7 Reasons Why You Should Study and Teach Biblical Eschatology

Various views of end times events have caused division, confusion, and frustration for many Christians. It isn’t hard for a person that wants to downplay the importance of eschatology to point out extreme examples of each view in order to demonstrate that the effort is fruitless. Some have jokingly called themselves “pan-millennialists” saying that it will all pan-out in the end.

However, complexity, alternate views, and even wacky ideas among some teachers should not be enough for us to put off the study of end times. We wouldn’t follow that reasoning regarding difficulties in our understanding of the Trinity, or the doctrine of hell, or any other biblical doctrine, would we? Any pan-Trinitarians out there?

In my opening message at the IFCA Annual Convention a few weeks ago, I set out seven reason for why we need to study and teach biblical eschatology. My message will be posted soon, but until then, I thought it might be helpful to enumerate those reasons:

1. You Should Study and Teach Biblical Eschatology Because It Puts God’s Glory on Display (Rev. 1:1-2)

2. You Should Study and Teach Biblical Eschatology Because It Shows Us God’s Future Plans (Rev. 1:1-2)

3. You Should Study and Teach Biblical Eschatology Because It Comes With Blessings (Rev 1:3)

4. You Should Study and Teach Biblical Eschatology Because the Time Is Near (Rev 1:3)

5. You Should Study and Teach Biblical Eschatology Because It Encourages the Saints (1Th 4:18; 5:11)

6. You Should Study and Teach Biblical Eschatology Because the Judgment of God is Coming (2Pt 3:1-10)

7. You Should Study and Teach Biblical Eschatology Because It Promotes Holiness and Godliness in the Church (2Pt 3:11-12)

These aren’t the only reasons why we need to study and teach biblical eschatology, but these among others are rooted in the authority of Scripture itself. I pray these reasons will motivate, enourage, and inspire you to go to the Scripture and study and teach the hope of Jesus coming again.

Remembering Jesus Christ

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” (2 Timothy 2:8–10, ESV)

Where do we as Christians go for our strength? In 2 Timothy 2:1 Paul gave us the answer: “be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus…” Now, in his continuing lesson to Timothy, Paul returns to this critical truth.

In verse 8, Paul begins with the necessity to “remember Jesus Christ.” How odd that he should have to say to a pastor to “remember Jesus Christ!” The verb “to remember” points to the need for ongoing remembrance—a consistent effort—to remember and keep on remembering Jesus Christ.

How strange it might seem to us because we wonder how any blood-bought Christian could ever forget his Savior! It would be worse than a mother forgetting her own child or a lover forgetting his beloved. But God knows that the heart of man is weak and fickle. We not only can forget the Lord Jesus, we often do. Of course, we don’t forget him completely and totally, but we do push him aside and to the sides of our mind so that Jesus is no longer front and center as he should be.

This is one reason that Jesus instituted the Lord’s supper and its regular practice. Remember what it says in 1 Corinthians 11:24, where Paul reminded the Christians in Corinth of the purpose of the Lord’s supper by repeating Jesus’ words, “This is my body, which is [broken] for you, do this in remembrance of me.” He said the same for the cup as well. The bread and the cup remind us of the sacrificial body and blood of Christ, and we need that reminder regularly, because we forget! The Lord knew that. That we should forget the Lord who saved us, is a danger for every Christian.

In 2 Timothy, Paul sought to impress his son in the faith with this same truth of remembering Jesus Christ. He knows that the only way Timothy will be able to continue in ministry as a soldier (2:3-4), athlete (v. 5) and farmer (v. 6) is if he does so with his eyes upon Christ Jesus.

As John Kitchen has written in his commentary on this text, “What is abundantly clear is that Paul is concerned that Timothy keep Jesus at the forefront of all his thoughts. He was not worried that Timothy would entirely forget who Jesus was. Rather he was concerned that, under pressure, Timothy might not allow Christ the place of preeminence and supremacy in this thinking that He deserves.”

In this issue of the VOICE, we will focus upon the glory of Jesus Christ in various aspects of his life and ministry. In this article, I’d like to focus on three features that Paul sees as essential for Timothy’s success and growth in the faith, three indispensable truths that he could never allow to fade from his memory. If he kept these truths before his eyes, he would succeed both in life and ministry. Without these, Timothy was sure to falter. That makes them pretty important, and we should listen in as Paul places three critical reminders before his friend and co-worker for the Gospel.

