photo credit: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo – OFF – 63 Million Views – Me <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7156765@N05/46609274665″>Toronto Ontario – Canada – Allan Gardens Conservatory – Toronto Tropical Garden – White Lily Macro</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a
Faith is only as firm as the foundation upon which it rests.
Easter faith is Rock solid.
Resurrection power is not fable sentiment; there were hundreds of witnesses to Jesus appearances in His resurrection body. (1Corinthians 15:3-8) I’m thankful for the accounts recorded in the Gospels and forever in His debt for revealing the redemption story to me.
We look back to Calvary and the empty grave; Job looked forward and sealed his future.
“I wish that my words were written down, that they were recorded on a scroll or were inscribed in stone forever by an iron stylus and lead! But I know my living Redeemer, and He will stand on the dust at last. Even after my skin has been destroyed, yet I will see God in my flesh. I will see Him myself; my eyes will look at [Him], and not as a stranger. My heart longs within me (Job 19: 23-27 HCSB).”
Jesus is ALIVE and kicking’!
He defeated Satan and triumphed over the grave and death. “Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, He also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death – that is, the Devil- (Hebrews 2:14 HCSB).”
Yes, Job knew that his Redeemer lives; he witnessed in Rock solid faith.
photo credit: hoyasmeg <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/62126383@N00/520147887″>Roadside Tomb_0656</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>
The plot was conspiracy.
The MC (main character) was Christ.
“When Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, ‘You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.”
Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him. But they were saying, ‘Not during the festival, otherwise a riot might occur among the people (Matthew 26:1-5 NASB).”
Many people witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion.
Mary first witnessed the resurrected LORD!
“But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.’ When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, ‘Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means, Teacher). Jesus said to her, Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’ Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord,’ and that He had said these things to her (John 20:11-18 NASB).”
photo credit: abcdz2000 <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/15543596@N05/3392295014″>Empty Tomb</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
“And as they were saying these things, He Himself stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace to you!’ But they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. ‘Why are you troubled?’ He asked them. ‘And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself! Touch Me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.’ Having said this, He showed them His hands and feet. But while they still were amazed and unbelieving because of their joy, He asked them, ‘Do you have anything here to eat?’ So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and He took it and ate in their presence.
Then He told them, ‘These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. He also said to them, ‘This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And look, I am sending you what My Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high (Luke 24:36-49 HCSB).”
Resurrection morning is not scripted by any of the disciples…
Before full daylight, faithful women begin a mission of love. Laden with spices to anoint His body, they approach the Master’s tomb contemplating how to remove the large stone barrier.
Finding it open puzzles them. The stone lay off to the side, affording them access to the burial place. Consider the women’s frame of mind as they discover Jesus is not inside His place of burial. Where is He?
Suddenly, they encounter two men dressed in radiant clothing. Fright grips them as they fall to the ground. The men ask a pertinent question.
“Why do you seek the living among the dead (Luke 24:5b NKJV)?”
A messenger continues. “He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again (Luke 24:6-7 NKJV).”
But… They saw Jesus die. Three days have passed since His lifeless body had been placed inside the sealed tomb. Yet, hope and joy rise in their hearts as the rays of the morning sun.
“So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word (Matthew 28:8 NKJV).”
On their way with their witness, they meet the risen Christ who calms their fears.
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me (Matthew 28:10 NKJV).”
The message is true; Jesus is alive!
In the current culture, prejudice against women prevails as they share their experience with the disciples.
“And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them (Luke 24:11 NKJV).”
The disciples receive their own affirmation of Jesus’ resurrection in the remainder of the 11th chapter of Luke’s Gospel. Jesus is indeed alive and the women’s message is verified.
Don’t lose track of the women’s prized privileges. They are the first to see the open tomb, first to hear an announcement of His resurrection, first to behold the risen Savior. They are first appointed messengers to carry the gospel, the good news of Jesus conquering death.