The Valley of Vision: Resurrection

Jesus is Risen from the Grave


Great was the joy of Israel’s sons
    when Egypt died upon the shore,

Far greater the joy
    when the Redeemer’s foe lay crushed in the dust.

Jesus strides forth as the victor,
    conqueror of death, hell, and all opposing might;

He bursts the bands of death,
    tramples the powers of darkness down,
    and lives for ever.

He, my gracious surety,
    apprehended for payment of my debt,
    comes forth from the prison house of the grave
    free, and triumphant over sin, Satan, and death.

Show me herein the proof that his vicarious offering is accepted,
    that the claims of justice are satisfied,
    that the devil’s sceptre is shivered,
    that his wrongful throne is levelled.

Give me the assurance that in Christ I died, in Him I rose,
    in His life I live, in His victory I triumph,
    in His ascension I shall be glorified.

Adorable Redeemer,
    Thou who wast lifted up upon a cross
    art ascended to highest heaven.

Thou, who as man of sorrows wast crowned with thorns,
    art now as Lord of life wreathed with glory.

Once, no shame more deep than Thine,
    no agony more bitter, no death more cruel.

Now, no exaltation more high,
    no life more glorious, no advocate more effective.

Thou art in the triumph car leading captive Thine enemies behind Thee.

What more could be done than Thou hast done!
    Thy death is my life, 
    Thy resurrection my peace,
    Thy ascension my hope, 
    Thy prayers my comfort.


The Valley of Vision, Resurrection, 86-87 (leather edition edition)


Colored Eggs, Scavenger Hunts, or the Resurrection

Resurrection Empty Tomb Jesus

What comes to mind when Easter is mentioned? For many it might be the thoughts of family gatherings, colored eggs, and scavenger hunts. Easter, however, is about more than our family, our fun, and ourselves. Easter is about the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Why is the Resurrection Important?

(1) It proves all Jesus’ claims during His earthly ministry were true.

As the climax of the biblical story, it proves that Jesus is the Messiah, the Chosen One, the Son of God, the Savior of the World.

(2) It provides salvation for the believer.

Jesus’ resurrection brings all those, who believe by faith that He is their Savior, into a right relationship with God (Rom. 4:25). In Jesus’ resurrection we are vindicated and made sons of the Living God (Gal. 3:26). As well as, we are freed from the bondage of sin, which means we should not let sin reign in our bodies any longer. We must put all unrighteousness to death by the power of Jesus’ resurrection (Rom. 6:11-13).

(3) It provides eternal life for the believer.

Death no longer has dominion over the Christian. All those who believe in Jesus as their Savior, will be resurrected to a new and eternal life, and given a perfect body that is not subject to aging, weakness, or death (1 Cor. 15:50-57). Whereas, all who reject Jesus as their Savior will experience eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46; 2 Thess. 1:5-10).

The Proper Response to the Resurrection

In Matthew 28, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary go to the tomb of Jesus where they meet an angel. The angel shows them the empty tomb and tells them to go and tell the disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead. On their way to tell the disciples, they meet Jesus on the road and fall down and worship Him.

The two Mary’s provide us with the proper response to the resurrection.

  1. We are to go and tell others of Jesus’ resurrection and what that means for those who believe.
  2. We are to worship Jesus as Savior and Lord.


Jesus’ resurrection proves all that He said is true. It vindicates us from our sin. It mends our relationship with God. It frees us from the bondage of sin. It allows us to live in accordance with God’s commandments. As well as Jesus’ resurrection provides us with a new body that will never die, age, or experience decay for all of eternity.

As a result, our proper response is to tell others about Jesus’ resurrection, and to worship Him as Lord and Savior.

I pray that we will contemplate more fully the resurrection of Jesus this Easter Sunday.



Jefferson Bethke | Spoken Word


A roman cross, ya Jesus died on that
I don’t care what you believe, read history; it’s a historical fact
So the question is what will you do with this man of misery?
Only six hours on that wood, yet it completely changed history.
What’s weird though is we’ve pimped Jesus out, made his sacrifice foolery,
We just come to church on Easter, and make his cross nice jewelry.
The cross though wasn’t a symbol of faith; it was a symbol of death,
I mean imagine if someone wore an electric chair around their neck?
So we have to ask what was different about that man on that day,
That could turn an instrument of death, to something that saves?
See His cross is unique, because He was innocent,
God actually became a man?! Now that is different.
So on the cross he says I’m not dying because of me, I’m dying because of you,
Not just for your sins of the past, but for the ones you will do.
See on the cross God treated Jesus like He was us,
Poured out his wrath on the son, so He might show He’s just.
He took all your filth; he took all your sin,
The beauty is when you trust in Jesus, you were included in him

But first, walk with me what it must have been like that night,
When the son of God looked like He lost the fight,
No breathe, no heartbeat, no sign of life,
God tasted death, and it didn’t feel right.

Have you ever let that sink in, that God died?
No, really, God actually died.

