Vol. 8-15 – 04-09-2023 – Resurrection

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. – John 10:27-30

They plotted to kill Him (Matthew 26:4). The disciple demanded payment for delivering Him (Matthew 26:15). The Savior died on the cruel cross. History declares there is no death that offers more suffering than death on a cross. The disciples left Him and fled (Matthew 26:56).

As He was dying, He asked the Father to forgive them because they did not know what they were doing (Luke 23:34). Still in control. As He hangs dying on the cross, He has a conversation with one of the criminals (there were two). Jesus never stopped chasing after the lost. While one criminal continued to mock Him, the other asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus told him that today he would be with him in paradise (Luke 23:43).

As Jesus died, he spoke loudly that His work on the cross was finished (John 19:30). It is finished is grammatically, the continuous present. There will never be a necessity for a repeat of the sacrifice. It is complete with its work continuously present.

One of the soldiers uttered that truly this man was the Son of God (Mark 15:39). While he spoke the truth, he did not understand that Jesus, the Christ would return and that He would live eternally, just as those who belong to Him.

Job said he knew that his redeemer lives—interesting that he states the fact in the past attributing the life that the Messiah lives. It is continuous (Job 19:25). Note well what Job wrote just prior to that declaration: Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book! That with an iron stylus and lead they were engraved in the rock forever! (Job 19:23-24). They were!

They laid Jesus, the Christ in a borrowed tomb. They sealed the tomb and posted a guard. The rulers and Pharisees thought they could contain Him. They could not. He came out of the grave alive! He demonstrated to all who believe that life for them is eternal because Jesus, the Christ is eternal.

Some scoff and attempt to revise history. But biblical history is accurate and immutable. Only the ignorant and the mockers reject the resurrection. He appeared before 100s of witnesses (Jewish Law only required two witnesses). He is our Redeemer. For the ones who believe.

Back to the tomb.

When the women went to the tomb to anoint the body, they did not think of the massive stone placed to seal the tomb. Yet they kept moving forward. They loved Jesus, the Christ. When they arrived, the stone had been moved. The tomb was empty. They ran back to tell the disciples.

Two of the disciples ran to the tomb. One was slower. Most think he may have been short and stocky, thus slower. When John arrived, he stooped to look. (The word for look is the Greek for see; to glance.) He glanced around the tomb. He saw linen wrappings. He did not go in. Most people would not feel comfortable entering a tomb.

Then the slower disciple arrived. Peter. He moves right into the tomb, with no hesitation. He also saw the linens, but more. He saw the face covering, rolled up, and lying there. (The word for see is the Greek that indicates seeing in detail.)

Then John enters the tomb. The Scriptures indicate he sees, that he saw and believed. (the word for see here is the kind of seeing that moves from the mind to the very center of one’s being—the heart.) [John 20:1-8]

John was never the same. One cannot ever be the same when they meet Jesus, the Christ, heart to heart. John believes all that Jesus, the Christ had said. Took it to his heart.

Later John would write in the Gospel of John, these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name (John 23). He wrote in 1 John, these things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13). One written to witness to the unbeliever; one to encourage the believer.

How did this affect the disciples? Only one lived out his life coming to a natural death. The others paid for their faith with their lives. How about others? Read Foxes Book of Martyrs to get a glimpse of what their faith cost was.

For one man, his goal in life was to rid the nations of anyone following Jesus, the Christ. On his way to Damascus, the living Christ confronted him. His life was never the same. Hear his words: I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:21-24).

God’s desire is to change lives for eternity. The Father who has created you, the Son who has died for you, and the Holy Spirit who lives within you, expects our lives to be different. The expectations include:

  • Conversations (prayer) with our God
  • Progressing in knowing His Word
  • Being part of a local fellowship of believers
  • Fulfillment of our gifts from God
  • Ministering to the lost and those in need
  • Not to shirk declaring God’s truth to your neighbors, community, and support of the world’s needs of the provision of their Savior
  • Willing to risk taking a stand in His truth
  • Being faithful

How is your list coming?

At the close of our worship services, we hear our pastor give an invitation—to respond to what the Word has declared. Then he pronounces a benediction. It always finishes with God’s assignment: you are sent!

It is because we have a risen Savior, Jesus, the Christ, that we can be sent.

How is that working out for you—and for the lost that cross your path?

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

April 9, 2023

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