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Devotional - week of April 8, 2012


RAISED WITH CHRIST -- BELIEVE IT

 

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.  Matthew 16:21

 

These first words from Jesus to His disciples about His crucifixion and resurrection are in the same context of Peter confessing Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Several other times in the four Gospels Jesus is quoted as saying that He will be put to death and rise again. The last account of His speaking of his resurrection came in the Garden of Gethsemane only hours before his crucifixion. He said:

 

after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee. Matthew 26:32

 

Following His resurrection, none of His followers could remember Him telling them He would rise again and doubted that He had risen again. In the context of some of the expressions of doubt John writes, “For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead” (John 20:9).  What Jesus told them had never registered with them. Of course, in time all the Disciples, including doubting Thomas, knew that Jesus had risen.

 

 Consider a modern day parallel experience of doubt about resurrection.  A pastor who was in the early stages of experiencing his oneness with Christ began teaching it to his people. When he got to the truth of  the believers’ resurrection, one of his best Bible students said, “Pastor I have gone along with your teaching of my crucifixion with Christ, but I am not going to believe that I have been resurrected with Him.

 

Many of us who teach the message of our oneness with Christ hear this same expression of doubt about our spiritual resurrection. We must continue to teach it until the Holy Spirit reveals it. “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).