Jesus Christ, Resurrection
“He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.
To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood–
He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
“See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
I know that my redeemer lives
From: Charles Spurgeon, Biblegateway.com
‘For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.’ Job 19:25–26
Suggested Further Reading: Ruth 3:1–4:10
The word ‘redeemer’ here used, is in the original ‘goel’—kinsman. The duty of the kinsman, or goel, was this: suppose an Israelite had alienated his estate, as in the case of Naomi and Ruth; suppose a patrimony which had belonged to a family, had passed away through poverty, it was the goel’s business, the redeemer’s business to pay the price as the next of kin, and to buy back the heritage. Boaz stood in that relation to Ruth. Now, the body may be looked upon as the heritage of the soul—the soul’s little farm, that little plot of earth in which the soul has been wont to walk and delight, as a man walks in his garden or dwells in his house. Now, that becomes alienated. Death, like Ahab, takes away the vineyard from us who are as Naboth; we lose our patrimonial estate; death sends his troops to take our vineyard and to spoil the vines thereof and ruin it. But we turn round to death and say, ‘I know that my Goel liveth, and he will redeem this heritage; I have lost it; thou takest it from me lawfully, O death, because my sin hath forfeited my right; I have lost my heritage through my own offence, and through that of my first parent Adam; but there lives one who will buy this back.’ Brethren, Job could say this of Christ long before he had descended upon earth, ‘I know that my redeemer liveth;’ and now that he has ascended up on high, and led captivity captive, surely we may with double emphasis say, ‘I know that my Goel, my Kinsman liveth, and that he hath paid the price, that I should have back my patrimony, so that in my flesh I shall see God.’
For meditation: The Christian can correctly view redemption as something past (Galatians 3:13) and present (Ephesians 1:7); but to stop at the redemption of the soul is to ignore the last vital chapter of the story. We still await the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30) and the actual redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:23).
Sermon no. 504
4 April (Preached 12 April 1863)
Jesus was not rebuking the disciples in this passage. Their faith was real, but it was disordered and unfocused, and was not at work in the important realities of life. The disciples were scattered to their own concerns and they had interests apart from Jesus Christ. After we have the perfect relationship with God, through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, our faith must be exercised in the realities of everyday life. We will be scattered, not into service but into the emptiness of our lives where we will see ruin and barrenness, to know what internal death to God’s blessings means. Are we prepared for this? It is certainly not of our own choosing, but God engineers our circumstances to take us there. Until we have been through that experience, our faith is sustained only by feelings and by blessings. But once we get there, no matter where God may place us or what inner emptiness we experience, we can praise God that all is well. That is what is meant by faith being exercised in the realities of life.
“…you…will leave Me alone.” Have we been scattered and have we left Jesus alone by not seeing His providential care for us? Do we not see God at work in our circumstances? Dark times are allowed and come to us through the sovereignty of God. Are we prepared to let God do what He wants with us? Are we prepared to be separated from the outward, evident blessings of God? Until Jesus Christ is truly our Lord, we each have goals of our own which we serve. Our faith is real, but it is not yet permanent. And God is never in a hurry. If we are willing to wait, we will see God pointing out that we have been interested only in His blessings, instead of in God Himself. The sense of God’s blessings is fundamental.
“…be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Unyielding spiritual fortitude is what we need.
From: Through the Bible
Deuteronomy 11:13-14 (NIV) 13So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today–to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul– 14then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil.
Many of the promises of God are conditional. There is an “if you…” and a “then I will…” In this passage God tells the Children of Israel that their economy is dependent on their obedience. God did give them certain laws that would make their agrarian lifestyle more productive. He also brought them to a land that was dependent on seasonal rains. Farmers throughout the ages have had to depend on the Weather Maker. It was an incentive to obey God. When they turned from God and had drought, they tried other gods that claimed to bring rain, like Baal.
At the moment of writing this, the place I am living is experiencing extreme drought. The government of the area recently repealed what they called ‘antiquated laws’, laws that had to do with sexual morality. “Those came from the Bible and we don’t all believe in the Bible anymore,” they say. But that is not true. All western law is Biblically based. Society has just chosen to pick and choose the laws they will enforce. That does not change the promises of God.
In this drought with devastating forest fires, I have not heard one person say there is a need for us to repent. I hear, “Pray for rain.” That is general enough so as to offend no one. We have forgotten that God is the Weather Maker, and that many of His promises are conditional.
Consider: Difficulty can be an expression of grace to turn us back to God.
Matthew 27:17, 21b-22 (NIV) 17So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”
21b“Barabbas,” they answered. 22“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!”
It hadn’t been that many days before this that they were shouting for Jesus to save them, save them from Rome. That week was spent sharing the words of life with all who would hear in the Temple. They had come to a crossroad. Would they ask for the release of Barabbas, the zealot that killed Roman soldiers, or Jesus, the healer and teacher? Will they choose the physical answer to their needs, or the spiritual answer? Will they choose the way of the flesh or the way of the Spirit? “They all answered, “Crucify him!”
We are often faced with the same choice. We have to decide whether we will proceed with our lives on the basis of what man can accomplish, or take a whole new path led by the Spirit of God. Will we choose the physical answer to our needs or the spiritual answer, the way of the flesh or the way of the Spirit? One is death, and the other is life.
Pilate did not have just cause to execute Jesus and told the crowd as much. They didn’t care. They said they would personally bear the guilt. “His blood be on us and our children.” We look back at the history of suffering the Jews have endured and wonder at the connection with their readiness to accept the blame for His murder. We trust that in God’s time that expression will mean their salvation.
Pilate had Jesus whipped. It was a process they called ‘half death’. Those who wielded the whips were medically trained to recognize shock. They wove into the end of the whips pieces of bone or lead so that the muscles of the back would be shredded. It was so brutal that sometimes the organs were exposed. Those wielding the whips were not held responsible should the victim die. Isaiah said, “By His stripes we are healed.”
Prayer: Thank you Lord, for enduring that for us!