Daily Devotional, April 30th
The first Easter morning didn't start out well for the disciples. The one thing they knew for sure, when they woke up that day, was that Jesus was dead. The precious Master and Friend they had followed for three years, hanging on His every word, was gone, having been brutally executed on a Roman cross. His death must have been a crushing blow. Imagine their emotions. Disbelief. Disillusionment. Despair.
Until that morning, the disciples had operated from the understanding that normally death was final. That's the way the program worked. It wasn't until the disciples saw the empty tomb that they finally "believed" and understood "the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead" (John 20:9).
Suddenly, Old Testament passages such as Psalm 16:10, which predicted Christ's death and resurrection, made sense. Weeks after Resurrection Sunday, on the day known as Pentecost, Peter quoted that very passage to a crowd in Jerusalem as he testified to the dramatic turn of events surrounding Jesus (Acts 2:22-32).
Speaking of His own impending death, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels" (John 12:24). In other words, death is the way to life.
Yes, it's a paradox that death can be an unlikely route to life and joy. Only Jesus could lay down His life "as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). Our path to experiencing His life involves daily crucifying anything that would lead away from Him.
Lord, help us to see what needs to die in us so that Your life can be our all. , Jeff Olson, Our Daily Journey
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