THE WORD FOR TODAY [Bob Gass]
Jesus promised what no other religious leader could: that He’d return from the dead, and also resurrect His followers from the grave. And He has already made a good-faith deposit on that promise. When He died, ‘…Graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised…they went into the holy city and appeared to many’ (Matthew 27:52-53 NKJV). And the day is fast approaching when Jesus will fulfil His promise completely. ‘…In Christ all shall be made alive…each one in his own order: Christ the first-fruits, afterwards those who are Christ’s at His coming’ (1 Corinthians 15:22-23 NKJV). Note the word ‘afterwards.’ The date of Jesus’ return is classified information, but His resurrection guarantees ours. Traditional Judaism was divided on this topic. The Sadducees said, ‘There is no resurrection’ (Acts 23:8 NKJV). They saw the grave as a one-way trip to Sheol with no escape and no hope, while the Pharisees envisioned a resurrection that was spiritual, not physical. The Greeks believed the soul of the deceased was ferried across the River Styx and released into a sunless afterlife of spirits, shades and shadows. Then Jesus, ‘…the first-fruits of them that slept’ (1 Corinthians 15:20 KJV), entered this world of superstition and darkness and turned on the light. The word ‘first-fruits’ can literally be translated ‘prototype’. Jesus was the first off the resurrection assembly line, and the rest of us who follow will look just like Him. It’s a message that dries our tears, calms our fears and assures us that our best days are yet to come. Bob Gass
Are you afraid of dying? I’m definitely not! I am convinced that death is just a door to an eternal destination. No, I am not afraid of dying but I am afraid of not living! When Jesus said ‘it is finished’ He was referring to His mission, assignment and God-given purpose. He knew exactly why He was put on this planet, He knew exactly what He had to do and He knew when it was accomplished, and so he breathed His last saying ‘it’s done’.
Notice He didn’t say I’m done or I’m finished! No, the job got done and His mission was finished His assignment was accomplished. Yes, He had to be buried and resurrected, but it was on the cross and Jesus’ finished work upon it that He reconciled God to man, man to God and where redemption was accomplished and where sin and satan where defeated. hallelujah and amen and amen.
All this is God’s doing, for he has reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ; and he has made us agents of the reconciliation. God was in Christ personally reconciling the world to himself—not counting their sins against them— 2 Corinthians 5:18 J B Phillips translation. I’m enjoying the best days of my life despite life’s hardships, but this I also know THE BEST IS YET TO COME. Have a wonderful Easter and resurrection Sunday.
PRAYER Heavenly Father God, I want to take this opportunity to thank you from the depths of my heart for saving me. Jesus bore my sin in His body on the cross. He became the propitiation, the gift from yourself Father to bear the wrath I deserved. He became nothing so that I could become something in your sight, precious, loved, adopted in to your family. Jesus my Lord became the least so that we would become the best, and so I thank you Jesus for all you have done, all that you are doing and all you are yet going to do, and to top it all off THE BEST IS YET TO COME.