Where is the remorse and grief in Peter? How can Peter stand here before the Resurrection and be filled with joy after what he has done. Because someone had been praying for him. Do you remember what Jesus said to Peter when He predicted his denial? “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not…”(Luke 22:31-32A) Jesus had prayed for Peter that his faith would not fail him. And what did Peter say in the scriptures we read in First Peter 1? He said one of the fruits of the resurrection was we are “kept by the power of God through faith.” Jesus had continued to pray for Peter, and his faith had not failed. Now in the midst of the other disciples and Jesus, Peter stands rejoicing. Have you ever stood where Peter was that day? Have you ever failed the Lord the way Peter did? If so, rest assured that Jesus Christ is praying for you. He does not want your faith to fail. He wants you to meet Him just as Peter did.

The Sensitivity of The Resurrection

But listen, this meeting is more than a result of Peter’s faith. This meeting is all about the love and sensitivity of a person, the Resurrection, Jesus Christ. Resurrection the person had prepared Peter for this meeting. Resurrection the person knew the grief and anguish and sorrow and repentance that Peter had experienced because of his failure. Resurrection the person had been lovingly sensitive to Peter in preparing him for this meeting among the other disciples. Let’s look at how sensitive the love of Christ was after the resurrection to Peter and we will better understand what Peter meant in First Peter 1. We must look at what transpired before this meeting and we will know why there was a resurrection reason for Peter to rejoice.

We must go back to the first appearance of Jesus after He was resurrected. “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid Him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about His head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.” (John 20:1-10)

Mary was the first one to find the tomb empty. She goes to John’s house to tell him and Peter. They run to the sepulchre and find it empty. Peter’s heart is stirred now as he goes back to John’s house. “But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping:” (John 20:11A) Mary had gone back to the sepulchre with Peter and John, but when they returned home she stayed at the sepulchre. Look at what happens.

And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him. And when she thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell me where thou has laid Him, and I will take Him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father, and to My God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.” (John 20:12-18) Jesus appears first to Mary Magdalene. She immediately goes back to John’s house again and tells them she has seen the Lord. Peter is there and hears what Mary Magdalene says about meeting the Resurrection. Listen, Peter knew about Mary Magdalene’s past. Jesus has cast out seven devils from her. But, Jesus had spoken to her and had told her to go and tell the disciples. Hope was beginning to stir in Peter’s heart. Could it be that the old intimacy could be renewed? Mary now leaves Peter and John to go tell the other disciples.

Peter’s hope is alive now. Look at how Jesus continues to be sensitive to Peter. “And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, there was a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he said unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: He is risen; He is not here: behold the place where they laid Him. But go your way, tell His disciples and Peter that He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see Him, as He said unto you.” (Mark 16;1-7) Notice what verse 7 says; “go and tell His disciples and Peter.” As you study this, you find these women here would go tell the eight disciples first. While they were telling these disciples what the young man said, Mary Magdalene would actually see Jesus first and go tell John and Peter. Mary would leave John’s house to tell the eight while the women would leave the eight to go tell John and Peter. Peter would hear them say they were told to go tell the disciples and Peter. Peter has been singled out. Not only has Mary Magdalene seen the resurrected Christ, but now Peter’s name has been mentioned that the Resurrection wants him to know He is alive. Peter’s heart is ablaze with hope now. Could the old flame of intimacy be rekindled?

A Resurrection Reason to Rejoice

Now we come to the final act of love and sensitivity to the hurting, remorseful Peter. Jesus had appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Listen to what came out of their conversation with the Resurrection. “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.” (Luke 24:32-34)

Did you hear that? The Lord (Resurrection) has appeared to Peter. Jesus must have told them He had a private meeting with Peter. Hallelujah!! Where they met, when they met, and what was said was never recorded. The Resurrection kept all that between Him and Peter. But, we do know the results. There was a resurrection reason to rejoice and be exceedingly glad. There was abundant mercy, an ever-living hope, an incorruptible inheritance, and a promise of God’s keeping power. Resurrection met Peter with all of his problems and left him with the assurance of forgiveness and the hope of resurrection life.

Have you met this person, this Resurrection? Has He stirred something deep in your heart? Is the fire of His love and sensitivity burning within? Do you really have that resurrection reason to rejoice. There Is A Man In Heaven Right Now! He is The Resurrection, Jesus Christ! Allow Him to give you a resurrection reason to rejoice! Allow the grace of God to draw you to Him, and you, too, will be exceedingly glad.

Have you met the Resurrection

Is He in your heart today

Is He your reason to rejoice

No matter what comes your way

Has sin come in to destroy

And cause your heart great pain

He will meet with you in private

And free your heart from shame