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April 1                   

Arrows of the Almighty




Resurrection Is For Joy Seekers
"Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, "Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, 'A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me'? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy." (John 16:19-20)
     "Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full." (John 16:24)
     Jesus spoke of great joy as He faced the torture of Good Friday. He faced denial, betrayal, beatings, splinters, nails and spears - yet He could not stop talking about joy! It was only joy that kept Him going. Joy was on His mind, joy was on His tongue, and joy was drawing Him, not away from suffering, but straight into it! Hebrews 12:2 expresses this: "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
     Jesus went to the cross for joy: to buy joy, create joy, and offer joy. As the world celebrated the savage killing of God, out of this turmoil of boiling rebel hostility emerges a blood-bought, inextinguishable joy.         
     Resurrection Sunday reshapes prayer, spiritual reality, and joy. With the new birth as a new creation, the disciples became adopted sons who could pray to a Father who is eager to pour out upon them and in them spiritual fountains of truth in every way, ending up in a full, satisfying joy which grew every day and nobody can take it away.
     Resurrection Sunday has stark contradictions. If Christ is still dead, death reigns, and all our joys are vain. So hoard every plastic Easter egg you can find, because whatever you find inside is all the joy you get. Or, as Paul says, "If the dead are not raised, 'Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die'" (1 Corinthians 15:32). But if death is dead, and the dead are raised - if Christ is risen from the dead - brothers and sisters, let us feast and celebrate, for the dawning light of our ever growing, inexhaustible eternal pleasures have broken through the darkness, offering us a life of joy in Christ that cannot fade or rust or be stolen away!
     This day and forever, delight in the resurrection joy of Christ, pray it into bigger blessing each day of your life, for you will treasure it for all eternity.





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