I’m sitting by my window enjoying the birds chirping, the temperature increasing, and relishing the change in the season. Spring is like an awakening from hibernation; to come out of survival mode, observe the beauty of change, participate, and be a part of a new regenerated life. One can not ignore the appeal of a sunrise, leaves turning green, raindrops, and flowers blossoming.
Spring makes me think of Jesus. When He died on the cross and His body lay in the tomb for three days, it just seemed to many that His death was the end. I think it’s fair to say that some of His leaders probably were afraid, confused, worried, and felt like He had left them alone in the condition that they were in.
Jesus of Nazareth became a carpenter, a rabbi, a healer, and a revolutionist, and then murdered. But that was not the end! Death was not the finale!
Jesus got up just like He said He would, and for the next 40 days before His Ascension to heaven, He appeared, taught, reconciled, ministered, and commissioned His leaders in what must have been intensely powerful encounters.
Their rabbi, their friend, their leader, their brother, the Messiah had risen and returned to them.
He presented Himself to other people and all of His disciples, but I wanted to highlight the ones that were intentionally documented within the Bible.
Mary, Peter, Thomas, and James...
Mary Magdalene: In a time period where a woman’s opinion or perspective was considered to be irrelevant or an outcast by the religious community; Jesus did not leave Mary as a stigma of insignificance. Jesus gave Mary a creditable voice that would historically testify of the resurrected Savior by allowing her to be the first witness. (John 20:11-18)
Peter: One could only imagine how disappointed and defeated Peter must have felt for denying Jesus three times. (I mean, he was in the inner circle and publicly rejected Jesus in the height of His persecution.) Yet, the loving-kindness of Jesus shines through in compassion and reconciliation for Peter. Jesus did not leave Peter in the darkness of failure. He restored him by wiping guilt, condemnation, and shame off of his life and ministry. (John 21:15-19)
Thomas: Because of our humanity, there will be moments when leaders will doubt. And Jesus is not oblivious or insulted by our distrust or questioning. Jesus did not leave Thomas stranded in uncertainty. He addressed Thomas by showing him the evidence of the marks left on His body from the Crucifixion. Jesus has a miraculous way of handling a leader’s doubt and can ignite a greater love and sense of adoration for Him. (John 20:24-29)
James: And then there was James, the half-brother of Jesus who did not initially believe in Him. Jesus did not leave James as an unbeliever. But seeing his resurrected brother alive and walking was more than enough to make him a disciple, an apostle, and a pillar of the church.
There was no familiarity, for in that moment he was truly awakened to see Jesus the Risen Lord. James was wholeheartedly devoted to serving Him and His Church and made a major impact in the early church community. (Acts 1:14, Acts 12:2, 1 Corinthians 15:7)
Jesus knows how to handle cultural stereotypes, mistakes, humanity, and the lack of faith. As a leader, remember the resurrected Savior is concerned about you and can release a restoration in any area of your life!
Jesus got up and so can you!
About The Author
Leiza DeRoy is a native New Yorker who currently resides in Georgia. She’s a nature lover who enjoys trail walking, hikes, and making healthy dessert options. She has earned a Bachelor of Science in Pastoral Care and Bible Studies from Nyack College. Leiza is also a Trauma Healing Institute certified facilitator, inspirational speaker, mentor, author, and licensed and ordained minister.
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