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.
Scripture: Job 38:1-2 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Observation: Trying to give a reason for Job’s circumstances, his friends had provided every explanation imaginable to the human mind. Now, it was time for God’s response and reality is brought into focus. The friends were bringing counsel to Job, but they did not have knowledge. There was far too much that they did not understand. Following this question God reminds Job that God alone has power over creation, and this knowledge is far beyond Job’s understanding. Therefore, the words of Job’s friends are hollow with misunderstanding. They do not know God, and should not presume to speak for God, for their counsel becomes words without knowledge. Application: If our first instinct is not to run to the Lord in difficult circumstances, we may be allowing ourselves to be counseled by words without knowledge. There are plenty of people who are willing to give us ad…
Scripture: Acts 9:32 Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers, he came down also to the saints living in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up. 35 And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. Observation:
In this text by the physician Luke, Paul has just recently been converted. Suddenly the narrative shifts to the Apostle Peter who is, no doubt, the leader of the followers of the Way. This passage sets the stage for the expansion of the ministry to the Gentiles. It is in Joppa that Peter has his vision that eventually leads him to the house of Cornelius but at this moment, Peter has no idea where this is going. Peter is simply going about his business, visiting the believers who live outside of Jerusalem, making it to the town of Lydda.
It is in Lydda, not far from …
Scripture: Galatians 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. Observation:
This passage from Paul’s epistle to the Galatians is frequently quoted and used to remind us of the unity which is found when we belong to Christ. Any barriers that may have existed are to be brought down. The power of prejudice is to be destroyed and a new life is to be found when one belongs to Christ.
Jerome put it this way, “ When one has once put on Christ and, having been sent into the flame, glows with the ardor of the Holy Spirit, it is not apparent whether he is of gold or silver. As long as the heat takes over the mass in this way there is one fiery color, and all diversity of race, condition and body is taken away by such a garment.” (EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS 2.3.27–28) What happens is that the former…