Day 28

Jesus Is Resurrected

from the reading plan

Matthew 28:1-20, Psalm 16:8-11, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:1-20, Psalm 16:8-11, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

The immediate aftermath of Jesus’s resurrection is a study in stark contrasts.

When Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary near His empty tomb on that glorious Sunday morning, the women “ran to tell his disciples the news” with “fear and great joy” (Matthew 28:8). Then they fell at His feet “and worshiped him” (v.9). The clear evidence of the resurrection overwhelmed them, infused them with great faith, and compelled them to spread the good news.

The reaction was much different in Jerusalem’s halls of power. The Roman soldiers charged with guarding Jesus’s tomb high-tailed it to the chief priests and reported “everything that had happened” (v.11)—presumably not just the empty tomb but the frightening earthquake and angelic encounter that preceded it. The soldiers knew their Roman bosses would never believe such a tale. Dereliction of duty was a serious offense. Their jobs—indeed, their very lives—were at stake.

Corrupt religious leaders to the rescue! After deliberating, the Sanhedrin gave the soldiers this flimsy out: “Say this, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him while we were sleeping.’ If this reaches the governor’s ears, we will deal with him and keep you out of trouble” (vv.13–14).

Faced with the life-changing truth of the resurrection, the religious leaders blatantly denied it, choosing spiritual blindness instead of God’s saving light. They chose lies instead of life-giving truth.

Today, we, too, are faced with the truth of Jesus’s resurrection. The question is, how will we respond?

Like the ancient Jewish religious leaders, we have access to many first hand witnesses of the risen Savior—for us, through sacred Scripture. Many people claim to accept the resurrection’s authenticity. That’s a good first step and certainly one further than ancient Jerusalem’s most educated. But mental affirmation is not enough. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:3–4, Jesus’s resurrection is “most important.” Simply put, it changes everything.

Because the perfect, eternal Son of God died as an atoning sacrifice in our place and rose again, life has new meaning. Jesus’s resurrection gives us purpose for the present and hope for the future. The resurrection transforms us through faith into both disciples and disciple-makers. It changes the daily mundanities of life from a rat race to continuous opportunities to invest in Christ’s kingdom here on earth until He returns. It gives us the “why” for the “what,” “when,” and “how” in our lives.

Today’s culture widely denies the resurrection. Like the long-ago Sanhedrin, they choose lies over truth. But Jesus is alive! Our response should mirror that of the women who saw the risen Lord. We should never tire of peering into the empty tomb, nor should we cease to be amazed at its meaning for our lives today.

Lord, may the truth of Your resurrection radically change our lives—even down to our daily to-do lists. Help us to fall at your feet and worship you. Infuse us with great faith and compel our hearts to spread this good news to others!

Written by Josh Cooley

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