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Finding Jesus

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

Can you think of a time in your life when you expected someone or something to be in a specific place, but it wasn’t? Remember the intense feeling of chaos that arose within you when you realized that this particular person or thing was missing. During the message, Finding Jesus, I shared an event that took place in my life that I will never forget. A time when my wife, Mandy, and I felt an overwhelming sense of chaos. It came as the result of realizing people we greatly loved and valued were not where we expected them to be! They were gone... Missing... Completely disappeared! (You can listen to that story here.)

One Sunday morning, 2,000 years ago, similar chaos was taking place at a tomb in Jerusalem because something… someone… was MISSING!

Matthew 28:6 NKJV (The angel said), “Jesus is not here; for He is risen”

Jesus was not there! The tomb was empty!

While we celebrate this truth today, the initial reality created intense turmoil for Mary Magdalene, Peter, and John as they tried to investigate where Jesus' body was and who had taken it. At that moment, they couldn’t fully understand the happenings (Ref. John 20:9). Amidst the chaos, angelic beings became manifest and spoke directly to the disciple shedding tears and possessing the most significant brokenness; Mary Magdalene. With point-blank directness, the angel informed her, Jesus wasn’t in the tomb because he had RISEN.

Matthew 28:6 NKJV (The angel said), “Jesus is not here; for He is risen”

Shortly after this moment, on the first Easter Sunday, Mary Magdalene discovers she will not find Jesus. Instead, He found her (Ref. John 20). And, the same will be true for each of us! Consider then, all along... despite the disciples’ chaos... Jesus had been there -- not in the grave, but the adjacent garden! Jesus overcame death, Hell, and the grave! Then, he hung out in a garden to bring man's journey from Genesis full circle. And, as best relayed theologically by Len Sweet and Frank Viola (in a recap of their mutual study of Jesus’ life), “Jesus was not a ghost or a delusion of the disciples’ minds. He was a resurrected human being.”

For 40 days following his exit from the tomb, Jesus stayed on earth with his disciples; allowing them to test and prove his Resurrection. This period set in motion radical transformation in his followers. Next, born out of resurrected power, this richly diverse group would go on to be known as the early Church and turn the world upside down! The Gospel-recorded change from who they were to who they became, thus proving the effect of Jesus’ Resurrection upon their lives was incomprehensible. They grew bold and on fire with a passion for sharing about Jesus. To them, death had lost its sting!

Likewise, we serve a resurrected Jesus today!

The Jesus that conquered and took the keys to death, Hell, and the grave!

He is not THERE. He is RISEN. He is HERE!

And… if invited, Jesus can be IN you.

All you have to do is decide that you believe in Jesus' Cross & Resurrection, and allow him ownership of your heart. Despite any level of chaos or personal loss, call on his name one time, and discover you’re not searching for Him... Jesus has been with you all along. He’s just awaiting the invitation to step into your life fully with His resurrection power!

Romans 8:11 NCV God raised Jesus from the dead, and if God’s Spirit is living in you, he will also give life to your bodies that die. God is the One who raised Christ from the dead, and he will give life through his Spirit that lives IN you.

Check out this message by Pastor Eric as he walks us through the events that took place on Easter Sunday thousands of years ago and why these events are just as relevant to us today!



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