Gifts of the Risen Lord (Easter) – Gospel in Life

Gifts of the Risen Lord (Easter)

Tim Keller |  April 15, 1990

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  • Purpose and Calling
  • Easter
  • Jesus' Death & Resurrection
John 20:10-29
IS 8

John 20:10–29

Mary Magdalene’s meeting with Jesus, who she first thought was a gardener, shows us the great power of resurrection and the hope of fresh starts. The story also points out how important faith is, as we can see from Thomas’s declaration that Jesus is Lord and God after he sees Jesus alive again. The gospel is always important and full of life, and the only reason someone might not accept it is if they wrongly think it’s boring or doesn’t matter.

1. You go to him

Some people find it hard to believe they can have enough faith to be saved. They might feel unworthy and full of doubt. But faith isn’t something we create ourselves. It’s a gift from God. It’s not about what we do or how good we are, but about how perfect Jesus was and how he died for us. When we see faith as a gift from God, we can go to Jesus humbly, giving him our doubts and fears, and understand that even our struggle to believe is a form of faith.

2. You have to look at his wounds

Having faith isn’t about focusing on ourselves. It’s about seeing Jesus and what he did for us. It’s like a pair of glasses that helps us see Jesus’ wounds and understand that they are enough to save us. The heart of faith is knowing that Jesus’ wounds have the power to save us and make us right with God.

3. You have to drop your conditions

Believing in Jesus is more than just feeling sure about something. Thomas shows us this when he lets go of his conditions and accepts Jesus as his Lord and God. We need to come to Jesus knowing we can’t do anything to save ourselves and asking for his forgiveness and faith. When we let go of our conditions, we become united with Jesus, and we start to experience things like closeness with him, purpose in life, power, and peace.

1. Intimacy

Jesus tells Mary that even though he’s going to his Father, they can still be close. Being close to Jesus doesn’t mean being physically near him. It means feeling his presence when we pray and understanding his wisdom, love, and goodness. But to really know him—not just know about him—we need faith, trust, and surrender.

2. Purpose

Meeting Jesus makes us want to do something. We show how real our knowledge of him is by how committed we are to spreading his kingdom. We’re not just supposed to listen to his teaching or enjoy church. We’re supposed to help bring his rule into people’s lives. If we don’t do this, then we’re not really following what we say we believe. Really knowing Jesus gives us a purpose and drives us to keep going.

3. Power

The Holy Spirit, who Jesus gives us, is the same power that conquered death. This power doesn’t just inspire us—it changes us. It helps us grow, making us more peaceful, joyful, and strong, and less negative and selfish. On Easter, it’s important to accept this power of resurrection, and if you haven’t experienced it yet, having faith in Christ will bring you closeness with him, purpose, and power.

4. Peace

When Jesus appears after his resurrection, he brings peace. This shows that he’s defeated death, a fear that often scares us. The resurrection promises us eternal life, turning our biggest fear into our biggest hope. It also assures us that Jesus is in control of everything and will use everything for our good. When we admit our mistakes and trust in Jesus, we find that everything we need—faith, peace, change—is in his hands.



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