The Word For Today

The unique resurrection of Jesus 2

'Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection, and the life."' John 11:25 NKJV

Why is Christ's resurrection unique? (1) He's the only one who didn't die again. In Scripture all others who rose from the dead, died again. Jesus was the glorious exception. Consequently, 'He was made a priest...through the power of a life which has no end' (Hebrews 7:16 GNT). His testimony stands: 'I was dead...I am alive for ever' (Revelation 1:18 NIV).

(2) He alone ascended into Heaven to represent us before God. Other priests died and ceased to serve. But Jesus was 'declared...a priest forever' (Hebrews 7:17 NIV). And he's not sitting around awaiting the second coming; he's representing us before God. 'He entered Heaven itself...to appear for us in God's presence' (Hebrews 9:24 NIV). That means no accusation against us can stand. 'Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died...is at the right hand of God...interceding for us' (Romans 8:34 NIV).

(3) He has the power to resurrect you when you die. Jesus comforted his disciples with this awesome promise: 'Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live' (John 14:19 NIV). And that promise applies to you too! 'For the Lord himself will come down from Heaven...the dead in Christ will rise first...we who are still alive...will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever' (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NIV). What a day that will be!

Soulfood: 1 Cor 15 Luke 24:1-53,


The unique resurrection of Jesus 1

'I died, but look - I am alive forever and ever!' Revelation 1:18 NLT

The fact that Jesus arose from the dead isn't what makes him unique. The Bible records seven other resurrections. Jesus was number eight (the biblical number for new beginnings).

In two amazing ways his resurrection was unlike any other. Let's look at them: (1) His was the only resurrection foretold in advance. David prophesied of Jesus: 'For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave' (Psalm 16:10 NLT). And Isaiah foretold life for him beyond his crucifixion. 'When you make his soul an offering for sin...He shall prolong his days' (Isaiah 53:10 NKJV). Jesus actually forecast his resurrection from death. 'Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem...be killed and on the third day be raised to life' (Matthew 16:21 NIV).

(2) Only Jesus raised himself from the dead! His enemies deemed him a helpless victim of their determined efforts to eradicate him and his mission. But they were wrong on all counts! He said, 'No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again' (John 10:18 NLT). All of Rome's might and the hatred of his Jewish persecutors couldn't eliminate Jesus or nullify his cause. He needed no help. In his death and in his resurrection, he was always at the helm. 'Destroy this temple [my body], and in three days I will raise it up' (John 2:19 NLT). And he did! He's alive forevermore!

Soulfood: Num 1-2 Luke 23:50-56 Ps 144:1-8 Pro 10:19-21,


The transforming truth about Calvary 4

'Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he... gave up his spirit.' John 19:30 NIV

Calvary was victorious! The cross may look like the triumph of evil over goodness, the powerful over the powerless, but only to those who don't understand Christ's mission. Never was courage greater or strength stronger. When he cried, 'It is finished' (some translations read 'It is completed'), he didn't mean, 'I'm finished, my cause is defeated.'

Far from being crushed at Calvary, Jesus triumphed in three ways: (1) He conquered his own human desire to avoid unspeakable suffering: 'He...bowed with his face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine"' (Matthew 26:39 NLT). (2) He conquered the demonic powers of darkness. 'In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross' (Colossians 2:15 NLT). (3) He conquered the law's stubborn demands against sinners. 'Christ...brought the Law to an end, so that everyone who believes is put right with God' (Romans 10:4 GNT).

At Calvary love triumphed over law, forever freeing us who could never live up to the Law. 'It is finished' was the cry of a victor instead of a victim! It didn't look that way to the crowd or to his devastated disciples. But it did three days later when the empty tomb proved Jesus had won the victory over death. It all comes down to this: 'If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved' (Romans 10:9 GNT).

Soulfood: Gen 22:1-18 Luke 23:26-49 Ps 22 Isa 53,

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