Less than two weeks after he called a very dead Lazarus from the tomb to life, Jesus’ body was sealed into another tomb and guarded to ensure nobody stole it to claim he had himself risen. The authorities were also planning to murder Lazarus, to suppress such irrefutable evidence of Jesus’ Divine nature.
But it didn’t work – it only served to prove more clearly that God’s personal, supernatural power was – and is – at work. People still sin when, because it points where they don’t want to go, they reject the evidence. And that hurts both them and their neighbours. Keep growing in prayer for unbelievers, in following truth, in service, and in thankfulness for His unspeakable mercy.
He is risen indeed!
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 5:3)
Each blessing in this chapter relates to the character of a Christian. This first blessing points to the absolute need a disciple has in Christ. When he realises his own spiritual poverty, and his actual spiritual state, only then he is made willing to be filled with the Spirit and to be made ready for the kingdom of Heaven. This is the exact opposite of the world’s standard.
As we worship together this morning, may we all acknowledge our total need in Jesus, and draw closer to Him. It is only by God’s grace that we have been saved and not by any works that we have done. By faith, then, let us sit at Jesus feet, and learn of Him. Augustus Toplady put it this way in his hymn, “Rock of Ages”:
Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked come to Thee for dress,
helpless, look to Thee for grace.
Foul, I to the fountain fly, wash me,
Saviour, or I die.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes….For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith” Rom 1:16
God is holy and his standard is very high. We as humans have been tainted by sin, for there’s no one that is righteous according to scripture. God requires us to be righteous to stand before him.
Paul had confidence in the gospel message to bring about salvation to all who believe. This very gospel also revealed the righteousness of God, that is Jesus’ righteousness. By faith, Jesus’ righteousness becomes ours, allowing us access to God.
I hope that this truth encourages you to stand firm in your faith, knowing that God made a way for sinners to be righteous before him!
And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place….(2 Peter 1:19)
Have you ever stared at the fire when braaiing, on a dark night (or at a candle during load shedding)? The longer you stare at the flames, the more the rest of the world seems to disappear. This is how Peter tells us we should study the Word. Our focus, our attention should be wholly on the Word, without any worldly distractions. This is true meditation. Not emptying your mind but filling it with the wonder and majesty of the Word.