Remember Jesus Christ Risen from the Dead (v. 8)

Paul was not telling Timothy to remember a great teacher, or to remember a historical figure. Jesus is both. But that is not what he wants Timothy to focus on, because lots of great teachers and lots of historical figures have come and gone. But their lives and teachings leave no lasting impact.

Paul is also not telling Timothy to remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, although that is implied in the idea of his resurrection. Many men died on the Roman cross. And if Timothy was to focus merely upon his death, that would not be enough.

Paul wants Timothy to remember that death could not hold Jesus. In Acts 2:24 Peter preached these words, “God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it” (Acts 2:24, ESV). This resurrection power of Jesus Christ is what Paul wanted Timothy to remember. If Jesus had only died, never to live again, then how could Timothy continue preaching? As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:4, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1Cor. 15:14, ESV). But Christ is alive! He conquered the power of sin and death, he atoned for sin and his atoning sacrifice was accepted by God the Father. On the cross, Jesus Christ absorbed the full wrath of God. No matter what happened in his life and ministry, Timothy needed to remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without it, there is no hope.

It has been claimed that as a young man, D. L. Moody was called upon suddenly to preach a funeral sermon. He hunted all through the Gospels to find one of Christ’s funeral sermons but searched in vain. He found that Christ broke up every funeral He ever attended. Death could not exist where He was. When the dead heard His voice, they sprang to life. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life (Jn. 11:25).

What a great reminder for us! And how helpful for us not just to look forward to in the future, but how helpful it is for living right now! When we are tempted to sin, we need to remember that we are dead to sin. As Paul wrote in Romans 6:1-5,

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Rom. 6:1–5, ESV emphasis mine). 

And that’s not all. Since we shall be raised from the dead to live with Christ forever, we no longer need to be fearful of death. We can live in obedience to Christ without fear of what man may do to us because we know God will glorify this mortal flesh. As it says in 1 Corinthians 15:50-58:

I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1Cor. 15:50–58, ESV, emphasis mine)

Verse 58 affirms that the resurrection has an impact on our work for Christ while we are here on earth. We must be steadfast—meaning we are firmly established in our position—we will live for Christ and no threat, persecution or danger will change us. We must be immovable, meaning that we will not change our position on these matters of faith. The whole world can oppose us, and sometimes it feels like it does, but we will not move! In these things we will be stubborn. And of course, this must lead to our mission to serve the Lord by faithfully preaching the gospel and making disciples. In season and out of season. Remembering Jesus Christ risen from the dead empowers us to do that.

Remember Jesus Christ the Messiah of God (v. 8)

“The offspring of David” or “the seed of David” is a reference to Jesus’ lineage that can be traced back to King David. This means that Jesus alone is qualified to claim the throne of the Messiah.Some have said that this reference by Paul is intended to point to Jesus’ humanity, the fact that he had a human family tree. Of course, this is true. But a reference to Jesus’ birth could have done the same thing. I think there is more here.By pointing to David’s lineage, not only is Paul referring to Jesus as the Messiah, but he is also claiming the throne of David for Christ as well. Jesus is the legitimate heir of the Davidic throne.And unlike David, Jesus is still alive. Jesus, the Living One, is also the Living King. Right now, Jesus is seated upon the throne. I believe that one day he shall take the throne of David in the Millennial Kingdom as is prophesied in the Old Testament, but he is King right now as well, in a universal sense.

Putting together the resurrection and kingly line of Jesus together are powerful motivators and encouragement for Christians. That is why Paul used it when he wanted to push Timothy even further in 2 Timothy 4:1 to take his calling seriously. This verse reads, “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:” (2Tim. 4:1, ESV)

The next words in verse 2, of course, are the charge—”Preach the Word!” But Paul front loads that charge with the sobering words of an oath—Paul wants Timothy to see just how serious he is by calling upon God the Father, and Jesus Christ who will judge the living and the dead. Taken together, he exalts Christ to the heights of glory while telling Timothy that this Christ is witness to his words commanding Timothy to faithfully preach the Word.

Christ is the King, and he will conquer every single one of his enemies. They will be a footstool under his feet. Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father. They must kiss the Son, or he will smash them to bits with his rod of iron like clay pots.

Is that not the Kingship and Return of Christ a great motivation to take up the cross and follow Jesus? Jesus is alive and he will come again and bring justice with him. We will be raised again in glorified bodies and we will rule with him. In the eternal scheme of things, there is no downside to this!

