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VERSE OF THE DAY
JESUS ANNOUNCES HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION
(Original title - The Resurrection Of Jesus)
April 20, 2014
Last week: Does Jesus Teach Once Saved, Always Saved?
Long ago, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was crucified on a rugged cross on a hill called Calvary. Paul writes, "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:3-4). This should have been no surprise to His Apostles, for He had announced its coming, sometimes in vague, obscure terms, and, eventually, clearly.
In John 2:13-22, Jesus went into the temple in Jerusalem where He found those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and money-changers (Persons who furnished the Jews and proselytes who came from other countries, with the current coin of Judea, in exchange for their own - Clarke). He made a scourge (whip) of small cords, drove them and their animals out of the temple, and poured out their money. The Jews asked Him for a sign to show that He had authority to do this. Jesus responded, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19). The Jews, incorrectly, thought He meant the literal temple. This statement would be used against Him in His trial (Matthew 26:59-61) and as He hung on the cross (Matthew 27:39-40). The disciples did not understand their Lord's words then, but did after the resurrection (John 2:22). John, writing after the resurrection, explains the Lord's meaning - "But he spake of the temple of his body" (John 2:21. See also John 20:8-9). Notice that this event occurred near the beginning of His ministry, evidenced by the fact that He had just turned the water into wine (John 2:1-11), his first miracle. So he first announced his death and resurrection, though in vague and obscure terms, at the beginning of His ministry. He did so again in Matthew 12 38-40. Certain scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign. He responded, "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:39-40).
As the time of the crucifixion came closer, our Lord spoke of it in clearer terms. In Matthew 16:13-20, Peter made the great confession, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," and the Lord declared that He would build His church upon that truth. Matthew writes in Matthew 16:21, "Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ." But he continues in Matthew 16:21, "From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day."
In Matthew 17:1-9, Matthew describes the "transfiguration" of the Lord. After they came down from the mountain of transfiguration, Jesus charged them, "Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead" (Matthew 17:9). The vision was designed to confirm in them that He was the Messiah. It was not necessary for them to relate what they had seen. But after the resurrection they would need this evidence that he was the Christ. Further, if the Jews heard of this too soon, before it was time for Him to die, it would have provoked them and endangered His life.
In Mark 9:30-32 Jesus foretold that he would be delivered into the hands of men, killed, and would rise again on the third day. In Matthew 20:18-19 He was very specific about what would soon happen to Him. He mentioned the betrayal, condemnation, mocking, scourging, crucifixion, and resurrection on the third day.
On the occasion of the "Last Supper," Jesus told the twelve, "I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me" (John 13:18). He then explained, "Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he" (John 13:19). In John 13:21 told them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me." They all wondered which one he meant, and Peter motioned for John to ask Him (John 13:22-25). Jesus indicated that it was Judas (John 13:26-30). It was on this same occasion that Jesus instituted the Communion, which commemorates His blood and body sacrificed on the cross for the "remission of sins" (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). The first century Christians observed this upon each first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
That night, Jesus was betrayed, tried, crucified, and buried, just as He had been saying (John 19). Three days later, He arose, just as He had said (John 20). Then the apostles understood what Jesus was talking about near the beginning of His ministry on the earth: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
As those who seek to restore New Testament Christianity, we do not celebrate Jesus' resurrection in a yearly holiday. Rather, we celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus every first day of the week, as we observe the Lord's Supper (Communion) and worship Him on the day of His resurrection.
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