Today is Easter, 2016! Jesus has risen! Hallelujah! How exciting!…Or is it? Or should I say, was it? Was this day, approximately 2,000 years ago, exciting? Nope! Not at first. It was a day of doubt. The disciples doubted Jesus came back to life.
As I woke up this morning, I wanted to read each account of Jesus’ resurrection in the Bible, from each gospel. The overall feel was shock and skepticism by those who were closest to Him. After personally listening to Jesus for so long, how could this amazing event have snuck by them? Was He not clear? Or did they think He was simply speaking in hyperbole? Either way, they didn’t expect Him to come back to life.
Had they known this was going to happen they would have celebrated on Friday, invited their family and friends over for a nice dinner on Saturday, camped outside of the tomb that night, and then fallen asleep with smiles on their faces like kids on Christmas Eve.
The disciples had no clue Jesus would be walking out of that tomb! They didn’t get it when He said He’d destroy the temple and build it again in three days! (See John 2:19). He was referring to Himself!
When you really think about it, if it weren’t for this one final act–the Messiah rising from the dead–nobody would be talking about Him today. He would have been listed off in history as a madman who said weird stuff like, “Eat my flesh, drink my blood” (see John 6:56). I mean, to an unbeliever that’s crazy talk!
But He was speaking spiritually. Nobody around Him fully understood that just yet. His final miracle would open up the supernatural eyes of everyone for the rest of all time. Truth be told, it was His miracles which solidified who He really was. Without miracles, Jesus would have been the most insane cult leader the world has ever seen.
Every miracle Jesus performed He did so for one main reason: so we would believe that He was, and is, the Son of God.
Sure, there were many other sub-categorical reasons for His healings, His molecule-shiftings, water-walkings, and constant displays of verbal authority over the elements. But His number one reason for performing miracles was so there would be no doubt that He is God in the flesh! He knew we’d be reading about His phenomenons today, and He wants us to believe today!
However, on the original Easter morning, all of the disciples along with Jesus’ mom and Mary Magdalene, they were doubtful. These people were shook to their core when they found out Jesus had come back to life! He outdid Himself with this latest miracle!
You would have thought Jesus’ friends would be expecting this to happen, but no. Jesus had to actually get on to them for their doubt! (See Mark 16:14). When I found this out it gave me hope in my own doubts of such an unfathomable event. It’s hard to believe!
If the very closest people to Jesus had a difficult time believing that He came back to life after three days, then I’m in like Flynn. It’s difficult to grasp in our minds! But He did it!
Jesus showed off His power over death to prove that what He said while here on earth was the truth. We must have a definite truth! Without a specific truth, anything goes. Without an exact truth, Hitler had a truth, and ISIS has a truth as well. Without a rock-solid truth to go by, who’s to say that what those monsters did and still do is not truth?
“Matt, that’s easy! Nobody with any good truth would do such terrible things!”
Says who? What are you basing your truth on? A self-made truth? Friend, we must have a precise truth. Without an unequivocal truth, truth from our Creator, truth from the One who created life…well…anything goes, anything. All bets are off. We can all make up our own truth. Without a definitive truth, the very word truth contradicts itself. It becomes an oxymoron.
But wait, we do have a truth! Jesus said that He is “the way, the truth, and the life!” (See John 14:6). All we have to do is believe this truth to receive this truth! It’s not about what we do or don’t do, it’s about faith! Christ completed all the action required to tap into this truth at the Cross on Good Friday! That’s the truth! The truth is Jesus! Without Him, we’ll never know God, and we’ll never fulfill our God-given destinies of becoming one with Him forever!
So today, my friends, know this: Christ rose from the dead to finalize a truthful new agreement with the Father, and all believers have become the beneficiaries! (Hebrews 6:16-20, 8:13, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:9). This agreement was sealed up forever through Jesus’ blood! But He’s not bloody anymore! He has risen! This is the truth! Stop doubting, and believe!
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, thank you for your kindness to us through Jesus’ sacrifice. Thank you for sending Him here to show us what you’re like in person. You are good, you are loving, you are forgiving, and you are powerful! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For everyone who is doubting, let them know Jesus will forgive them if they just believe He has! With the same power used to raise Christ back to life, I also ask that you break mental strongholds, addictions, destructive sin-patterns, self-righteousness, and legalism. I’m also asking for you to heal relationships, bodies, and minds! As the world celebrates Jesus’ resurrection, we also celebrate the truth! In His name I pray, amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 1. Get your copy here!