The Risen Christ Changes Everything

Monday, 18th April 2022
Image: the-risen-christ-changes-everything

The Risen Christ Changes Everything

By Davy Ellison

The Gospel accounts of the risen Christ make it apparent that he has changed everything. From the awestruck disciples in Matthew, to the trembling women in Mark, to the two on the road to Emmaus in Luke, no-one who met the risen Christ remained the same. The risen Christ changes everything. Today I want to draw your attention to John’s Gospel and three episodes recorded in chapters 20 and 21 which further evidence this reality.

The Risen Christ Soothes our Sorrows

As Jesus interacts with Mary Magdalene in John 20:11–18, we learn that the risen Christ soothes our sorrows.

Mary is distraught. Four times in this episode the reader is told that she is weeping (vv. 11, 13, 15). This isn’t a sob, Mary has not yet run out of tears. The term is referring to a loud wailing. Mary’s grief is not simply at Jesus’s death, but the fact that someone has gone to the effort of stealing his body. Her grief is compounded.

All of this changes with a single word uttered by the risen Christ: ‘Mary’ (v. 16). As soon as she hears that voice she knows it is him. There is no questioning as to how. There is doubting as to who. There is no hesitancy in reaching out to him. It is the risen Christ, and with one word he soothes Mary’s sorrows.

The risen Christ likewise soothes our sorrows. He does not remove our sorrows—he soothes them. The fact that he is risen prompts us to remember that he lives, that he was the first among many to rise and that one day all who are his will follow. Like a parent soothes a child with scraped knees with the truth that the pain will not always be so, Jesus soothes our sorrows with the truth that it will not always be so. One day we too will be resurrected to dwell in the new heavens and the new earth where there will be no sin, sorrow or suffering.

The Risen Christ Dispels our Doubts

Jesus proceeds to interact with Thomas in John 20:24–29. In this episode we learn that the risen Christ dispels our doubts.

Thomas gets a bad press. He is fiercely loyal to Jesus, declaring that he is willing to die with Jesus (John 11:16). Due to circumstances, however, Thomas misses Jesus’s first resurrection appearance to his disciples. As a result he is sceptical about their testimony. Perhaps he is afraid that he is the subject of a cruel group prank. Either way, he needs to see it for himself if he is to believe (John 20:25).

The evidence isn’t long in appearing (see v. 26). Note how Jesus deals with Thomas, however. There is no scolding, raised voices or exasperation. Jesus is patient and gracious with Thomas, inviting him to touch the resurrected scar tissue (v. 27). In response to this experience Thomas declares: ‘My Lord and my God!’ (v. 28). All doubt is gone.

If you are reading this with a nagging doubt in your mind do not despair. The risen Christ dispels your doubts by inviting you to look at the evidence. What evidence? The evidence of Scripture—the very word of God. In the Gospels we have a first-hand historical document based on eye-witness accounts. In fact, dispelling your doubts is the very reason that John wrote about the risen Christ (20:30–31).

The Risen Christ Confirms our Calling

In virtually the final episode of John’s Gospel Jesus engages with Peter (21:15–19) and in doing so teaches us that the risen Christ confirms our calling.

Given Peter’s denial of Jesus on the night he was crucified it is not surprising that he receives special attention from the risen Christ. It is hardly accidental that Jesus asks Peter the same question three times (21:15–17) since Peter denied Jesus three times. While Jesus gives Peter the specific calling to love him and feed his sheep, it is all encapsulated in the single call: ‘Follow me’ (v. 19).

None of us are perfect. We all sin. We all reject our Saviour. We all neglect our calling from time to time. Despite our failings, however, we can resume our service for God. Our faltering following does not signal the end of our usefulness to our God. Jesus is gracious (and powerful) enough to use faltering disciples like Peter, like me, like you. This is a significant encouragement: the risen Christ confirms us in our calling.

Everything is Different

The risen Christ changes everything. He soothes our sorrows, dispels our doubts and confirms our calling. The reality that Jesus walked out of the tomb alive means everything is different. There is tremendous joy in this truth and we celebrate it with gusto—Christ is risen, hallelujah!