Paul understood suffering, and pain. His life after his conversion was filled with these trials. But they were never his focus. His ministry always had a joy-filled focus on who Christ is, what he has done and what these truths meant in this life and life eternal. That is why he wrote things like Romans 8:26-39. Read this passage and be encouraged. Notice that he begins with our weakness, but he ends with our victory! All of this is possible because of the resurrection and sovereign rule of Jesus Christ. Don’t forget that!

Remember Jesus Christ’s Gospel Message (v. 8-10)

The risen King is the Jesus Christ that Paul preached. And he doesn’t want Timothy for forget this message. He calls it “my gospel” in v. 8, but he doesn’t mean that he made it up, or even that it was the gospel he preached. Paul speaks of it as his gospel because it is the very gospel he embraced himself—it is the gospel that saved Paul, and Timothy too.Even more importantly, it is the truth. That is why Paul preached it, and why he wanted Timothy to continue his ministry of declaring this same message of the same Savior.

And Paul wasn’t shy about what most likely would happen if Timothy did so. In verse 9, Paul added once again the fact that preaching this gospel is what had cost him his freedom and honor and would eventually cost him his very life. Paul wasn’t complaining, he was simply telling Timothy that this gospel message was worth dying for, and that he needed to push onward himself because the worst consequences could never outweigh the blessings of doing so.

Paul notes that they had treated him like a “criminal.” This word speaks of a person guilty of serious crimes. They are not accusing Paul of being a petty criminal, but Paul is put into the same categories as violent insurrectionists and murderers. As such, Paul could expect harsh treatment and hard judgements. The shame others would feel toward him would also be great. The only other time this Greek word is used in the New Testament is when it is applied to those who hung on the cross next to Jesus. That is how they treated Paul.

This note about Paul’s suffering is powerful, but brief. Quickly Paul turned his attention back to the gospel message. Instead of focusing on his own suffering, Paul chose to focus on the unfettered propagation of the gospel message that he preached. Timothy would need to do that too, and he would if he would keep his mind stayed upon Jesus Christ (v. 8).

The gospel messengers might be jailed, stoned, put in stocks, beaten, fed to the lions, or slaughtered, but the message of Jesus Christ can never be stopped. What a glorious truth! Nothing can stop the spread of the truth. It is not solely dependent upon us, although we must faithfully do our part. But the burden is not upon us. God will carry his wonderful, life-saving message wherever it needs to go.

But why would anyone sacrifice their whole life to carry a message that so many not only don’t want, but will kill you if you bring it to them? Paul gives us the answer in verse 10. Paul knows that God has chosen people out there in the world to be saved. He has elected them to salvation, but they need to hear the message so they can believe and be saved, which leads to eternal glory. The mission, for Paul, is thrilling! He loved to see God’s people come to Christ. He loved to be the one that gave birth to those newborn babes in Christ. What a joy it was! The Lord God could have done it other ways, by other means, but he has ordained that we, his children, are the means by which the gospel is preached, and the elect come to faith and salvation. We are the link in the chain that cannot be broken. How will they hear without a preacher?

When C. H. Spurgeon preached on “election” somebody said to him, “Why don’t you just preach to the called, to the elect?” He replied, “Well, if you’ll run around and pull up everybody’s shirttails so I can see if they have an ‘E’ stamped on their back, I will.” Only God knows who is elect and who is not.

Like Timothy, we need to remember the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not just for ourselves, but for those who need to hear it as well. This message was so important, that Paul, and countless other saints have died trying to get the gospel to as many souls as possible.

It is impossible to know the impact our evangelism will have with only one exception. If you preach the gospel, you will be surprised by how many people have reached heaven because of your ministry in their lives or the ministry of those to whom you proclaimed the gospel. But if you never preach the gospel, nobody will ever be saved because you shared with them. Nobody. You can expect that when you get to heaven, you will be spiritually barren. Paul had many spiritual children from all the places and times he preached the gospel. Some people will have no spiritual children—not even one.

Will that be you? I pray that it will not be. I pray that each one of us will one day join Paul and Timothy and the rest of the saints in giving praise to the Lamb alongside those we had the privilege of leading to Christ. We all know that as we age, our memories are affected. For some people, the memory problems are drastic, especially those who have diseases of the brain. But there are others we have seen who have sharp memories, recalling dates, events and experienced with great clarity and accuracy far into their senior years. I hope to be one of those who can remember long into my final years. But even if we are not blessed with a great memory, may we never forget these three critical truths about our Savior Jesus Christ—his Resurrection, his Kingly Reign and his Gospel message. The more we focus on them daily the greater will be our encouragement and strength for daily living and ministry.

