Reading through the Bible together

Monday, December 15, 2014

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I have had the opportunity to travel to many areas of the world to film for Television, and discovered many “sacred” locations—each claiming to have a treasured part of Buddha. But then I traveled to Jerusalem and made my way to the Garden Tomb. It was a very moving experience for me to enter the tomb and to consider the life and death of my Lord. But the most exciting thing I discovered was this: it was an empty tomb!

 

In this chapter we read how very early Sunday morning the women came to finish their task of taking care of the body of Jesus. What they found was an angel who gently said, “He is risen, He is not here” (Mark 16:6).  When the angel of God had descended from heaven with the message, “Son of God, thy Father calls thee!”  The Devil, his demons, and Roman soldiers could not keep Him in the tomb. No one knows for certain that the tomb we can visit today is the exact one where Jesus was laid when they removed Him from the cross, but it doesn’t matter because, unlike Buddha, He’s alive!

 

Behold Jesus—the Resurrection and the Life. In Him, our hope, our eternal life, is anchored. In Him our faith is made sure. But, perhaps, as you are reading this you may feel like you have no hope—perhaps you think that you have done too much against the Lord and have offended Him far too severely. That’s why Jesus gave the angel a specific message for you!  He is risen!

 

Think back to the moment when Peter was warming himself beside the fire not far from the mock trial of Jesus.  To deflect attention from himself as being a disciple of Christ, Peter cursed and swore violently, all the while denying that he ever knew Jesus. With curses still dripping from his lips, his eyes connected with Jesus.  What did he see?  He saw no rebuke or hate from the Lord, only a gentle sadness. That look tore at Peter’s unconverted heart as he ran from that place wishing he could die.

 

Now the angel delivered Jesus’ special message, “Go tell His disciples and Peter that He goes before you into Galilee” (Mark 16:7).  “Whatever you do, don’t forget to tell Peter!  I know his heart is breaking but I have not cast him aside—I love him far too much! He needs to come home.”

 

Friend, that message is for you and for me.  It doesn’t matter what you have done in the past!  What matters is your choice now.  Peter chose Jesus and became a powerful force for good.  You can too! Listen to these words, “As the will of man cooperates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings” (Christ’s Object Lessons, page 333).

 

Surrender your will to God and He will dwell in you.  When God Himself is living in you, He will enable you to do whatever He asks of you.  What He does ask is that you become an overcomer who will sit with Him as a co-regent in His throne when He returns the second time (Revelation 3:21).  The power is His to give, but the choice is yours (Mark 16:15-18).

 

Jim Ayer
Vice President
Adventist World Radio
General Conference