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Just As He Said

He has risen, just as he said.  Matthew 28:6 (NIV)   

            One of the great stories in baseball lore is Babe Ruth’s “calling” a home run before he hit it.  It is told that he stood at home plate and pointed to a specific place in the stands and proceeded to hit a home run to that place.  It’s one thing to be able to hit a home run, it’s quite another to be able to tell when and where.
            We read that story of Jesus’ resurrection again with wonder and amazement and there is something we might easily overlook—an idea repeated in 3 of the 4 gospels.   The angel said to the women who went to the empty tomb, “He has risen, JUST AS HE SAID.”
            All the way back to the early days of Genesis when God promised a son to the old man and woman—Abraham and Sarah, we find an emphasis on the fact—He did what he said:

Gen. 21:1-2 “Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised.  Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.”

He has risen, just as he said.”

People, he not only rose, he called the shot!  It has all happened/is happening as a fulfillment of Jesus’ words.  Do you realize the importance of that?  If God can deliver on that promise, the rest is “a piece of cake.”
            Even his enemies remembered he had said that.  They tried to make sure it didn’t happen.  As someone once said, they knew that if the people believed he rose “the jig was up.”  The enemy of our souls knows that too.  His only hope is to convince us it didn’t happen, or failing that, to lull us to sleep as to its meaning.
            It’s so important that it happened just like he said, because faith is primarily a response to the preaching of the resurrection.  The great Climax of Jesus’ ministry/life is “as he told you.”
            Easter, the resurrection turns everything “we know” upside down.  The normal/conventional “wisdom” is wrong.  It is hard to go against the crowd.

            Some years ago a NCAA cross-country championship held in Riverside, California, and only 5 of 128 runners finished the race.  123 of them missed a turn.  One of the runners, Mike Delcavo stayed on the 10,000 meter course and waved for others to follow him.  He could only convince 4 other runners to go with him.  The rest followed the crowd.
            He said, “They thought it was funny that I went the right way.”

We live on the basis of promise.  Jesus’ word is where our faith rests.  It’s not only what happened, but what will happen, what is promised.   The major question in the Christian experience is not about miracles—can you believe in this or that miracle, even the resurrection.  It is about trust.  Can you trust Jesus/God.  Is his word good?  It is not just an interesting sidelight of history that Jesus said this would happen, it is at the heart of our hope.
            -Can you trust Him that sin is as bad as he suggests?
            -Can you trust him to forgive you as he said?
            -Can you trust him to give you his spirit/power as he said?
            -Can you trust him to be there when you need him as he said?
            -Can you trust him that it’s better to do it his way?
            -Can you trust him beyond this life as he said?
                        John 5:28 “all who are in their graves will hear his
                                                voice
.” (NIV)
            At every step of the way in human history, when God has spoken/promised we have found it just like he told us.  The resurrection is the final proof, crowning jewel in the history of God’s faithfulness.  Folks, you really can trust God.

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