Yesterday was Resurrection Day. It is a story I have known all my life. Since this is the case I always dreaded having to teach it because it is such a familiar one, so what else can one say other then what has been said? I am getting older and perhaps more mature, but yesterday I got new insights I would like to share - maybe you did, too, and if so would you mind sharing?Insight #1: The women observed Jesus' body being buried, the stone put in place. They knew he was dead, dead as a door nail - as some would say. Two days later they came there with their spices to anoint the body.Now imagine with me for a moment - how would you react if you had seen a person crucified, died and then buried only to come to the tomb two days and be told he was alive by some glorious angels? Knowing how women react when something very exciting happens, I suspect these women RAN to these disciples overwhelmed with pleasure, delight and joy, "Jesus IS ALIVE!!!!" I wonder if they did not talk over each other, hard to contain themselves... Imagine with me for a moment...put yourself in their shoes(or sandals). If they had been me or my friends that is how it would have happened - us being women. And you know what? we can experience this even from 2000 years after. Somehow I feel this joy - similar to the one these women felt within me.Insight #2: Pilate set a seal on that stone. Removal of it would have imposed death upon the person who did it. Well...God in his mercy sent an earthquake that broke that seal - no gov official would dare to blame any disciple to breaking that seal. I suspect this earthquake served different functions and among them was that God made it ridiculous for any official to blame the disciples for tampering with it, thus sparing them a lot of legal grief.Insight #3: Matthew tells us that some of the soldiers went to the officials and told them the story of what happened who in turned bribed them to lie about it. It says "some" - not all. Ah...so that is how the truth came out what the officials told the others to do...Cool. They did not cover their tracks very well, did they? Kind of funny - political intrigue even back then - how God thwarted man's efforts to deceive.Just thought I would share this.How did the resurrection story impress you last week? EDITED
I share some of the teaching ministry in the church where I fellowship with the handicapped adults. We meet on Monday evening, so we will have our Resurrection celebration later today.The pastor will bring that message, but he asked me to do the Palm Sunday message last week, and as you noted, what is the new and different perspective one can learn from the story? I listed 15 major things that happened in that short space of time between where Jesus pulled the trigger and rode into Jerusalem on the donkey and ended up in a bloody crucifixion.The exchange in the garden between the will of the Father and the will of Jesus the man was my main focus, how it was Jesus' own decision to give His life for us- but I also like the story of Barabbas. My good friend Perry Floyd, a pastor now in Albuquerque, told it sort of like this:Barabbas is the most notorious criminal being held in Pilate's jail, and he is probably not far from the open yard where Pilate is dealing with the angry mob who want Jesus destroyed. Amid the turmoil, Barabbas can probably hear some of the sounds, but not all. So he probably can't hear the single unamplified voice of Pilate when he says, "I will release one prisoner, should it be this Jesus, or Barabbas?"The crowd screams, "Barabbas, Barabbas!!"Barabbas hears the angry crowd screaming his name. This can't be good.Then Pilate, unheard by Barabbas, says, "What should I do with this Jesus?"The crowd screams again, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!"So in the dungeon cell, Barabbas has heard his name and crucify... And then he sees the Roman soldiers coming toward his cell. Gulp...Whereupon they open it and tell him he is free to go. Someone else is going to die instead of him......One more poignant example of the way God illustrates eternal truth with the little stories that over and over again confirm His enormous love toward us.Admittedly, these details are purely speculation, all we know from the scriptures is that Barabbas was released. We can only hope he came to know that his temporary savior could be his eternal Savior as well.
I did have sort of a funny thought that I hadn't had before. When Jesus resurrected where did He get his clothes? He wasn't buried in any; he was simply wrapped in linen. Of course the obvious answer is that he was resurrected wearing "heavenly garments" which is certainly possible but we know he also had a physical body. I love the enigmatic verse in John 21: Yet none of the disciples dared ask him "Who are you?"-- knowing that it was The Lord. John's inclusion of this comment means that they really weren't sure although they knew it had to be Jesus. I think they wanted to ask him who He was but they felt sheepish about asking. There was something different about the resurrected Lord.