He Has Risen! – 2-9-22

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” Matthew 28:9-10 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Matthew chapter 28 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

He Is Risen

28 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone [a]from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”

So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

The Women Worship the Risen Lord

And [b]as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

The Soldiers Are Bribed

11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12 When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go [c]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [d]Amen.

Footnotes
aMatthew 28:2 NU omits from the door
bMatthew 28:9 NU omits as they went to tell His disciples
cMatthew 28:19 M omits therefore
dMatthew 28:20 NU omits Amen.

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Today’s reading is short and to the point – Jesus rose again. Matthew took so much time on everything else and seemed hurried and done with the story at chapter 27. And chapter 28 (overall) says Jesus was alive and they all met in Galilee. The end.  We know from Luke’s account in Acts that more happened in Galilee than just the great commission as well as understanding when Matthew wrote some doubted. But Matthew kept it short and to the point. (Maybe he wasn’t feeling well?)

There are nice details about what happened when the ladies arrived at the grave. Although all the accounts are not exactly the same, like the crucifixion. Here the ladies arrive and then there was an earthquake and an angel. In other accounts the ladies arrive after the earthquake.

But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” Matt 28:5-7

Glory to God HE IS RISEN! This part always gets me so excited – it is the work of Grace the work of the cross! The transformation power that transforms us when grace is applied with the blood of Christ! This – THIS IS GRACE! I had an experience with Grace and with God. Before that I had an experience with God but not grace and I had missed the point. So now when grace stirs in our reading I get super excited and I hope you do too – and I pray you have (if you haven’t already) a REAL, POWERFUL, and TRANSFORMATIVE experience with GRACE so that you too understand.

This, juxtaposed next to the bribing of the soldiers.
According to Roman law – they should have been executed for failing to guard that post. And the bribe story was humiliating for them. But I suppose it was better than losing their lives (so they took the bribe and let the Jewish council vouch for them). Their alternative was death.
This lie created doubt. That is all the enemy needs from us – to compromise our faith. Usually he gets us to substitute hope for faith without us understanding that we lack faith. But substituting a lie used to be much harder and all the enemy needs is us to doubt.

This doubt is followed up in verse 17 – when Matthew says “but some doubted.
We know from the book of Acts – Thomas wasn’t there when Jesus showed up to everyone and Thomas said I can’t believe it unless I see it. And later Jesus showed up again and let Thomas see the holes in his hands. Later we see Jesus gave many proofs and signs so His disciples would not doubt.  You and I have not seen, but we too are expected not to doubt.  This is where having a personal experience with grace and being transformed by its touch is SO IMPORTANT. I have an experience. I met God. You and doubt cannot take that from me.

Imagine if you will, seeing the resurrected Jesus, with holes in His hands, and he says because of my resurrection I have all authority back – so GO!

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matt 28:18-20

I think if we believed this we would obey. As the disciples did. But instead so many make excuses why they cannot. If I can reach over 50 nations from my living room sofa – you can at least reach one person. I know many of you who follow daily, are out there reaching people. But those who aren’t – you can share this. The Facebook and Instagram have verses you can share.  You do not need your own words – the Bible is more powerful anyway. But we should all be doing something.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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