Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside. When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.” The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.
After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went to the disciples, who were grieving and weeping, and told them what had happened. But when she told them that Jesus was alive and she had seen him, they didn’t believe her. Afterward he appeared in a different form to two of his followers who were walking from Jerusalem into the country. They rushed back to tell the others, but no one believed them. Still later he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together. He rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief because they refused to believe those who had seen him after he had been raised from the dead. And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.” When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honour at God’s right hand. And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.
Let’s remember these questions as we dig into this Scripture:IS THERE A SIN TO CONFESS? IS THERE A PROMISE TO CLAIM? IS THERE AN ATTITUDE TO CHANGE? IS THERE A COMMAND TO OBEY? IS THERE AN EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW? IS THERE A PRAYER TO PRAY? IS THERE AN ERROR TO AVOID? IS THERE A TRUTH TO BELIEVE? IS THERE SOMETHING TO PRAISE GOD FOR?
Last year I went to Israel for the second time. However, this trip was very different for me. It was a time where God solidified something in my heart that has changed something inside of me. During my time there I was able to see that in this moment of time, in this generation God is fulfilling a 6,000 year old promise to His people. Israel is living in the divine timing of God and seeing what He promised Abraham become their very story.
Jews are being called home from all over the world. Some of them do not even know why, but they have this sense that they need to go to Israel. They pick up their lives and move to a country they personally have never known. They are becoming part of what the Bible refers to as the return of the Jews to their homeland. For anyone who has read God’s promises to Abraham in Genesis, and then been privileged to hear some of these stories, you know it is nothing short of God’s Word being performed.
I walked away from Israel knowing that if God can fulfill a word that is 6,000 years old. He can do what He promised in my life. Nothing, absolutely nothing that He spoke will be forgotten. It has built deep faith in my heart.
As I ponder todays passage, I believe the struggle is the same for those who have walked with Jesus. He spoke a word of promise to them, but because circumstances seemed to present a different story, they allowed what they seen with their natural eyes a few days before to lead their hearts. They seen his death as final and that would mean that his word was not true. Imagine the devastation. If He was not Truth, what hope did they have?
So, on the day in which they go to deal with the final aspects of His death, He reveals to them that His Word is True, and death nor any other thing will minimize the power of His Word.
He challenges their unbelief. He reveals who he is. He imparts His words to them that they will need to obey when He returns to heaven.
How many times in my life have I believed my circumstances over what God has declared will be so? How many times have I given more credit to what appears to be and not what He said would be? I am guilty. Yet, His Word remains Truth.
For Freda, there is a truth to be believed here. Regardless of what my present circumstances tell me, His Word will never fail. I can trust him. I can have confidence that if He can bring Jews home after them being scattered for generations all over the globe, He can perform his word in my life. I can believe Him. I can trust him. I can have full confidence that absolutely nothing can stop him from doing what He said he would do in my life.
I praise God that He is Faithful and True. There is so much that we cannot trust in this life, but our God can be trusted.
He told his disciples that signs would follow those who believe. I pray that I become a such a believer that in this hour I begin to be followed by His promise. It will come. He is making a real believer out of me.