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Resurrection: Past, Present, Future: Part 1 by Tony Cooke

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Walking in the Resurrection Life by Rodney Howard-Browne

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The Resurrection by Caleb Moran

DEVOTIONAL

Today's featured devotional...
crosses threeDuring this Easter season and always, remember that Jesus is alive! He's not dead! They could not keep Him in the ground. The grave could not hold Him. He is the Resurrected Christ, and He is still alive today for you.

Crucifixion day, which dawned two thousand years ago, was the darkest day in the history  of the world. On that day, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was hung on a cross and crucified.

After Jesus said, "It is finished," His head slumped to His chest, and He drew His last breath in His mortal body (John 19:30). He was then taken by those who loved Him and put in a tomb. Mary Magdalene, and the others who were last to leave the scene of the Cross, journeyed with His body as it was taken to the tomb, and there they saw the soldiers seal the grave.

The Jewish leaders and the high priest had said, "Let's seal the tomb lest His followers steal His body and say that He has risen." So they had a stone put in front of the tomb to seal it.

Then they added, "Let's post guards to make sure His followers don't break the seal and roll the stone away." So they posted centurions to stand guard in front of the tomb (Matt. 27:64-66).

And in the darkness and the bleakness of that hour, eleven men huddled together and reflected upon a Man whose life ended at age thirty-three. With heaviness of heart, those men who had walked by His side sat in almost utter despair. The disciples had seen the blind healed, the mute speak, the deaf hear, the crippled walk, and the dead raised to life through this Man, Jesus of Nazareth. Yet at that moment of darkness and despair, Jesus was lying in a tomb.

When the people crucified Jesus, they were thinking they would silence Him forever. They didn't realize that by crucifying Him they would only amplify the message—century upon century, upon century—that Jesus is the Deliverer. "Jesus Christ died for mankind!" became a message that has been heralded down through the eternal pages of time. You see, as they crucified Jesus, trying to snuff out the Life that would give life, they simply ignited a fire that will never be snuffed out!

I want you to notice, the devil hasn't learned his lesson yet. He is still trying to stop the plan of God. But in his attempts to stop God's plan, he simply explodes it to the glory of God. In the same way, when the devil tries to exploit us, we can, by the power of God, turn the devil's
efforts into our victory!

When the devil had Jesus crucified, he played into the hand of God one more time. That tells me that the devil doesn't know everything. Yes, he knows some things, but he doesn't know everything. If he had known the complete outcome of the Crucifixion ahead of time, then he would have had to have been even more stupid than he already is to have crucified Jesus. But the devil didn't know the future, so he thought he had it made by crucifying the Son of God.

In that dark hour, at the bleakest time in the pages of history, Jesus' disciples—the men who had followed Him and enjoyed His fellowship, who had been taught by Him and loved Him with a love that was unsurpassable—may have wondered, "Did we leave our fishing boats for this? Did we leave our occupations to come to this end? To live in fear for our lives?" Mostlikely, the disciples' dreams and hopes came crashing down around them.

At that time, the disciples didn't have the words that the Apostle Paul penned in First Corinthians, but I think that these words are very appropriate for this time of year when we are remembering Christ's death and celebrating His Resurrection.
Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin....But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Cor. 15:54-57)
On Crucifixion day, there was death, and there was the sting of death. But Paul asks, "Where is your victory, Grave?" "Where is your sting, Death?" because now we have life through Jesus Christ! We have victory over death through Jesus, because Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25)!

When Mary went to the tomb on Resurrection morning, it was empty! The stone was rolled away! The soldiers were gone! And she sat down and began to cry because Jesus was gone. Today, we thank God that He was gone, because we know what He had gone to do. But Mary didn't have the revelation that we have today, because she didn't have all of the scripture put together for the complete understanding that we have today. So, she was confused and bewildered. But, suddenly, an angel spoke to her, and the gloom turned to sunshine. The shadows faded away. Grief became glory, and sadness became happiness!

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. Hi is not here for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
(Matt. 28:5-6)
You see, Jesus felt the sting of death, but only for a season. Then the mortal man Jesus was raised again to immortality, and the decay changed to life! Jesus is alive forevermore!

Although so much time has passed, we need to realize and understand that Jesus still loves us. And we need to understand that He will always be with us. We also need to understand that even though He died two thousand years ago, He is alive right now! And He is sitting at the right hand
of the Father, forever making intercession for those He died for.

It makes no difference what you've done, or haven't done, Jesus Christ is interceding for you at the right hand of the Father. He is alive! He is well! The grave could not hold Him. Chains could not hold Him. The devil did not win! He lost an eternal battle that will ultimately be consummated with the devil himself being chained, locked, and cast into outer darkness forever
(Rev. 20:10,14)!

Just as the song states, "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow," so we can say, "Because the grave could not hold Him, I can have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

During this Easter season and always, remember that Jesus is alive! He's not dead! They could not keep Him in the ground. The grave could not hold Him. He is the Resurrected Christ, and He is still alive today for you. And because Jesus is alive, we can now have life—and have it more abundantly!

Kenneth W. Hagin Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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