Daily Devotionals

He is Alive!

Daniel Bramlett

*There are a lot of exclamation points in this article. I think you’ll figure out why as you read. If you need a hint, Jesus is exciting!

As we approach the date each year the Church celebrates the resurrection of Jesus my focus must be on Jesus. It must not be on me. I spend the majority of the year praying for myself and the people that surround me. It is ok for this to be my prayer reality. One look at the Psalms justifies a prayer life that spotlights those nearby. It is more than ok, great in fact, for us to spend a large portion of our time praying for others. This is the sacrificial attitude Jesus preaches and exemplifies. This also reminds us that everything is not all about us. But I must turn my attention to Jesus and only Jesus every once in a while. Easter is a perfect time to do this. We require a reset from time to time.

The Bible calls this worship. The Psalms justify this, too! It is the attitude that is totally devoid of any self-interest. There is nothing in worship about us. It is not time to debate music type or ability (that’s selfish). It isn’t time to complain about how you sound when you sing or your lack of words when you pray. It is time to put yourself squarely in front of your Savior, to hear His heart, experience His presence and know the truth He embodies. Worship is all about Him.

The idea we are moving toward is the attitude of those who gathered at the tomb that bright Sunday morning. There was very little self-interest there that day. (It’s hard to label that kind of love selfish!) The ladies were headed that way because of the life change Jesus offered them. Embalming Him was the least they could do. Peter, John and the others headed that way because of a rumor that Jesus was alive. Running to the tomb was their knee jerk reaction, and rightly so! The angels were there because the King they worship was breathing again. The soldiers ran away out of fear. We don’t want to be like the soldiers protecting their best interests. Motivated by love we want to run to Jesus, not away from Him!

The heart of the saved longs for these moments! Distraction from worship happens so quickly and easily. Life steps in and, boom, we are sucked under. Illness, death, fear, anxiety, anger and loneliness all tempt us with their wares. Success, finances, power, control and beauty all give us reason to look in the mirror and say “You’ve got this!” If we do not take the time to get alone with Jesus our prayers and intentions will slowly drift to these selfish dead ends. It’s the moments at the tomb that shock us out of ego driven natures and set us on the track of denying ourselves again.

Mary found herself in complete shock that bright morning. She saw and heard the angels but couldn’t believe them. The message wasn’t translating. They said “Jesus is alive!” She heard “someone has stolen His body.” It took Jesus calling her by name for her to come out of her fog. The emotion in her voice the minute she realized He was alive! She was overcome! I mean, can you imagine? She and all her friends witnessed the most gruesome death of the One they knew had given them life. Mary was delivered from the hands of seven demons. This was no small gift. She understood firsthand the gift of life she’d been given. She watched Jesus suffer and die. It was with great emotion that she approached the tomb with spices to prepare His body. When they get there the stone is gone and a couple of angels are perched on the ledge. Their message was not enough to startle her, but the voice of Jesus was! “Mary” was all He had to say.

There is nothing in this story that makes us look at ourselves. Truly, we can lose ourselves in it! As Jesus followers, what we cannot do is leave Resurrection Sunday with anything less than praise on our lips and adoration in our hearts. If you approach the tomb with anything else present you are sure to miss the Savior and the truth He has to share.

I cannot encourage you enough to take the next few weeks and ready your heart for a resurrection celebration. There is no greater day in the Church! What we declare on that day is paramount. “Our God is NOT dead! He is ALIVE and His truth stands above all else! Because He is alive we are, too! Come and join us as we worship Him!”

These words are said and sung in every Church, from every tongue and in every nation. Do not underestimate their gravity and importance. Jesus IS alive and if we give our lives to Him we are, too! It is not too late for you to worship Him. Plant your feet in the Psalms and the Gospels. Ask Him to soften your heart; break up the hard soil that tends to form there. Ask Him to open your eyes and ears to His truth and voice. Ready yourself to worship the King!

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