Does serving a risen Savior scare you a little? It should at least make us seriously consider anything He asks of us!
5 Trust the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
Tomorrow, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach. Let’s read it:
Jesus Has Risen
28 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” 8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Matthew 28:1-8
There are several points that come into play concerning the resurrection of Jesus.
How are we at following directions? How well do we listen to the Holy Spirit? Do we always reserve final judgement on any orders we are given? I call that attitude, “Selective Service.” Not Good. It’s a whole lot like putting your hand to the plow and then looking back at your old life where you did things your way. Jesus said that such a person is unfit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62). Also, delayed obedience is disobedience. We would do well to remember that we serve a RISEN Savior, one who beat death! He is our Sovereign Lord. He deserves our undying gratitude and our unquestioning servitude.
- Each gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) has a version of the event. Illustration: in a bank robbery, the detective might ask several people if there was a get-away car. Each person might describe a vehicle in a number of colors, makes and models, and even types of vehicle. The conclusion the detective draws is that there WAS a get-away car because no one said there wasn’t; they all described something. In this case, there were several points of view: Mary Magdalene, the group of ladies, and Peter and John. What was the conclusion that a detective might draw? That there WAS a resurrection!
- In reading the other gospels, there was one angel who was sitting on the stone; there was an angel in the tomb; there were two angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where Jesus had been laid. Here again, what’s the conclusion? There WAS at least one angel!
- The first day of the week actually begins on Saturday evening as the sun goes below the horizon. Jesus rose sometime in the night. The angel didn’t roll the stone away until the ladies got there. Of course, He wasn’t there; He had risen!
- The angel said that Jesus would go ahead of them to Galilee and for the ladies to tell the disciples to join Him there. They didn’t. In fact, Jesus showed up that night in their meeting room! Then, He did it again the next week! THEN, the disciples went to Galilee.
- Key in on the ladies’ emotions: “Afraid yet filled with joy.” When we think of the resurrection, what emotions are stirred in us? The mystery might be unsettling–how does one explain the unexplainable? The ramifications are astounding–He really IS God! He really IS the Passover Lamb! We really ARE free in Christ!
Abba, You are our King. May we, who have never lived under an earthly king, grasp the magnitude of Your call on our lives. We have given You our hearts, but we must also give You our lives to be lived as You see fit. Make us fit for the kingdom, Lord. Whip us into shape. Trim our fat and tone our spiritual muscles. May we answer immediately when You call on us even as Moses did, “Here I am” (Exodus 3:4), as Samuel did, “Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10), and as Jesus did, “the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees His Father doing” (John 5:19). May we see You at work and join You in Your work. Amen.