God Raised Jesus to Life

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imagesPIPFE7Y4“Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.” — Acts 2:29-30

Peter’s great sermon on the Day of Pentecost gives us this insight about the capstone events in our Lord’s life. There is some dispute today of where that tomb of David is located but suffice it to say that in Peter’s day it was readily identifiable. The point he was making was that the prophecy could not have been all about David because David’s body was still in that tomb. However, when Jesus’ followers went to his tomb after his death — it was empty! God had raised him up. Anastasis! God had stood him up!

 In contrast, Islam’s so-called prophet Mohammed died in Medina (Saudi Arabia) in the year 632. He was buried in the mosque which contains his tomb. Millions go each year to see his gravesite and say their prayers because the bones of his dead body are still there. Who would want to follow a powerless man like that? Confucius died in China in 479 B.C. His tomb is still there. So are his remains. Who would want to follow a powerless man like that? Buddha died in 483 B.C. at the age of 80. His disciples gave him an elaborate funeral, burned his body, and distributed his bones as sacred relics. Wouldn’t you rather have the whole man—alive again—than some of his bones?

Peter continues as he explains David’s prophecy: “Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact” (Acts 2:31-32), David was one of the first to speak of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which was witnessed by over 500 of his followers (1 Corinthians 15:6), including all of the apostles (John 20:26) and the women who went to his tomb (Matthew 28:8-9) and the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-6). Seeing is believing!

When they looked at him, it was Jesus—just as they knew him before his death. There was no mistaking who he was—and there will be no mistaking who you are when you and your loved ones are raised from the dead. I’ll know you and you’ll know me—but with some great differences. We will all have been “changed into His likeness from one degee of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18). We will be like Christ. Oh, my! I can’t wait. Maranatha

Pastor Don

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