Links Daily Devotional

Back from the Dead

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40, NIV)

The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth stands alone in religious importance.

Perhaps you have heard this before. Recently.

Of course, familiarity with Augusta National didn’t keep you from watching the Masters two weekends ago. Familiarity with your driver doesn’t keep you from trying to hit it well each time you play. Familiarity with your favorite playing partners doesn’t keep you from calling them in preparation for another round together.

When we are familiar with something we love, we don’t avoid that person, place, or thing. Rather, we dedicate ourselves to spending more time, learning more nuance, deepening intimacy.

Because Jesus was raised from the dead—unlike any other man or woman who has paved an apparent path to God, or enlightenment, or eternity—we have every reason to be fascinated with the wonder behind the event.

But here is the problem: many of you are reading this on Monday morning, already in your common place of work or activity, or about to head there. Overnight, the celebration we call Easter is gone.

So here’s an idea. Don’t let Easter die so quickly this year. Read the Gospel accounts, each one of them, where they tell of the resurrection of Jesus and the events that followed soon after. Here is the list:

– Matthew 28:1-15
– Mark 16:1-14
– Luke 24:1-49
– John 20:1-31

Maybe read one account each day this week, then close your resurrection reading on Friday with 1 Corinthians 15:12-28.

Jesus’ resurrection was his most meaningful miracle. It did not just end trouble for one person in this life. No, it ended the greatest trouble of humanity—the wages of sin: death—for all who believe in the name of Jesus. Moreover, it was no sudden action in response to a singular cry, like “Son of David, don’t pass me by!” Instead, it was the long-planned purpose of Jesus’ entire life course, forged in the garden at the moment of Adam’s sinful rebellion. The sign of Jonah was the sign of new life, first for Jesus, then for us. Let’s keep this knowledge alive!

Jeff Hopper
April 21, 2014
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