3 days in the tomb. Lifeless laid his remains,
the king had no crown, looks like he had given up his reigns,
but suddenly on Sunday something started to change,
you heard a thump, thump…blood started pumping in his veins.
heart beating, blood pulsin, instantly satan felt his power break
because the son of God was dead, but now the son of God was awake
And every breathe he took, was like a punch to satan’s face
Because the resurrection proves you are no longer under law, you are under grace

so celebrate because when jesus went to the grave, you did too
And when he raised from the grave, you became new
saying, “my job is finished. Let the new life begin.
You can actually walk in freedom, stop wallowing in your sin,”
Because the chains have been broken, the stones been rolled away
God doesn’t love a future you, He loves you today

You are clean you are blameless, the curse has been squashed,
That’s what baptism is, just showing you’ve been washed
So church rejoice with me, that we aren’t waiting for the verdict,
Righteous, and the resurrection just proves he assured it
Because our whole lives we’ve feasted on sin, and we couldn’t pay the tab
Yet jesus walks over to our bill, and says ill take care of that
we don’t have to pay for our debt, in fact God doesn’t even expect it,
Because the cross is payment given, and resurrection is payment accepted.
The resurrection made us perfectly spotless, from spiritual whores,
Because when he walked out of the grave, he left our sin on the floor,
Turned around, looked at where his body lay,
And said sin, ya that’s where you’re gunna stay.

So live in freedom, because you are free
The resurrection is just the stamp, saying it’s a guarantee
A royal decree, now proclaiming you are children of the king
So give thanks back to him, and as a church let’s sing….

For He Has Risen, as He Said!

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. The day we will celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This Easter I have the privilege of preaching on the resurrection at Sycamore Baptist Church, where I am now the Lead Pastor. I will be preaching over Matthew’s account of the resurrection. In that account, the angel of the Lord tells the two Mary’s who come to the tomb:

“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay.”

Their dialogue tells us that Jesus knew about His crucifixion and resurrection. It was not a mystery, nor was it plan B.

Jesus’ Announcements of His Resurrection

Jesus actually announced His resurrection several times during His ministry:
  • In Matthew 12:40, He compares Himself to Jonah saying that as Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days, I will be in the grave three days.
  • In Matthew 16:21, we learn that “Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
  • In Matthew 17:23, 20:19, and 26:32, Jesus again foretells His death, and in Matthew 26:32 He even tells His disciples where He would go after His resurrection, which is Galilee.

What does this tell us?

It tells us that Jesus’ resurrection was not unplanned, nor unknown. In fact, His death, burial, and resurrection was and always has been apart of God’s sovereign plan. God knew Adam and Eve would sin in the garden, even before the foundation of the earth since Ephesians 1:3-4 tells us that we are chosen (predestined/elected) before the foundation of the earth to be blessed in Christ. In other words, we are chosen before the earth even began to be saved from our sins through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So we learn that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection were apart of God’s plan from the beginning and Jesus knew this plan and shared it with His disciples.

What does Jesus’ death and resurrection accomplish?

His death and resurrection accomplishes salvation for all those who repent of their sins and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.

Through His death He paid the price for our sins, taking on the wrath of God, and dying the death we deserved, so that all those who believe in Him would be reconciled to God and could experience eternal life.

His resurrection proves all He said was true. In the resurrection, God places His stamp of approval on all of Jesus’ claims to be the Messiah, the Savior, the Chosen one, as well as His cross work, which means that His death really does cover our sins. His death really does reconcile our relationship to God. His death really does provide us with eternal life. We should recognize that and worship Him.


So this Easter, do not forget the resurrection. Amidst all the fun with friends and family hunting Easter eggs, cooking out, and dressing in your Sunday best, do not forget that this day was planned from before the earth began. Do not forget that this day Jesus our Lord and Savior was resurrected from the grave. Do not forget that this day all that Jesus said about Himself was confirmed, when His hand began to twitch in the grave and life was breathed back into His crucified body. Do not forget to worship the Lord, FOR HE HAS RISEN, AS HE SAID!

Celebrate the Savior for He is Risen

Today is Easter. The day that Jesus rose from the grave and defeated the power of death for all who believe in Him as their Savior. Read what the Scripture has to say about the resurrection.

Jesus Has Risen Just As He Said

1 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” 8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.

Matthew 28:1–9 (ESV)

Paul’s Exposition of the Resurrection

Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.

1 Corinthians 15:3b, 4, 14-15, 17 (ESV)


20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:20–22 (ESV)


54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:54–58 (ESV)

Response to the Resurrection

Our response to the resurrection should be to worship the risen Savior. A way to worship Christ is to tell others about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and what that accomplishes, namely, a restored relationship with God that will last for all eternity.

Application of the Resurrection

(1) Because Christ was raised from the dead we can be assured that our relationship with God has been mended.

God resurrecting Christ from the dead proves that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to satisfy His wrath and mend our relationship with God.

(2) We can face death with joy being assured of eternal life.

Jesus was not resurrected in order to die again like Lazarus or Jarius’ daughter; rather, He was resurrected and given a new body, in order that He might live and reign forever.

Because Christ defeated death in the resurrection, we too, if we believe in Jesus as our Savior, will defeat death, be resurrected and given a new body. One that will not grow old, experience pain, disease, or even death.[1] As a result of the resurrection, we can look death in the face knowing that we, those who are in Christ, will experience eternal life.

[1]1 Cor. 15:20-28; 2 Cor. 5:1-10; 1 John 3:1-3