Up From the Grave

Today’s reading is Psalm 30.

Did Yahweh literally bring David’s soul up from Sheol? Had Yahweh literally restored to David life from among those who go down to the pit? Of course not. Just as Peter and Paul could refer to Psalm 16:10 and say, “Well, we can take you to David’s tomb, so he is actually a prophet pointing to someone else,” we can do the same thing here. We could go to David’s tomb today and discover his soul is actually still in Sheol and his life is actually among those who go down to the pit. But there is One whose tomb we haven’t simply lost. Rather, it was emptied. There is One whose life was among those who went down to the pit, but on the third day was restored. There is One for whom the disciples wept through the night, but in the morning came joy. And because of that, our mourning may be turned into dancing, our sackcloth may be replaced with gladness. And we will be able to give thanks forever. Not just for the rest of our earthly lives, but forever. Jesus rose up from the grave, and because He did, we look forward to resurrection ourselves. We look forward to dwelling in the Lord’s house forever, giving thanks to Him forever. Praise the Lord!

Next week’s reading is Psalm 31.

PODCAST!!!

Click here to take about 15 minutes to listen to the Text Talk podcast conversation between Andrew Roberts and Edwin Crozier sparked by this post!

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Where is the Body?

Today’s reading is Acts 2.

Peter was certain David wasn’t strictly talking about himself in Psalm 16 because he could take the Jews to find David’s tomb. Are you catching the subtle test Peter is throwing out for all who were listening? It’s as if Peter was saying, “Do you want to prove me a liar? Take me to Jesus’s tomb.” That would have been easy. They could have questioned Pilate about who took the body. They could have found Joseph of Arimathea. They could have rolled back the stone. They could have produced the body. But they didn’t. We can find where Mohammed is buried. We can find where Joseph Smith is buried. We can find where Pope after Pope and Anglican Archbishop after Archbishop were buried. The world is littered with the tombs of religious leaders. Their followers pilgrimage to them year after year. But not Jesus. There is no tomb. We can’t find it because they couldn’t find the body. Praise God! Jesus arose!

Tomorrow’s reading is Acts 2.

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You Just Don’t Make This Stuff Up, Folks

Today’s reading is Luke 24.

It is not so shocking to us today. So we likely read right past it. The first witnesses to the empty tomb were women. The first proclaimers of the resurrected Savior were women. And, of course, the men treated them just like men of that day often did treat women. They thought it was an idle tale. But here is what we need to recognize. If Luke were making up this story (or any of the other gospel writers), the very last thing any of them would do is make the first witnesses women. Women were not respected. My understanding is their word was not considered as strong as a man’s. If Luke were making this stuff up, why would he put the very first report of the empty tomb and the resurrected Savior in the mouths of women? You just don’t make this stuff up, folks. But when this is simply the way it happened, you record it. And that is what Luke is doing. He isn’t involved in creative writing. He is involved in record keeping. Jesus rose from the dead. The women knew. The disciples will come to know it. We can know it. Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 24.

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He Is Not Here, But Has Risen

Today’s reading is Luke 24.

“While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.'”

What else do we need to say?

He is risen. He is risen indeed!

Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 24.

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Wait! Is This a Contradiction?

Today’s reading is Luke 24.

At the end of last week’s reading, we learned some women, having seen where Jesus was buried, prepared spices and ointments for His burial. Then in Luke 24:1, they were coming to the tomb early on the first day of the week with those prepared spices, presumably to perform the Jewish burial customs on Jesus’s body. Wait! Is this a contradiction? According to John 19:39-40, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus bound Jesus’s body in linen cloths and prepared it with spices and ointments as was the burial custom of the Jews. Can the Bible authors not get it straight? What a great place for us to see how the Bible works. Granted, any time you have eye-witnesses recalling past events, you will find that they emphasize different aspects, one person will leave out details someone else includes, they tell the story from different perspectives based on what was important to each author. Further, when ancients were writing history, their goal was not to give us a moment by moment breakdown of what happened, but to get across what was the important takeaway from what happened. In any event, this is not a contradiction at all. Allow me to explain. Each of the gospel authors include different bits of this burial and resurrection event. Luke records that Jesus was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. He even mentions Joseph wrapped Jesus in a linen shroud. Luke doesn’t mention Nicodemus or the spices. Is that a contradiction? Not at all. Leaving out information is not the same as providing contradictory information. I think a key bit of information found in Mark 16:3 removes the worry of contradiction here. In Mark 16:3, the women on the way to the tomb were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us?” This reveals the women were not cooperating with Joseph of Arimathea. Had they been working together with him, they would have had him there to remove the stone and they wouldn’t have worried about it at all. As it is, they had followed along and seen where Jesus was buried, but they had not communicated with Joseph or Nicodemus. They didn’t know what the men had done regarding Jesus’s body. It seems they assumed the men had not had time to properly prepare Jesus for burial. Therefore, early on the first day of the week, they were coming to take care of that custom. Their preparations were, it turns out, unnecessary, not because the men had already taken care of it, but because Jesus arose from the tomb and wasn’t even there. But that is for another post. No, it is not a contradiction. Don’t let people distract you from the truth of God’s Word with false claims about contradictions. Keep reading. Keep studying. Keep learning. Jesus arose: Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 24.

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Hope for the Gentiles

Today’s reading is Luke 8.

I know we are reading in Luke today, but Isaiah 65:1-7 is a fascinating passage. There, the Lord explained He was ready to be sought by those who didn’t ask for Him or seek Him. He said “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation not called by His name. These people provoked God despite His calls to them. They sacrificed to demons (noted in the LXX, the Greek version of this passage). They sat in tombs. They ate pig’s flesh. And they told the Lord to “Keep to yourself, do not come near me.” Therefore, God explained He would repay them for their iniquities. Does any of this sound familiar? It’s like Jesus’s time in Gerasa, a city in the Greek region called the Decapolis, was modeled after this passage. The Gerasenes learn of the miraculous deliverance of the demon possessed man. However, instead of being in awe over the miracle, they were scared because of their financial loss in the pigs. They demand Jesus leave. Considering Isaiah 65, what might we expect for the Decapolis Gentiles? Judgment. Quick, brutal, complete, avenging judgment. However, how does this story end? As He leaves, Jesus sends the man delivered from Legion into the region to tell them what God had done for him. There is hope for the Gentiles, even for these Gentiles who rejected Jesus. This is the Savior we serve. Praise the Lord! There is hope for us.

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 8.

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