Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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April 9 – The Truth, And Facetious Stories

“While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, Tell people, “His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.” And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.” Matthew 28:11-15

Devotional Thought For The Day

On the one side you have this concocted story to explain the empty tomb – no doubt believed by many of that time, including one Saul of Tarsus.  The story on its face is unbelievable. A soldier proven derelict of duty would have been punished severely, especially in the important matter of one executed for treason against Caesar. Even the chief priests must have known the truth; how they could have thought that continued unbelief, lying, and deception could possibly help them is astonishing.  It is an example of the stubborn mental rigidity and insanity of unbelief – and we see it all around us to this day, especially in those who even today are eagerly attempting to discover some evidence of Jesus’ “final burial.”

The strategy didn’t work, principally because of all the eyewitnesses who saw the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ prior to His visible ascension. Even Saul of Tarsus [that vicious persecutor of the early church who became the blessed apostle Paul] became convinced after his conversation with Jesus.  As we heard in the Epistle reading yesterday morning, in 1 Cor. 15, there were over 500 eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is no doubt as to preponderance of evidence – and the early church was built, in spite of vicious opposition and grotesque persecution, upon the reality and certainty of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

With so much at stake for the unbelieving chief priests, for the soldiers, and for all zealous defenders of Judaism [like Saul of Tarsus], it is certain that great effort was undertaken to find out what had happened to the body of Jesus. We know that Christians were persecuted, tortured, and even martyred in an attempt to get them to recant their testimony regarding Christ’s resurrection. That modern researchers think themselves in a better position to “ferret out the truth” and discover what these people could not – the grave and remains of Jesus of Nazareth, is the height of unbelieving arrogance and insanity. Yet these people present themselves as highly reasonable, well-educated, neutral and objective “diggers for the truth.”  Why not simply deal with the evidence that is at hand, as other unbelievers have?  Because the evidence is compelling as to the truth of the resurrection – and this would disrupt their unbelief.

What stands with the resurrection of Jesus Christ is all of the blessedness and power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – that all of our sins are forgiven and washed away in the shedding of His blood, that God has reconciled Himself to all of us in Christ Jesus, “not counting our trespasses against us.” [1 Jn. 1:7; 2:2; 2 Cor. 5:15-21]  There is now hope for all of us, for new life, for eternal life in the joy and bliss of God’s eternal heavenly kingdom, through faith in Jesus Christ. [Jn. 3:16,36]  There is renewal of our hearts and minds through the knowledge of God’s love for us in Christ Jesus, transformation “from one degree of glory to another,” as God shines the light of His glorious love into our hearts and minds. [2 Cor. 3:18; 4:1-6]  There is the certainty that we too shall rise from death, and that we will be like Him, our bodies transformed like unto His glorious body – for we will see Him as He is. [Phil. 3:21; 1 Jn. 3:2]

No sneaky plots of misinformation, no clever attempts to “discover” the remains of Jesus, can ever counterbalance nearly 2,000 years of blessed renewal and powerful love evidenced in the lives of billions of Christians. The insanity of unbelief is just as astonishing today as it was back at the time of Jesus’ ministry, His suffering, death, and resurrection. But “wisdom is justified by all her children.” [Luke 7:35]  He is risen!  Blessed Eastertide to all!

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, our blessed Redeemer and Lord, we also marvel at the unbelief and hardness of heart so prevalent and obvious around us. Have mercy Lord, and touch hearts with Your love and draw them to Yourself. Fill us with the joy of Your salvation, that the reality and power of Your love might be manifest in us. Amen.