Witnesses of the Resurrection

Matthew 27:62-28:10

Would you have gone looking for Jesus in the tomb had you been one of the women then?

I’m sure you would have; I’m certain I would have also. That was the natural thing to do. Sure, Jesus would have told us that we wouldn’t find Him there by then, but our hearts would have been as perceptive and receptive as theirs. I don’t believe we would have done better than they at remembering His words. So we would have gone to the tomb, not Jerusalem or Bethany or Olivet.

Now we know better.

So do the unsaved.

That’s right! The unsaved know better than to look for Jesus among the dead. I say that because I want to ask you this: When the unsaved want to find Jesus, do they go to you or do they avoid you? Read it all

The Death of Christ

Matthew 27:33-50

Why did Jesus die?

To deliver me. Romans 7 paints a miserably bleak picture of life in this world. We live in bodies that are traitorous, actively working against our best spiritual interests and putting us in captivity to sin. Verse 24 bemoans the human futility of such a hopeless situation: “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Did I say hopeless? My friend, that’s why Jesus died! To give us deliverance and hope. Praise God, He sets us free to live in victory. As Galatians 1:4 reminds us, “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” The Great Deliverer experienced death so that He might effectively set us free…indeed!

To reconcile me to God. It didn’t take me long to wander away from God. And the further I walked in the alien path, the farther away I got from Him. Even though I obviously continued to be His creature, I was now His enemy. I no longer belonged to Him; I was not His son. But I have been “reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Romans 5:10). Jesus came and “made peace through the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:20). I am no longer an enemy and an alien. I am a son, an heir, a citizen of His heavenly kingdom!

To purify me and set me aside. Read it all

The Foundation of the Church

Matthew 16:13-28

Following Jesus requires that I quit following myself. But we must not confuse mere self-denial with following Jesus. Self-denial can easily become a substitute for following Jesus. We are called to deny self and follow Jesus. Whoever would be His disciple can do so only by surrendering completely to His will. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

How ironic that we humans can strive so hard to attain personal purpose and fulfillment while avoiding the very path that would lead us to that goal. We don’t want to waste our lives on purposeless emptiness, yet we tend to flinch from applying the only principle that will most assuredly make our lives worthwhile. Anyone wishing to make his life worthwhile will achieve that goal only by giving up his life for Jesus and His work. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mark 8:35).

Denying ourselves and taking up our cross can seem like such a waste of life, potential, and opportunity. Sometimes it seems more like a loss. And in such cases we may find ourselves yielding to the desire to prevent such a loss by opting to indulge our selves. Read it all

Above all, love God!