24th April 2011

Three Little Words

“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”
Mathew 28:6 (NIV)

If you had to choose three words that would change the world, what would they be?  As we look at the conflicts in the world; when we consider the number of families disrupted over separation; as the experts tell of the statistics of suicide, particularly among the young people of this nation; and as we see so many other disturbing scenarios in this sorrowful world it would be natural to declare that humanity lacks love.  It is true that love is the answer to many of the world’s catastrophic relationships, whether they are domestic or global.  In God’s word we are told that this situation would happen:  Mathew 24:12, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.”  How many husbands or parents neglect to say ‘I love you’ regularly?  How many friendships are abandoned because love between friends becomes distant through lack of effort?  So are ‘I love you’ the three little words that would change the world?’

Love is of God and has many manifestations.  From the dewy smiles of sweethearts, the trusting smile of the infant to the parent, the smiling nod of the aged grandparent—all are expressions of love.  Indeed Jesus has commanded us to love one another:  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34).  Yes love is important.  However, unlike the words of the Beatles song, love is not all you need.

The words ‘I love you’ are not the three little words that I believe have changed the world.  Yes, my tense is past tense – have changed the world.  Amazing as it may seem there are three little words in the Bible that signify that the world has changed and will never be the same again.  These three little words declare the forgiveness of man’s sin and a promise of eternal life for all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.  Through the love of God, Jesus paid the price for everyone—but what are those three elusive little words?  Until these incredible words, humanity were doomed by their own deeds. “The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow.” (Psalm116:3).  Now everything has changed.  The prophet Isaiah foretold it in Isaiah 25:8 and the apostle Paul recognised that the tense had changed in 1Corinthians 15:54.  Paul states that Isaiah’s prophecy has been fulfilled—“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

What phrase has such huge import?  What words in the English language have the power to indicate that mankind has hope?  No more fear of death, no more uncertainty of life after death—tears wiped away.  Enough of the mystery!  The words that have changed the world are “HE IS RISEN”.  “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”(Mathew 28:6). These words were cathartic for the world when the angel declared them to the women in the garden of the tomb. The events just prior to the words were cataclysmic enough, an earthquake and the moving of the huge stone across the tomb by an unseen hand.  Did the women in the garden comprehend the awesome words ‘he is risen’?  How could they possibly have understood the magnitude of those three little words?  More to the point, can we?  Jesus, the epitome of love, gave his life for us, he died a cruel death and then rose triumphantly from the dead. He is risen!

Let us not skip over this vital phrase.  Without these three words and what they symbolise, we are lost forever.  Grasp the meaning—God has forgiven us our sins because He is Risen! 

Oh God of love, how can we begin to thank you for your precious Son who has paid the ultimate price for our sins and given us the certain hope of eternal life?  All praise, glory and honour is yours.

Study by Irene Wilson 

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