“Down But Not Out” was the title of my sermon in church yesterday. The enemy is always on the attack. He uses our spouses, family, friends, jobs, and even our church family to bring us down. Sometimes our trials come in the form of loss, illness or tragedy that leaves us broke and broken. The devil’s task is to kill, steal and destroy us until we crumble. His goal is to isolate us and make us feel as if we are alone.
But even when we are down, we are not out. When Jesus was crucified, I can imagine the party the devil and his angels had. They thought He was finished. They thought they had won.
The Bible says the scribes and Pharisees remembered Jesus said he would rise in three days. (Matthew 27: 62) They thought the disciples would try to steal the body, so the Roman soldiers sealed the tomb with a large stone and stood guard. The stone weighed about 2 tons, which is about as heavy as a midsize car. But when the Sabbath day ended, Mary Magdalene and Mary went with spices to tend to Jesus’ body. What they saw made their eyes widen with shock. The Stone had been rolled away and Jesus wasn’t there! (Matthew 28:1-4)
Everybody had questions: Where was He? How had Jesus gotten pass the well-trained guards? How could He get pass the huge stone? They were amazed. Had Jesus done what He said He would do?
Yes! He did. Not only did Jesus rise from the dead, but Acts 1:3 mentions that He stayed on the earth another forty days. He did not ascend into heaven right away. During Jesus’ forty days on the earth a lot of people saw Him. He did not just appear to his disciples as many movies depict. He made twelve appearances and even showed Himself to five hundred people at the same time. (1 Corinthians 15: 5, 6) This left no doubt that Jesus had arisen from the dead.
How does Jesus’ resurrection help us? It gives us HOPE. I Corinthians 15: 20-22 says, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
When we are buried under our pain, our tragedies and even the consequences of our sins; we may feel as if there is no way out. We may feel as if this is the end. But one sweet day, God will say, “It’s time.” He will remove all the “stones” blocking our path to freedom and set us free! Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning! (Psalm 30:5)
So, keep pressing. Don’t give up. The enemy never quits, so why should we? Besides, unlike him, we have HOPE! Therefore, we may be down for a season, but we are not out!
As an author, I write about people who have gone through some things. People who seem unredeemable until they encounter God’s grace. Learn about my books and read sample chapters at www.michellelindorice.com