This morning it came to me that the resurrection of Jesus on the third day should not have been a surprise to the followers of Jesus! In fact, those who opposed Jesus took it more seriously than his followers did. Consider the following texts, then a comment or two that follow:
Matthew 16:21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
Matthew 17:22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.”
Matthew 20:17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”
Matthew 27:62 Next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
Considering all the Apostles and followers had observed as they followed Jesus… namely the miracles… wouldn’t you think they would have at least been at the tomb (Or close to it) on the third day at least out of curiosity? Even Mary, who did go to the tomb, was confused when the stone was rolled back and she saw the tomb was empty. She thought someone had stolen Jesus’ body (Click here). The Pharisees took Jesus’ claims more seriously than Jesus’ Apostles because they did something in response to what Jesus said would happen.
But the fact remains… Jesus TOLD THEM what would happen… and they didn’t believe. But let’s not be too harsh. How many promises are we given in Scripture about life, living, God’s protection and provision? And how many times are we still anxious, worried, stressed, and upset EVEN THOUGH God has told us about a different reality from what our heart tells us?
Suggestion for today. Live according to God’s truth rather than our perception of reality! Live in the promises of Jesus rather than the lies of Satan. Click on these links for a few promises that will encourage you: Click here… and here… and here… and here.