This article first appeared in the Mar/Apr 2020 issue of the Voice magazine. Used with permission.

Spirit Empowered Church Planting

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Rom 1:16 ESV

It would seem that some people who are all for church planting are unaware of Romans 1:16, so I have reproduced it here for the benefit of those who think that a church is best planted by human invention.

What do I mean by ‘human invention?’ How about slick marketing programs that blanket the city? Or freebies, raffles, and give-aways that are meant to be a spiritual bait-and-switch? There are surveys meant to find out what unbelieving pagans want in a church so that a church can be tailored for them, and there are those ‘church planters’ who blanket Christian radio, Christian bookstores and encourage their core team to invite their friends over to their cool, new church that is so much better than the one they’re in now. There are other so-called church planting and church growth gimmicks I could mention, but I think that you probably know of one or two places like this.

Then there is Holy Spirit power that converts a soul from being a prisoner of darkness into a light-reflecting child of the Kingdom. Those churches that seek to grow from preaching a gospel that leads to Spirit-regeneration of the souls of men are true church plants. And those who plant churches by the power of the gospel do so in the methodology that gives all glory to God and cannot be conjured up by Madison Avenue methods.

To all my brothers out there who are holding forth the truth in faithfulness, keep it up. For those growing weary of doing good, email me and I’ll join you in prayer so that you won’t be tempted to give in to powerless quick fixes that yield a crowd, but not gospel growth.

The Fool’s Dilemma (weekend repost)

Even though the fool says in is heart that there is no God, his claim is contrary not only to the facts, but his raging against the God that he says does not exist shows that he does not believe his own words.

Read the rest of the post here: The Fool’s Dilemma

Who’s the Real Imposter and Fraud?

In September 2013 the Huffington Post reported:

“A New York art dealer admitted Monday she took part in a 15-year scam that fooled art enthusiasts into buying more than $80 million of counterfeits imitating famous artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.

Glafira Rosales, 57, of Sands Point, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, telling Judge Katherine P. Failla that for parts of two decades she teamed with others to sell counterfeits of various expressionist artists including Pollock, Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell.” [1]

My point in bringing up this old news story is to demonstrate the reality of fakes, and specifically how it relates to two groups of people in Matthew 27. The passage reads, “The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 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.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.” (Matthew 27:62–66, ESV)

Each one makes the claim to be true. The religious leaders set themselves up against Jesus and his disciples. Even in death these men are still slinging mud. But who is the fake? Who are the imposters? In this article I want to examine each one, the chief priests and the Pharisees versus Jesus. Each one claimed to speak for God. Each one claimed to be righteous. Each one desired to have the hearts of the people follow them. But who was truly worthy? Let’s investigate.

Who Had Righteous Courage? (v. 63)

“Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’” (Matthew 27:63, ESV)

Proverbs 28:1 says, “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”Jesus had been publicly humiliated, beaten, and crucified. His disciples hid themselves and were nowhere to protest his arrest or death. Then came a request by the chief priests and Pharisees that must have seemed humorous to Pontius Pilate. He knew these men were jealous of Jesus’ ministry. He knew that this was why they forced his hand to put him to death. And now he is dead. So why are they so fearful still? They may not be fearful of Jesus himself, but they are clearly still fearful that his teaching and influence has not died with him. They are fearful that he would be remembered and that his disciples would not scatter. And I think there is added fear here. I think that in the back of their minds they are fearful that Jesus just might truly rise from the dead. The disciples seem to have forgotten Jesus many words about his resurrection, but the religious leaders did not. And he had done so many miracles that clearly showed that he had power. They even claimed that it was power from the devil himself.

And then of course, there was Lazarus. Hadn’t he died in nearby Bethany? But now he was raised from the dead by Jesus. They had plans to kill him and put him back in the grave. But if Jesus had the power to raise him, could he possibly raise himself from the dead as well? They wouldn’t wait to see. Their fear drove them.

Compare the chief priests’ and scribes’ fear to the courage of Jesus who committed himself to the Father all the way to his death on that bloody cross. Look with me at his righteous courage in the Garden of Gethsemane:

“Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”” (Matthew 26:36–46, ESV).

Look at his boldness as he is being arrested in vv. 55-56 of this same chapter: “At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.” (Matthew 26:55–56, ESV). Over and over again Jesus showed that he has nothing to hide. He committed himself to follow God the Father throughout his life.

So, who is the fraud? Who is the imposter? Is it Jesus or is it this gang of false teachers? You decide!

