The notes this week are by Stuart. The passage can be read here.
The day I studied this passage I went to work having written BUT on my hand. As I went through the day, I kept looking at it as I made decisions and interacted with people.
I love my wife and I’m delighted we’ve been made one. In the back of my mind I knew marriage would involve compromise and sacrifices, but I entered it with a level of naivety and ignorance as to what that would entail. The Lord Jesus came to make us one with him (John 17: 20-23) but in full knowledge of the sacrifice needed to win our hand. So we read in today’s verses of the third time he told his disciples what was going to happen.
However, this foretelling doesn’t compare to the description of his suffering to come and that is just the physical agony, we can’t even imagine what it meant for God to be made sin for us (2 Cor 5:21) crying out “my God, my God why have you forsaken me” (Matt 27:46).
The Lord Jesus’ love for us was so great that he knowingly sacrificed everything and as the world looked on it looked like total defeat.
However, coming to v33 in the version I read, the next word says “but”; but on the third day he shall rise again.
Peter preached on this same thing in Acts 2: 22-24. Having described Jesus’ death he continued “But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him”
From the outside it looked like total defeat, with all of the forces arrayed against him being too much to bear. But he rose victorious and his victory is ours; through the resurrection we are justified (Rom 4:25), through the resurrection we have eternal life (John 11: 25-26) and one day Jesus will come back for us (1 Thes 4:13-18)
But what about today? How do I stand when it seems like everyone is against me either explicitly or implicitly? How do I live a transformed life when I’m constantly battling with my old self?
The but of the resurrection isn’t just for the future it’s for today:
- The risen Jesus intercedes for us. So there is no sin or shame weighing around my neck to destroy my relationship with God. Because he rose nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom 8: 33-39)
- Having risen he’s with us at all times, whatever we face (Matt 28:20) and the Holy Spirit came when he left (John 14:16) giving us the power to live for God (Phil 3:10)
That is why I wrote BUT on my hand; I may feel weak and alone BUT…, I may feel sorrow and shame BUT…, I may feel scared BUT….
Lord thank you for the BUT of the resurrection. Thank you for the assurance and eternal hope it brings and help us to live in the power of his victory today.