    Blog Archive

Let’s Read: The Path to Being a Pastor: A Guide for the Aspiring Graduate Updates Tribute How to Avoid Becoming a Graceless Theological Thug Let's Read: The Path to Being a Pastor Hugh D. Brown Lectures—Understanding and Applying Zephaniah Book Review: Children of Abraham: A Reformed Baptist View of the Covenants by David Kingdon Graduate Updates: Laetitia Let's Read: The Path to Being a Pastor (chapters 5-12) New Books in the Library Friends of the College—March 2022 Graduate Updates: Andrew Let's Read: The Path To Being A Pastor (chapters 13-23) Second Year Placement Deacons The Risen Christ Changes Everything Why Four Gospels? Let's Read: The Path to Being a Pastor (Chapters 24–27) The College Graduation MA Missions Module Reflection Student Reflections (first and second year) Book Review: The Crucible of Leadership Let’s Read: Why Should We Love the Local Church? (Introduction) Let’s Read: Why Should We Love the Local Church? (Introduction) Friends of the College: September 2022 Let’s Read: Why Should We Love the Local Church—You’re Beautiful Commencement Report Cross Cultural Placements 1 Cross Cultural Placements 2 Cross Cultural Placements 3 Let’s Read: Why Should We Love the Local Church—Beauty Demonstrated 1st Year Reflection (Ana Rut) Evangelism Teams 2022 (Armagh and Cavan) Evangelism Team 2022 (Ballycrochan & Comber) Let's Read: Living Beautifully Let's Read: Why Should We Love The Local Church “Always winter and never Christmas” Three Kings
Let’s Read Irish Baptist College Conference (Online) From Intern to Undergraduate (Emily Middleton) Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — The Reason for Redemption Baptists and Revival in the Long 18th Century Second Year Placements From Intern to Undergraduate (Josh Brown) Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — The What and Why of Holiness Final Year During A Pandemic 2nd Year Placement Experience Friends of the College 2021 Update The Art of Reading More Books Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — The Real Possibility of Holiness A Basic Easter Fact The Servant King Podcast Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — You Are Holy Third Year Reflection Gospel Guardians: Protecting the Purity of the Gospel for Future Generations Graduation 2021 Book Review: Succeeding at Seminary Let's Read: The Hole in Our Holiness — A Work in Progress Why the Irish Baptist College is Vital to the Health of the Association A Good News Story: The Ministry Partnership Scheme Why Study the Biblical Languages? Profit in Toil: A Short Message on A Level Results Day Let's Read: Small Preaching Recognition Service Report 2021 Sin Forgiven: Nourishment for Life and Joy for Living Let’s Read: Small Preaching—The Character of the Preacher Commencement Service Report Placement Friends of the College Update God Rejoices over His People: A Meditation on Zephaniah 3:17 Let’s Read: Small Preaching—Constructing the Sermon Evangelism Teams: Newcastle and Brannockstown Evangelism Teams: Stonepark and North Belfast Christian Fellowship First Year Reflections (Reuben and Andrew) Some New Books Let’s Read: Small Preaching—The Craft of Preaching Let's Read: Small Preaching—What is God Saying? A Christmas Reflection on John 1 - ‘The coming of the light’ Christmas Reflection on John 1 - ‘Life, Light & Glory’
Time to read Genesis...again Friends of the College - January 2020 Friends of the College - January 2020 Finances Tribute to Marion Craig The Resilient Pastor: Surviving & Thriving in Ministry Just a Blow-in? What is new on the shelves at IBC? Friends of the College - February 2020 Four Reasons to Study Theology Academically From Spain to Moira Testimonial Financial Update Friends of the College – March 2020 Irish Baptist Historical Society: The Mayflower Thomas Patient: the Father of the Irish Baptist Church Testimonials The Pastors’ Conference: An Encouraging Privilege Testimonials (part-time studies) In the worst of times: COVID-19 and the Book of Ruth Friends of the College - April 2020 The Long Wait: Victory Delayed Testimonials - Preparation for Ministry and Evening Classes The Leadership Podcast Testimonials - Ladies Study Fellowship The Leadership Podcast (part 2) Friends of the College - May 2020 Reflections from the Student Chairman Why do we teach the Old Testament? Reflections on first year at IBC Friends of the College - June 2020 Why do we teach Romans? IBC Placement Is Church History a Thing of the Past? Friends of the College - July 2020 Friends of the College – August 2020 Friends of the College September 2020 Recognition and Graduation Service Introducing the Irish Baptist College’s New Logo Commencement Service Friends of the College - October 2020 Filled with the Spirit: Soundings in Luke’s Theology of the Holy Spirit The Famous Five: The Abiding Relevance of the Solas of the Reformation Friends of the College - November 2020 The Importance of Theological Training in Fulfilling the Great Commission First Year Reflections — Tim Houston Singing: The Place of Theology in Corporate Worship New Library Books Friends of the College – Unite to Pray – December Christmas Reflections
Agree and Close notice.

By continuing on our website you agree with our Privacy Policy and to the use of cookies by third party plugins. Find out more here