Who Spoke Unvarnished Truth? (vv. 63-64)

“Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 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.’” (Matthew 27:63–64, ESV)

This time, let us start with Jesus in this comparison. In verses 63-64, the chief priests and Pharisees refer to Jesus’ words. They call them lies. They call him an imposter and his disciples are thieves and liars–ready to steal his body to promote his lies.

But Jesus’ words are only lies and deceit if they don’t prove to be true. Jesus would be a liar and a deceiver if he didn’t rise from the dead as he claimed he would. He would be a false prophet. He would not be all that he claimed. And notice the reference to his first fraud in verse 64? What was that? It was his claim to be the Messiah! The chief priests and scribes are telling Pilate that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah and he actually was able to fool people into believing him. But to them, his death proved that it was a lie. Now, if the disciples stole the body the people would be fooled again. They would think he had actually risen from the dead.

But Jesus had never been shown to be anything but 100% truthful. He was never shown to have lied, ever. He was never shown in any way to have sinned, ever. And you know that they checked with everyone to dig up some dirt. But nothing. Jesus was always truthful. Look at their claim a little closer. Notice that they have heard of Jesus’ claim to rise from the dead. If you go back and check all of the times that Jesus spoke of his death and resurrection, he did it secretly, only before his disciples. When he did speak of it openly, he did so with veiled references.

For example, look at Matt 26:61 where it says, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’” (Matthew 26:61, ESV). Notice the claim. Did the chief priests and scribes know he was referring to his death and resurrection? If they did, they didn’t say anything at the trial. And the only other times Jesus spoke to these men about his resurrection was when they asked for a sign to prove he was the Messiah. Do you remember his answer? The only sign they would receive was the sign of Jonah, three days in the belly of the fish. That’s a veiled reference to his death and resurrection.

Perhaps Judas told them. Judas, the one they had bribed to betray Jesus. You see, everywhere we turn we find evidence of their deception and duplicity. What had Jesus said of them? Look at John 8:39-47. Again Jesus’ truthfulness shines against the darkness of their souls. He called them out not only as liars, but as murderers. And he connected them to their father–Satan.

Who was the imposter and fraud? Was it the Son of Man who has never been proven to ever have sinned or spoken any lies, or these religious leaders who are implicated in bribery, lying, murder, coercion and blasphemy?

Who Demonstrated Heavenly Power? (vv. 65-66)

“Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.’ So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.” (Matthew 27:65–66, ESV)

Once again, let’s begin with the chief priests and Pharisees in our comparison to find out who is the fraud and who is genuine. The chief priests and Pharisees are the most powerful men in Judaism at the time. But notice that they need to go before Pilate to ask for soldiers and permission. They must have hated doing this because they hated Rome. Pilate was a constant reminder to the Jews that they were not truly a free people, but were subjects of Caesar. And they needed his permission for any military action, as we see here. And we also see their weakness in what they are doing. In John 20:19 we find the disciples hiding behind locked doors for fear of their lives. But the Jews put up Roman soldiers and a seal of Rome in addition to the large stone door, to stop these supposed grave-robbers.

There is no hint that they are trusting God in this. As a matter of fact, these men never seem to seek for power from God to accomplish their goals. They only know human force. Which isn’t surprising since they are carnal in their thinking. So, they do their human best. “Go make it as secure as you can” are Pilate’s words. And they do. They put a seal on the door of the tomb. They set Roman guards on a rotation. How would Galilean peasants get through that?

Like thread exposed to fire, that’s what this was to Jesus. A Roman seal and a couple of guards? Was this a joke? Every human being on earth could have pressed against that rock and it wouldn’t have made a difference. If Jesus was sent from God as the Messiah-King, and if he could conquer death by rising again from the dead, how could a sword or spear stop him? Jesus can’t be stopped. Not then and not now!!

Who had righteous courage, who spoke unvarnished truth and who demonstrated heavenly power? The chief priests and Pharisees claimed to have these virtues, but they didn’t.

Jesus does. He is righteously courageous like the Lion of Judah, the Lamb of God who has taken away the sin of the world. He is unvarnished truth. Jesus is the TRUTH. HE embodies truth. Heavenly power. The grave could not stop him. He conquered sin on that cross. And he did it for us. So, who is the imposter and fraud? Clearly it was not Jesus! Rejoice, rejoice, O saints! Rejoice in Jesus our risen Lord!

[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/17/glafira-rosales_n_3940559.html; accessed Nov. 29, 2013