Third-Day Thinking (Part 1)


The answer to a new, richer, and fuller life has been available all along, in the best-selling book of all time, the Bible. Specifically, it lies in four short back-to-back chapters describing Christ's resurrection and the days immediately after, until he ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.

 
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The account is known (or should be!) by every Christian, for it is the climax of Christ's story, and reveals the great promise awaiting all of his followers: everlasting life in the hereafter.

The story itself is short, simple, and simply told. But it is more than just an account of the resurrection. Within its amazingly brief description of one of the most singularly important events in history is the secret to living a life that is full of God's rewards and riches, fulfillment and abundance--in your relationships, in your job, and in your community. In every area of your life.

Here it is, in a nutshell: On the third day after Jesus died and was buried, Mary Magdalene went to anoint his body with perfumes. That was the custom, and she didn't even wait for daylight. She ran to the tomb during the night and arrived while it was still dark, just before daybreak. But instead of finding Christ wrapped in the clean linens that were his grave clothes, she found the tomb open and his body gone.

Mary Magdalene ran and told Peter and John, who ran together to see for themselves. When they looked in the empty tomb, they found Christ's grave clothes, the linens he had been wrapped in, neatly folded by the spot where his body had been.

Mary looked in, and she saw two angels sitting there calmly, right where the body was supposed to be. She went out, crying, and met a man she thought was a gardener. It turned out to be Jesus, but she didn't recognize him. He had been transformed. 

Later that day, Christ appeared to the disciples in their hideout, the upper room. This room, the upper room, was a special gathering place for them. It was where they shared the Last Supper. And, after Christ appeared to them there, God came rushing in and gave them the power to speak in a language that everyone could understand, no matter where they were from.

The rest, as they say, is history. They went out and spread the word, and Christianity grew--explosively--into the world force that it is today.

Simple. Short. Amazing. The story describes Christ's resurrection, the miracle at the very core of Christianity. It promises us eternal life in the hereafter. But it also contains the lesson of the seven Kingdom Principles: 

1. Life's greatest opportunities arise in our darkest hour. 
2. Faith and fear always run together. 
3. God programmed us to have partners.  
4. There's always an empty tomb right before a filled upper room. 
5. Order precedes promotion. 
6. There is transformation, followed by recognition. 
7. You are assured a filled upper room.

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Rodriguez is president of The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, America's largest Hispanic Christian Organization with more than 40,000 member churches. He is based in Sacramento.
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