Jesus is alive! He was dead, but a little while later, he is alive. “Is it true?” so many ask. Wes reminded us on Sunday that the resurrection was the starting point for the earliest Christians. Nothing else makes sense if you don’t start with the resurrection. John 20:6-9 reiterates this point. When the disciples saw that Jesus had risen from the dead, they believed. Up until that point, even they, who spent three years following Jesus, didn’t understand what would happen.
Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus'[a] head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. John 20:6-9
Seeing is believing. But how can we apply that to our own lives and show people the good news if we can’t physically see or show them that Jesus had risen from the dead? If our lives reflect an ordinary existence just like everyone else’s, why would anyone be intrigued enough to come and see? The resurrection changed everything, and our lives should be a living example of the Hope we have through Jesus’s death and resurrection. People are desperate for that kind of Hope. We have the ability to invite them to come and see the Kingdom of God through our own lives.
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” Luke 17:20-21
The Kingdom of God is here. It is in the midst of us now. And we get to tell the world, come and see! Come and be a part of what God is doing in our lives! Come and see the transformative power of His love.
The glory of eternity starts here. Jesus didn’t die and rise from the dead just so that we could have hope one day after we die. He died so that we could have hope now! We are invited to be a part of the Kingdom now. And we are called to live a life that draws others in. “Come and see!” our lives exclaim! Come and see the love of God through my love for you. Come and see His mercy and grace in the midst of heartache. Come and see the love of the church in the middle of a valley and at the top of the mountain! Celebrate, mourn, live together in the glory of today, the glory of the Kingdom.
If our lives don’t draw people into the goodness of God, then we need to ask ourselves why not … The power of the Holy Spirit is living inside us! What is stopping us from living out of that power? It doesn’t have to be complicated.
The Kingdom of God is taking dinner to a family who just had a baby. It is loving your neighbor and helping a stranger on the road. The Kingdom of God is sharing Sunday lunch with family and Tuesday game nights with friends. It’s sharing your testimony with someone who desperately needs the Gospel or a fellow believer who needs a reminder that God is good. The Kingdom is here, friends! We are a part of it now.
In just the last week, I have seen the Kingdom of God through so many of you, my sweet brothers and sisters in Christ. It is a privilege to be loved the way I am through the body of Christ, and that’s the point! God created us for relationships, and those relationships are strong and encouraging and life-giving when we base them on our shared love of Jesus. Our love for Jesus translates into loving each other, loving our neighbors, loving our world.
The Kingdom is here. It is beautiful and messy. It is made up of imperfect people following a perfect savior. We should have as much love and grace for each other as Christ shows us. That’s the beauty of the gospel. That’s the beauty of the Kingdom of God. That’s the beauty that causes our lives to call out to others, come and see!
If you didn’t have a chance to listen to Sunday’s message, you can hear it online at https://www.nccoc.org/sermon/come-and-see-the-risen-christ/.