My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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The view from Caiaphus' house.
Matt. 27:62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception would be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.
Matthew is the only gospel writer who includes this story about the guards. He does this because he was well aware that there was a false report that was being circulated about Jesus’ resurrection. This is a piece of the story that we need to know.
It’s believed that Judas is the one who probably warned the guards to look out for the miracle of the resurrection. In Judas’ mind that “what if’ question loomed large, and ultimately led him to his death. It was too big of a question for him to be able to handle. The information that he shared with guards also led them to ask the big “what if” question. Enough so, that they placed extra guards on the tomb. At least they didn’t want the disciples of Jesus to stage some kind of grave robbery and try to claim that this man was raised from the dead. The “what if” of the potential resurrection was far too great of a threat because the reality of it would be unthinkable. They may have really crucified the son of God.
In the silence of Saturday we discover that we are not the only ones who may be faced with the “what if” question in life. It’s in the times of uncertainty that the questions begin to erupt. “What if I choose to follow that path?” “What if things don’t work out the way that I would like?” “What if people don’t respond to me the way I hope?”
It’s in the silence of Saturday that the Jewish officials were faced with the giant “what if” — what Jesus said was true? That reality hit them and they knew that they needed to guard the tomb. A story of a resurrected Messiah would create more damage than they could control, therefore, action had to be taken. The “what if” had to be considered.
Maybe the “what if” needs to be seriously considered on this Saturday. We are not asked to play religious games, or simply to participate in the actions of a local faith community, but we are challenged to ask ourselves the most serious “what if” question that exists. What if the story of Jesus is true? What if Jesus really did raise from the dead? What if Jesus is the son of God? What if God really does exist? What if….
The religious and government officials were so afraid of the “what if” question that they had to play it safe. They ordered a guard on Jesus’ tomb, just to make sure that nothing would happen. Maybe you’re struggling with your faith and you’re finding yourself on silent Saturday wondering, “what if?”
“What if” you walked away from this faith many years ago? But “what if” —this story just may be true? Wrestling in the silence of Saturday and pondering “what if” may just be a good time to take proactive measures, because the story is true! Jesus really did die for our sins. Jesus really is the Messiah. Jesus really does love us. Jesus really did raise from the dead. Jesus really does make intercession for us to the Father. Jesus really wants to welcome us back home.
Think about it. “What if?”
Lord, in the quiet of today, I renew my faith commitment to you.Amen.
Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Scripture: Mark 8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Observation:
Peter had openly declared that Jesus was the Messiah when suddenly the conversation shifted to suffering, rejection and death. With his affirmation of Jesus as Messiah, Peter had brought with him all of the connotations of that term. Jesus was to be a great military leader, a Davidic Messiah, who would save the people from the earthly authorities. Jesus’ description was a paradigm that didn’t fit into Peter’s thinking.
Peter’s rebuke of Jesus was severe. The language reflects a long and unpleasant conversation. The…
Scripture: Rev. 3:14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation: Rev. 3:15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. 21 To the one who conquers I will give a plac…