Saturday, March 22, 2008

Resurrection Weekend

I find an interesting parallel in Scripture from the time of Samuel in the OT to the time of the crucifixion of the Savior of the world. When Samuel served as the last judge (as well as prophet and priest) over Israel the people wanted a king. "We want a king so we can be like all the other nations." (my very loose translation of 1 Samuel 8:5) Samuel felt rejected but God assured him that it was not Samuel the people were rejecting but God Himself. "Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them." (God to Samuel, 1 Samuel 8:7, NASB)

The gospel writer, John, records the part of Pilate in the crucifixion story from a slightly different angle than the other gospel writers. Pilate found no guilt in Jesus yet succumbed to the will of the people. Pilate brought Jesus out and said to the people, "Behold, your King!" They replied, "We have no king but Caesar." (from John 19:14-15) They rejected the One that came to save.

This Resurrection Weekend is about celebrating the most blessed event in the history of the world. The voice of the people cried out, "Crucify Him!" The Roman soldiers nailed Him to the cross. He died an excruciating death and His body was laid inside the tomb. He did not stay dead -- He is alive! His followers didn't get it at first, yet when He revealed Himself to them following the resurrection their lives were radically changed. His purpose became their purpose.

John summed up the purpose of his gospel in 20:31 - "these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name." Resurrection weekend is about life, not death. It's about believing, not rejecting. It's about following the Savior, not the world.

Happy Easter!


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