Friday, February 27, 2009

Death v. Life

In verses 50-58, we learn that life will ultimately win over death.

It doesn't feel that way when people I love have died. But I know this promise is true.

The power of resurrection is its victory over the apparent finality of death.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Heavenly Bodies

In verses 40-49, we learn that our current bodies are perishable. That's not news.

But when we are resurrected, our bodies will be eternal. Entropy and decay will no longer be unnegotiable realities.

What an encouragement, especially a day after jamming my hand into a brick wall!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Seed

Our resurrected bodies are no similar to our current bodies than a plant is to its seed.

An acorn is nothing compared to an oak tree.

We're just acorns, for now.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Deeper Resurrection Reflection

Sin entered the world via one person, Adam.

Forgiveness entered the world via one person, Jesus.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Even More 1 Corinthians 15

  1. Last of all, Jesus appeared to Paul
  2. Despite his persecution of the church
  3. He worked hard teaching the good news
  4. Through the power of Christ
  5. If there is no resurrection, then Paul's teaching is useless
  6. v. 19: Sums up Christianity's Achilles' heel
  7. If Christ's body is found, then the Bible's message is proven false

Sunday, February 22, 2009

More 1 Corinthians 15

  1. Peter saw Jesus after his resurrection
  2. Then the apostles
  3. Then over 500 other witnesses
  4. Most of these eyewitnesses were still alive when 1 Corinthians was written
  5. Then James
  6. Then "all the apostles"
  7. How are "all the apostles" different than the previous categories of eyewitnesses, esp. #14 & 15?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

#1-12

  1. Paul reminds his Corinthian readers of the gospel again
  2. He warns that their belief is "in vain" if they don't hold onto the message
  3. This means that belief can be in vain
  4. Belief does not always produce useful results
  5. Belief can be misguided
  6. Belief can be mistaken
  7. Belief can get messed up
  8. Belief itself is not what makes people right with God
  9. Therefore, belief is not our ultimate goal
  10. Paul then lists the most important elements of the gospel
  11. Christ died for our sins
  12. The Old Testament prophesied and foreshadowed this event

Friday, February 20, 2009

1 Corinthians 15

  1. The Resurrection of Christ
  2. The Resurrection of the Dead
  3. The Resurrection Body

Taken from the NIV Study Bible section headings.

My goal is to reflect upon this chapter for the next several days.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Resurrection?!

Paul debates the Athenians in Acts 17.

Some people "sneer" at the thought of resurrection, but others are open to considering the possibility.

Which side of this issue are you on, Dear Reader? Why?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Greater Than David

In Acts 2:29-36, Peter teaches that Jesus is greater than King David.

David is in the grave; Jesus is not.

King David prophesied about Jesus' resurrection in Psalm 110.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Witness


According to Acts 1:20-26, the apostles in the early church served as witnesses of Jesus' resurrection. This was one of their primary roles.
Do I serve as a witness to Jesus' work in my life?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mostly Dead


Lazarus, Mary and Martha's brother, provided Jesus the opportunity to illustrate his power over death in advance of his crucifixion.
In John 11, we read that Jesus wept (v. 35), even though in verses 1-4 Jesus reassures us that Lazarus' illness will not end in death. In verses 11-14, Jesus has to clear up some misunderstandings and explain that Lazarus is (temporarily) dead.
This reminds me of the following scene from The Princess Bride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GrYNaaYSjs
Because of God's incredible love, Lazarus is only "mostly dead."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Marys

In Matthew 28:1-10, we learn that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were the first two devoted followers to learn that Jesus rose from the dead. (The guards on-site learned a bit sooner that something big was going on!)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Sadducees are Sad, You See…

The word resurrection appears in the NIV exactly 45 times. It first appears in Matthew 22:23, as the Sadducees attempt to confuse and trap Jesus by presenting an unlikely hypothetical story about a very unlucky widow.

Jesus' reply is simple. We serve a God "of the living, not of the dead."

That's why Jesus' resurrection is so important. It's a reflection of the reality that humans are created in God's image, intended to live forever.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Resurrections

In Matthew 27:52-54, we learn that "many" people were resurrected right after Jesus' death.

However, they were not observed until after Jesus' own resurrection. I wonder where they stayed from Friday through Sunday?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Curtain

As Jesus cried out and gave up his spirit, the curtain in the temple ripped.

If people had torn it, the curtain would have ripped from bottom to top.

The curtain tore from top to bottom. God opened up the Holy of Holies to everyone. We all have direct access, via prayer, to God the Father.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Despair

In Psalm 22, we read about King David's despair.

Jesus quotes verse 1 as he hangs on the cross. Matthew 27:45-46 may be the darkest scene in the whole Bible.

If David and Jesus lived through these horrible times, it's no surprise that we face pain and suffering, too.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No Life Untouched

In Matthew 27.1-5, we learn that Judas was overcome with remorse and committed suicide before Jesus was dead.

Jesus' death was not a small event, but one that changed the lives of everyone involved in the process.

Monday, February 9, 2009

No Surprises

In Mark 10:32-34, Jesus again predicts his death.

It is clear that this is a significant event, and Jesus doesn't want his followers missing its significance.

Jesus immediately follows the warning about his death with a promise of new life. Good Friday isn't good at all without the promise of Easter Sunday.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Peter's Confession

In Matthew 16:13-20, we read about Peter's confession that Jesus is the Messiah.

The very next verse outlines Jesus' warning that he would be killed, and his promise that he'd rise from the dead.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Jesus’ Death

  • Jesus predicted his death at least twice (cf. Bible Gateway keyword search: jesus death)
  • Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead soon before his own death and resurrection
  • Jesus' adversaries accelerated their plot after Lazarus was resurrected
  • Jesus' death fulfilled many scriptures

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Virgin Birth

In Matthew 1:24-25, we learn that Jesus' biological father isn't biologically human.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Even Jesus Was a Middle Schooler

Luke 2:41-52 describes a classic miscommunication between preteen and parents.

Jesus makes it clear that he didn't think his parents would be surprised by his behavior. In fact, he was simply in his "Father's house."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Beloved Son

God the Father announces that Jesus is his "beloved son" (NKJV) both after his baptism and his Transfiguration.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I AM

Anyone who denies Jesus' divinity ignores John 8:58.

There is no more explicit claim in the Bible.

Jesus prexisted Abraham. He was there from the very beginning. Therefore, he is God himself.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Deity

The word "deity" occurs exactly once in the NIV, Colossians 2:9.

This verse immediately follows the warning against captive and hollow philosophies.

It is because of Jesus' Deity that we can know God "with skin on."

Jesus is our human connection to the divine.