The Resurrection of Jesus either happened or it didn’t. So what difference would it make if it did or didn’t happen? What if it never happened and the entire Christian movement — from the very beginning — is based on hopeful wishes of Jesus’ Disciples? Would that make much difference?
Paul thinks the Resurrection is a pretty big deal. In today’s Bible reading, he goes so far as to say that if the Resurrection of Jesus didn’t actually happen, then Jesus is dead. If Jesus is dead, then Christians are liars for claiming He’s alive when He’s dead. He says that if the Resurrection didn’t happen, then we don’t have forgiveness of sin, and our faith is useless. (1 Corinthians 15:17) Useless!
Paul says that the Christian movement didn’t just arise out of a vacuum. He says that Jesus’ death and His Resurrection were grounded in the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). The Christian movement wasn’t a new religion invented in the middle of the First Century. Instead, it was a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. It wasn’t just a sectarian branch of Judaism. It was the fulfillment of Judaism! All of the Old Testament promises are fulfilled in Jesus!
Because the Resurrection happened, you and I can have a relationship with the holy Creator of the universe! Because the Resurrection happened, you and I can be transformed from strangers and enemies of God to being sons and daughters of God. Because the Resurrection happened, you and I can be adopted by the most loving Father anyone ever hoped of having. Because the Resurrection happened, you and I have hope for an eternity with God in heaven. And because of the Resurrection, you and I have been given all of the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:3)
Spend a few minutes contemplating the magnitude of the reality of the Resurrection. Then spend a few minutes today praising God for the miracle of the Resurrection.
In today’s Bible reading from Matthew 27, we see Jesus’ last moments as He dies on a cross just outside Jerusalem. He cries out with a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46)
Billy Foote’s song You are My King (Amazing Love) begins, “I’m forgiven because You were forsaken. I’m accepted. You were condemned.”
As I am typing this and considering the verse, Billy’s description, and the picture, tears are welling up in my eyes. Jesus voluntarily became God’s sacrificial lamb, dying on the cross and taking the wrath of God head-on, becoming the atoning sacrifice for sin that wasn’t His — it was mine and it was yours — all to bridge the chasm between our Holy Creator and us, the fallen creation.
His death accomplished what our feeble attempt at obedience to the Law wasn’t able to — and wasn’t designed to do: give God’s people eternal forgiveness and eternal life. His death reestablished a relationship between God and His people, a relationship that had been severed a long time ago in a garden (Eden). And Jesus’ battle in another garden (Gethsemane) secured the victory over sin, a victory that God’s people experience vicariously.
Jesus was abandoned. Jesus was condemned. Jesus died. He endured all of these things so that you wouldn’t have to. Believer, your sin-debt has been paid. You have been adopted and you will never be abandoned by your Father. Because Jesus died and rose from the dead, power and desire to walk a life that pleases God is available to you.
Spend a few minutes worshiping God. Spend a few minutes expressing your gratitude for the incredibl
Jesus Christ is risen from the dead!
He has conquered sin and death!
He has made a way for us to be made right with a Holy God.
One thing that jumped out at me from today’s Bible reading in Mark 16 is “But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see him there just as he told you.’” Mark 16:7 (CSB)
After the disastrous events of Judas’ betrayal and Jesus’ Crucifixion, the Disciples may be planning to flee Jerusalem in fear that they might suffer the same fate as Jesus: death by crucifixion. Evidently, they are still in town on Sunday Morning because the angel tells the women to tell the Disciples and Peter that Jesus was going ahead of them and He would meet them in Galilee.
While dealing with the initial shock of hearing that Jesus had been raised from the dead, I’m sure Peter didn’t know what to make of this. When he gets back to Galilee, is Jesus going to “call him to the Principal’s Office” because of his triple denial? What will Jesus say? And how will he respond?
Assuming that they were to go to Nazareth (Jesus’ hometown in the region of Galilee), it would take them about three days to make the 65-mile trip.
That’s a lot of time to attempt to sort out the events and conversations of the previous week. And for Peter, that’s a long time to grieve over his words and behavior on Thursday Night. But Jesus says He will meet them there.
Peter and the other Disciples had a choice: go to Galilee and meet Jesus… or run away somewhere else.
Regardless of the
Spend some time talking with Him today. He’s already there, waiting to meet you. When Jesus met Peter there on the beach (John 21:15-19), He didn’t scold him. He simply asked, “Peter, do you love me?” and then Jesus restored Peter.
If you’ll spend some time to meet with Jesus today, you’ll find that He won’t scold you. Like Peter, He’ll restore you, too! But you must go to Him.