Jesus cannot be boxed in
Jesus died on the cross for our sins, for each of us; this was the only way in which He could erase our sins. Instead of us taking the punishment for everything we have done wrong Jesus came and said: Wait, you don’t have to take the punishment. I will do it.
O, this is actually too big to comprehend.
But He didn’t remain hanging on the cross. Even less did He remain in a grave. God is simply too big for that and Jesus too strong to be imprisoned in a corner or cave or hole by death. After three days Jesus rose from the dead: 4… that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says …
The world could understand that Jesus had died on the cross, but rising from the dead? It sounds impossible. Even Jesus’ people weren’t ready for this. His friends didn’t recognise Him when He appeared to them. It’s understandable. Who could ever have thought that someone would simply rise from the dead?
Thomas, one of Jesus’ close friends, believed it even less and, therefore, he first had to put his hand in Jesus’ side. The world was not prepared for Jesus’ victory over death.
It certainly buzzed when the news became known. Jesus appeared to several people and the news spread like wildfire: 5… that he presented himself alive to Peter, then to his closest followers, 6and later to more than five hundred of his followers all at the same time, most of them still around (although a few have since died); 7 that he then spent time with James and the rest of those he commissioned to represent him; 8and that he finally presented himself alive to me. It was fitting that I bring up the rear. I don’t deserve to be included in that inner circle, as you well know, having spent all those early years trying my best to stamp God’s church right out of existence.
I understand the fire in Paul. I understand he simply had to go in guns blazing to tell everybody about Jesus. This is not a joke. If you’ve seen the risen Jesus in the flesh, you can’t help but spread the news. Then theology becomes less important and you simply want to spread the message of salvation. Then the meat that you eat and the laws that you adhere to are no longer at the centre of your picture. No, the risen Christ is. My God is so big, so strong and so powerful, there is nothing that my God can’t do. Not even death could hold Him in.
It boggles my mind when people don’t believe. Let’s ignore Paul, Peter and the other apostles for a moment, because they may have been prejudiced. But Jesus also appeared to 500 random people! Just because it happened so many years ago doesn’t make it any less true. The scriptures tell us about it.
I realise we often become side-tracked. Often we become caught up in discussions about what we believe and what we don’t believe. We argue about millilitres or litres of water with baptism. We argue about this festival and that one. I wonder how our world would look if we took all that energy and channelled it into telling those who are going the wrong way about the resurrection of Jesus?
We serve an almighty God. A God who loves His children so much that He is prepared to sacrifice His life as God and King to become human, so that He could die on a cross for their sins. A God who could not be boxed in by death. I cannot remain quiet about that. The news must be told! Let’s go and spread it in the world.
Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins?
Do you believe that Jesus overcame death?
To whom must you tell this?
O, Father, how great is Your love for us! How great are You who have shown Your love for us on the cross. Thank You! Thank you that we can know and believe that You are so powerful that even death could not box You in in a corner or hole or cave. I praise Your Name! Amen