Pondering from the Ponderosa. I am thinking today along with Christians all over the world about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every event surrounding Christ’s death and resurrection had to fall into place perfectly. Every detail of His crucifixion was foreordained by God. Peter, speaking to the Jews following His resurrection, said this concerning the crucifixion:
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up.” (Acts 2:22-24)
God orchestrated every detail of the crucifixion, yet the executioners were still held responsible. That is sovereignty. Jesus had to die at exactly three o’clock in the afternoon on Passover because that is when the Passover lamb died. Moses killed the lamb at three o’clock (Exodus 12:6). The Passover lamb had to be without spot or blemish. Jesus Christ had no sin and yet He became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). He became our Passover Lamb. “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7).
Jesus had to bear the sin of the first Adam who died twice. Upon eating the fruit, Adam died first spiritually. He was separated from God, indicated by the fact that he knew he was naked. He then died physically at the age of 930 (Genesis 5:5). We all are born dead in trespasses and sins and are destined to die physically.
When Jesus was hanging from the cross from the sixth hour (12:00 noon), there was darkness over the land. At about the ninth hour (3:00), He shouted from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” God the Father separated Himself from God the Son for the first time ever. “Death” means separation. Jesus first died spiritually. At that precise moment, our sin was placed upon Him (Matthew 27:45-46).
John records another statement of Christ at that moment: “It is finished.” The deed was done. Our sin debt was paid in full, and bowing His head, Jesus gave up His spirit. He died physically (John 19:30). Matthew said that Jesus cried with a loud voice and yielded up the spirit (Matthew 27:50).
He was taken down from the cross and buried in a rich man’s tomb – probably belonging to Nicodemus. A large rock was placed at the opening, weighing from one-and-a-half to two tons. Passover ended at 6 p.m. It was over. Now anticipating the beginning of the Feast of First Fruits (John 19:42), the women (including Mary Magdaline and the other Mary) went to the tomb looking for the body of Christ so they could anoint it with spices (Matthew 28:1).
Instead, they met an angel asking them why they were looking for the living among the dead. The angel said that Jesus was not there, He had risen just as He said He would, and the angel invited them to “come see the place where the Lord lay” (Matthew 28:6). These words have echoed down through the corridors of history, giving hope to all trapped in the slave market of sin. The women found the stone moved away from the opening. The stone had not been moved to let Jesus out, but to let the people in.
There are many solid, indisputable proofs that Jesus has indeed risen from the dead. The overwhelming proof to this writer is Satan’s failure to produce the body – all hell definitely wanted it. All the sinister minister of evil had to do was empower human beings to find it and so many people were looking for it. The Jews wanted to find it, so they could prove once and for all that His claims to be God were not true. The Romans wanted it, so they could also shut up the rumors that this King was alive. And the disciples wanted it, so they could grieve and close this chapter in their lives. Most of all, Satan wanted that body because he could once and forever nail the lid on the coffin of Christianity before it ever started.
But no one, not even the powers of hell, could produce that body. The obvious reason is that it was not there. Jesus Christ is alive! He is a living Savior, and He alone has all the credentials to be the King of His coming kingdom. He has the legal right because He has the right blood line through Mary in the line of David’s son, Nathan (Luke 3: 23-38). He also has the royal right as the adopted son of Joseph, the firstborn heir in the line of David’s firstborn, Solomon (Matthew 1:1-20). There is only One in this entire universe with the legal and royal right to the throne of King David, the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s coming again, and I think soon. Halleluiah! What a Savior! Stay safe and stay tuned.