Friday, August 3, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-08-03 [Forty Days of Resurrection] 37.Part of His Mission

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Matthew16:21

I've heard many a preacher say that "Jesus was born to die" or that the "shadow of the cross, fell over the manger." This is an awesome truth that should be celebrated because it is a Great Truth: God's Son paid a tremendous price for us.

But, at the risk of sounding flippant, Jesus didn't wake up Easter Sunday surprised that He was alive. He was also born to rise.

This passage is one of at least four times that Matthew records Jesus predicting that He would rise. (See also 17:9; 17:23; 20:19)
What is interesting about this passage is that it precipitated by a specific event because Matthew tells us the "From that time on" Jesus explained His mission.

What was the event??
Peter's confession that Jesus is the Christ - the Messiah!!

Yes, the cross was part of the Messiah's mission, but so also the resurrection. Jesus' explicit intention was not to be a martyr, but a Conqueror. He would face our most implacable enemies: sin, death and Satan and He planned to be victorious.

Sometimes, if you watch a movie on DVD, you can go to the extra features where they will often have an alternative ending. They often do this if the final cut has a sad ending, they provide an alternative happy ending.

These predictions of suffering and resurrection make it crystal clear:
The resurrection is not optional, it is not a "happy ending" tacked onto a sad story. It is part of the mission of the Son of God.

The early church moved worship from the Jewish Sabbath (Saturdays) to Sundays to celebrate this awesome truth. Go to church on Sunday with a song in your heart - He rose - He won!

Theo Groeneveld
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