He is Risen: Let Us Not Forget That Our Joy Comes from Those Three Words

Posted: June 1, 2015 in Gospel of Luke

Luke 24:1-11 — Why do you look for the living among the dead? That is a question we often must ask ourselves as Christ followers. Do you display the joy of knowing that Jesus is risen from the dead? To those who reject the church, it is often because we as Christians display no joy. Many of us have gotten so caught up in religion that we have become Pharisees. We are so interested in not doing wrong or justifying how our wrongs are not as bad as the wrongs of others or by justifying how are wrongs are just not that bad. We read the Bible because that is what we are supposed to do we think. We join in on corporate church activities because again there is that brownie point system we believe that will help us avoid hell. Attending church is our fire insurance. There is no joy in religion. There is no joy in trying to do all the right things so that men might see. No wonder some folks reject the church. In many local bodies of Christ’s church, you find no joy. Yes, religion sucks the life right out of you. Religion and relationship are two different things. When we have relationship with Jesus, there is an unspeakable joy that comes knowing that Jesus is not just a dead prophet. He is our Risen Savior.

Some of us go read the Bible like it is a chore. Some of us go to church like it is a somber memorial service. That’s religion. It is not a relationship with a risen Savior. There is joy in knowing that He is risen. I am not talking about the joy that comes from earthly pleasures but joy and contentment of the soul. The resurrection is the central fact of our faith. On it, the church is built. Man-made religions including those that perverted Christianity have strong ethical systems, concepts about the paradise and the afterlife, holy writings, and urgings to perform to capture our ticket to a positive afterlife. Only in true Christianity is there God who so loved us that He broke into human history, literally offered himself up to die as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and rose from certain death to give up victory over our sin and to give us our eternal hope.

We rejoice because we worship a risen Savior. There is joy in that! He saved us from our sin nature. He works through the Holy Spirit to a lifetime of changing us to be more like Jesus as we mature in Him. But what makes all the changes and the pain of growing to be more like Jesus daily is the joy of knowing He is risen. God’s power that brought Jesus back to life is the thing that gives us joy in a world that is intent on destroying itself with its own selfishness and evil. It is the resurrection that gives us hope in the midst of trouble. It is the resurrection that gives us hope for the future. It is the resurrection that unites all true believers in a joy that cannot be understood until you accept Christ as your Savior. It is the resurrection that powers us on through personal trials and tribulations. It is the resurrection that gives us our joy. When you get all caught up in doing the busy work of the church, when you get all caught up in being religious, remember the joy. The joy of the resurrection. The joy of salvation that Christ gave you as a gift and it is this Jesus Christ who arose from the grave to give us hope and expectation of eternity with Him. Don’t forget the joy.

If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Savior, just give Jesus a real chance. He wants a relationship with you. He doesn’t want you to be religious. He wants to be in a relationship with you. he broke into human history to show His love for you. I with you on rejecting religion but I am asking you to give Jesus a chance. Put aside the hurt that you may have received at the hands of religious people and just give Jesus a chance. He came here show His desire to be in relationship with you. He died on the cross for your sins so that you could stand in purity before the Lord. He came to bring the Holy Spirit to you to change you into His likeness no matter how bad you have lived your life. This is not religion, it is a personal relationship. He came to give you hope of eternity through his resurrection. His resurrection gives you joy. This world will claim it is not true but what can the world offer in its place. Worshiping ourselves? How’s that working for ya? Getting true joy from that? Is the world a better place because of that? Call me crazy but I would rather worship a Risen Savior. There is real joy and real hope in that. Let us Christ followers live lives that are characterized by the joy of salvation through our personal relationship with our Risen Savior. That’s joy! Let us not seek the living among the dead!

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