“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NKJV).
Even though the Lord Jesus had told His disciples several times about His fore-ordained suffering, crucifixion and resurrection, yet they were completely shattered and devastated when Jesus was arrested and crucified.
They all went into hiding seeing that their Master had been arrested, crucified and buried. They were completely driven into despair, not sure of what would happen next. Why?
John reveals, “For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.” (John 20:9 NKJV)!
However, the appearance of the risen Lord Jesus to His fearful and confused disciples in their hiding place completely and permanently revolutionized their lives and faith. They rose up from their hiding place to shake the then world and to turn it upside down.
Everyone who met, listened to, or interacted with the early disciples after the resurrection knew that something unusual had happened to them.
The death and resurrection of Jesus should not be a mere story or an historical event to remember and celebrate yearly. But, it should be a revelation that should completely revolutionize our faith and lifestyle as it did to the early disciples.
In the first part of this series we highlighted three major influences or impacts that the revelation of the risen Lord Jesus had upon the early disciples.
First, it completely and permanently changed their perception and revelation of Jesus Christ. What they had before was just a mere mental knowledge of Christ, but the resurrection gave them a revelation or spiritual knowledge of Christ.
Second, it gave them fresh perspectives and insights into God’s redemption plan for mankind. They now understood clearly Jesus’ role in the redemption plan and also their God-assigned role.
Third, it delivered and brought them out of the depth of despair and bondage of fear. The revelation of the risen Lord Jesus revived the hope, joy, faith, confidence and boldness of His disciples.
If you have not experienced the same things today as a disciple of Christ, then you are yet to encounter and know the risen Lord Jesus!
Let us further consider some other major tremendous effects that the resurrection of Christ had upon the early disciples with a view of examining our faith and life as Christ’s disciples today.
Fourth, the resurrection of Christ gave the early disciples a new sense of their calling and purpose.
Though the Lord Jesus had given them various assignments to do during His earthly ministry, they were yet to fully comprehend their divine calling, purpose or mission in life.
But the resurrection shone great light upon their hearts and their mission in life. They now understood that they were not called only to be followers or disciples of Christ, but also to be His witnesses and apostles (Luke 24:46-48).
When the risen Lord Jesus appeared to His disciples, His words clearly expressed their new calling and mission. Jesus said to them, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” (John 20:21 NKJV).
Jesus also commanded them, saying, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” (Matt. 28:19-20 NKJV).
If you are not a passionate witness of Christ, you have not truly and personally encountered or known the risen Lord Jesus Christ!
Fifth, the resurrection of Christ completely and permanently changed the early disciples’ mentality, mindset, and outlook to life.
The revelation of the risen Lord Jesus to the early disciples revolutionized their thinking, perception, interpretation and response to persecutions, tribulations and challenges of life they faced. It undoubtedly deepened their love and passion for Christ and His Kingdom.
Apostle Paul states, “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” (2 Cor. 5:14-15 NKJV).
“For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Rom. 14:8 NKJV).
The resurrection of Christ should also change our attitudes to life and death. If you are still living only to please or satisfy yourself, then your eyes have not seen the risen Lord Jesus. If you are still afraid of persecution for Christ’s sake, then you have not known the risen Lord Jesus.
Lastly, the resurrection of Christ greatly helped the early disciples to re-set their affections and their priorities in life.
Having been fully convinced by Christ’s triumph over death and grave that their hope in Christ transcended this present life, the disciples of Christ now set their minds and affections on things above and not on things on the earth (Col. 3:1-3).
Knowing that they would live and reign forever with their risen Master after death, the early disciples of Christ gladly poured out their lives as a drink offering to God. They endured affliction, persecution, and hardship, and fought the good fight of faith, fulfilled their ministry, and kept the faith till the very end (2 Tim. 4:6-8).
If your mind or affection is still set on the fleeting things of this world, and if you are still living for now and not for eternity, then you need a fresh revelation of the risen Messiah.
If you are still holding back your life, time, strength, money, talents, gifts or any resources from the Lord Jesus and His service, then you are yet to have a clear and personal revelation of the risen Lord Jesus.
Beloved, when you have a personal revelation and encounter with the risen Lord Jesus, like the early disciples, your life and faith will experience a radical change to God’s glory, and nothing will be too dear or precious, not even your life, to offer to the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
Ask the Holy Spirit today for a fresh, clear and deep revelation of the risen Lord Jesus Christ!
Prayer: My Dear Holy Spirit, open my eyes of understanding today so that I may begin to see clearly the glory of my risen Lord Jesus. Also, teach and help me to hold nothing back in my walk and service to my Lord Jesus Christ, in Jesus’ name. Amen.