Resurrection Sunday Thoughts

Alleluia, He is risen!

As I read through the gospel accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection, questions and thoughts race through my head. Are you like that?

After Jesus died, one of the Roman soldiers was awed at Jesus and His cry, and said, “Truly this man was the Son of God.” (Mark 15.39) Was that soldier still there after they took Jesus’ body off the cross? I think of that hymn, The Old Rugged Cross; it was stained with blood so divine. What became of that cross? Did the soldier take it home with him? Were there miracles wrought through that blood, to believers? Was that soldier humbled? Did he follow Jesus? Was he one of them who saw Jesus after He resurrected?

Jesus was laid in the tomb. Joseph had been compelled to offer it, at a great monetary cost to himself and family. How did that come about? What was his backstory? How did he know about Jesus, and why did he “happen” to be there? And, it was foretold in Isaiah 53.9: And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

When the women arrived Sunday morning to embalm Jesus, there were angels, telling them, “He is not here!” The Bible tells about angels rejoicing. How much emotion do angels feel / demonstrate? Were they anguished and weeping at Jesus’ crucifixion? When Jesus said that He could call upon more than twelve legions of angels (Matthew 26.53), were they there in an instant, ready to defend their Lord?

Mark 16.19, 20: After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked through them, confirming His word by the signs that accompanied it. After Jesus was taken up into Heaven, He worked together with the disciples. What does that mean? The Holy Spirit had not yet been sent. Was His Spirit with them in this special way?

And what of the disciples? For three years they had walked with Jesus, learning from Him, extracting everything He wished to give them. They believed He was The Christ, the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16.16). Jesus had evaded the authorities many times, but then He was taken and crucified. He didn’t come down off the cross when taunted (Matthew 27.38-44; Mark 15.36) – although I think the disciples believed He surely could have, maybe wondered why He didn’t. Then He died. He actually died. They could see He was dead, and buried.

But then came Sunday! He is risen!

I cannot fathom the wild range of emotions the disciples swung through, trying to keep up with all Jesus was showing them. They implicitly trusted Him, tried their very hardest and best to understand. In the meantime, they obeyed. They just put one foot in front of the other, wherever Jesus said to walk, and they went.

And, just as Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit came alongside them, inside them, explaining and giving peace and direction and joy and understanding. And power! Such bold preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and God our Savior!

And now Almighty God is inside each of us as believers! May we be as bold and knowledgeable (with the mind of Christ, 1 Corinthians 2.16) and as wise as the men and women of the Bible, all of whom God gives as examples.

And may we keep wondering and examining His Word.

The Beginning and the End (and the End) of Egypt

Genesis 46.3, 4a And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:  I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again

God tells His story in so many ways. We’ve got the whole Bible; and we’ve got His Spirit; and we’ve got past and present circumstances.

In the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve sin, and are cast out of the Garden of Eden. Also, they are prevented from eating from the Tree of Life (a blessing, so that we are not condemned to living in sin forever).

In Genesis 46, God appears at night, in a vision, to Jacob/Israel. He tells Israel not to fear to go down into Egypt, for God will go with Him; and that HE WILL BRING HIM BACK AGAIN.

Because Egypt is often given as a symbol of sin, I see this as a picture of the human race entering the sinful world. BUT, we are promised that God will go with us. And He is! God is with us in so many ways: Bible, Spirit, circumstances, each other…

Then, in Exodus, God leads them physically out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. I see this as a picture of our salvation. The Israelites were in bondage, and could not save themselves. God brought them out. Once in the Promised Land, the Israelites had to fight for their Promised Land, just as we must fight the spiritual battles raging all around us. I think of Philippians 2.12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; we must, once God has gifted us with salvation, work out that salvation by reading His Word and obeying His Truth.

In Exodus 12.11, God gives Moses and Aaron specific instructions on how to eat the Passover: And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S Passover.

And verse 15: even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

Having recently read Matthew 24, (you can read it here) I couldn’t help but draw comparisons:

  • God’s people were to search for and clean out any leaven from their homes. Leaven symbolizes sin. We are to clean our lives of sin by confessing and repenting.
  • They were to be ready: loins girded, shoes on their feet. The Lord would call for them at any moment! We are to be ready for the Lord’s return at any time. Jesus tells us in Matthew 24.16-20: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day
    • Be ready for the Lord always. He is with us right now, always; but He is coming again to take us home.

The Israelites were going to the Promised Land. So Jesus will take us to His promise: His Heavenly home to live with Him forever. Our final trip will be unlike the Israelites’ arduous journey, filled with complaining and dangers. We will rush to meet Him in the air (Genesis 46.3, and I will also surely bring thee up again and John 14.2, 3 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.), joyous and finally, finally, fulfilled with perfect peace.