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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Risen, Indeed!

Luke 24; John 20

No need to prolong the story. Or complicate it. Or embellish it. Or try to explain it. Or defend it. Just declare it. The facts speak for themselves.

Jesus of Nazareth said He would "suffer ... be killed, and be raised up on he third day" (Matthew 16:21).

Betrayed by Judas, He was seized, placed under arrest, pushed hurriedly through several trials (all of them illegal), and declared guilty ... first of "blasphemy", next of "treason" (Luke 22:70, 23:24).

Alone and forsaken, He endured the torture of scourging, the humiliation of insults and mockery, and the agony of that walk to Golgotha (Mark 15:15-22).

The horrors of crucifixion followed, leaving Him suspended for six excruciating  hours ... the last three of which were spent in eerie darkness that 'fell over the whole land" (Mark 15:33).

By three o'clock that afternoon He uttered His final words, "Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit" (Luke 23:46).

Then ... He died (Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46; John 19:30).

Two men, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, took Him down from the Cross, prepared the body for burial, and placed it "in the garden in a new tomb" (John 19:38-41).

The chief priests and the Pharisees had the tomb secured by a large stone, a seal set on the stone, and a body of men sent to guard the site (Matthew 27:62-66).

Guarded and sealed, the tomb was silent as He remained lifeless, untouched, and unseen until the early hours of the morning on the first day of the week (Luke 24:1-2).

Before dawn a miracle occurred. Bodily, silently, victoriously, He arose from death. In resurrected form, He passed through the stone, leaving the mummylike wrappings still intact (John 20:1-8).

When astonished people visited the site that morning they found the stone rolled away and the body gone. Then they were asked by angels, "Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He is risen" (Luke 24:5-6). CHRIST IS RISEN, INDEED!

"And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore" (Revelation 1:17-18)

~Charles Swindoll~

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