Sometimes I am so caught up in today, I forget about Heaven. I think of: how our country will come through our current troubles, what I should make for dinner, the chores I need to do. Yet all of this is temporary. One day we will rise and be with Jesus. What a wonderful thought. Heaven awaits.
After the Jewish leaders decided to persecute Jesus because He healed on the Sabbath. He admitted He is the Son of God. He went on to tell them more. I can imagine the gasps coming from the leaders, and whispers, "Did you hear what He said?"
"He must be stopped!"
The miracle of healing the paraplegic, and all the other miracles Jesus performed didn't matter. They were focussed on the one thing they understood, and thought they could control, the law. Problem is it wasn't their law, it is God's.
If you've worked in an office you can understand this mentality. There's always someone who watches the precise moment you walk in the door. Those who look over your shoulder to make sure you're working. I always wondered why they weren't working... It seems to be human nature to try and control what other people do.
Deep down I imagine the religious leaders were never satisfied. They were trying to do God's job and they weren't very successful. We never know the whole story like He does. We need His love to understand the law.
Jesus wasn't worried about what they thought. He just kept talking. I wonder what their faces looked like when Jesus talked about raising the dead: jaws dropping, eyes popping, disbelief, confusion. I'd probably feel the same if I saw people rising in a graveyard. But it will happen, it has happened before. This is a miracle I don't want to miss : )
19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 2 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so l also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
If someone told me this before I became a Christian, I'd be running for the door.
25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
It wasn't long after this conversation that His words became reality. After Jesus' human body died on the cross, this is what happened:
52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
I always wonder who was there. Maybe King David, poor old Jonah, Noah, so many great people.
This is a prophecy from the Old Testament. It was all written and accessible to the religious leaders. Yet they never made the connection with Jesus. I can only pray that I will see and understand what's going on around me- make the connection.
I will ransom them from the power of the grave;
I will redeem them from death.
O Death, I will be your plagues!
O Grave, I will be your destruction!
Pity is hidden from My eyes.
As Christians we now have a new hope. We will see our loved ones once again, those who believe. Our death won't end in a coffin, our lives will begin in Heaven. New bodies! No more disease or ailments. No more temptation to judge others. The presence of God; His love surrounding us.
1 Corinthians 15:55
"O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"