Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NTDS (25): After I Have Risen

Matt 26:32
 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."  NIV

These beautiful words were spoken to the disciples shortly before Jesus would be arrested, beaten and put to death by means of crucifixion. It is an amazing proclamation for a couple of reasons.

Number one, Jesus states as a matter of unquestionable fact that He will live again after He has died. AFTER I have risen, He says. There is no “if” in this statement. It is going to happen! He made it very clear because the circumstances they were about to experience would certainly cause them to doubt the truth of that prediction.

Jesus told these men, that on that very night they would desert Him. He quoted from the book of Zechariah, telling them that He, the shepherd would be struck and that they, the sheep, would be scattered. This is what makes the second half of verse 32 so incredible. Even though Jesus knew that His closest companions would forsake Him during the darkest hour of His earthly life, He would still “go ahead” of them into Galilee and meet them there. He assured them ahead of time.

All that Jesus said would happen did happen. The disciples, who swore that they would stick with Jesus, even if they had to die with Him, could not even stay awake with Him for one hour while He prayed. Sure enough, when He was arrested, put on trial, beaten, flogged and crucified, they all scattered. Peter denied he even knew Jesus three times.

Why is all of this so important for us? Because it speaks of the astonishing love that Jesus had for His disciples and for us.  A love that is so deep, it led Him to pay an enormous price to bring us into a holy and righteous relationship with Him. He paid it for our redemption from sin.

Jesus fulfilled His promise to go before the disciples into Galilee. When the women came to the tomb on the third day, an angel repeated the instructions to them. “Go to Galilee.” They were on their way to tell the disciples what had happened, when the risen Jesus came to them. Matt 28:10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me." (NIV) Notice that He now calls the disciples “My brothers.” How great a love must it be, that you could call those who deserted you in your darkest hour, “brothers?”

This is the same love Jesus has for you and me. Even when we are unfaithful, He will go ahead of us and meet us. When you have come to Him in faith and repentance, He will always be there to meet you. After giving the “brothers” their new marching orders, He assures them that He will always be with them, helping them to carry those orders out (28:20). His assurance is there for you as well. Jesus is rise, He is alive and if you are a believer in Him, He goes before you no matter where you go. When you are following His lead, He prepares the way for you. His love for you is that great. Continue to follow His instructions for you and meet Him wherever He calls you to go!

If you have not yet received Jesus and experienced this great love, I pray that you will turn to Him today and put your trust in Him for salvation. Then you can also be assured that He will guide and direct your life and go before you as well.

God Bless You


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