Happy Resurrection Sunday to you and your families! As we're going through the One Year Bible together this year, I wanted to note that this year we'll read about all of these resurrection appearances of Jesus' listed below:
1. The empty tomb (not an appearance so to speak - but no body was in the tomb - the first indication of the resurrection)
2. To Mary Magdalene in the garden
3. To the other women
4. To two people going to Emmaus
5. To Peter
6. To the ten disciples in the upper room
7. To the 11 disciples in the upper room
8. To seven disciples fishing on the Sea of Galilee
9. To the 11 disciples on a mountain
10. To more than 500
11. To James
12. To the disciples at His ascension
13. To Paul on the road to Damascus
Jesus' resurrection is the key to our Christian faith. The resurrection is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy and of Jesus' own statements. The Christian faith stands or falls on the bodily resurrection of Jesus. We can read more about this important point from Paul in 1 Corinthians 15. The resurrection guarantees:
1. Jesus was truly the Son of God. (Romans 1:4)
2. God the Father accepted what Jesus did on the cross on the basis of the resurrection. (Romans 4:25)
3. Jesus as our Risen Lord pleads for his people before the Father. (Romans 8:34)
4. Believers have the hope of eternal life. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
5. Believers will also rise and have resurrected bodies like that of Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:49, Philippians 3:21, 1 John 3:2)
Okay, back to our One Year Bible readings!
Joshua 5:1-7:15 ~ Luke 15:1-32 ~ Psalm 81:1-16 ~ Proverbs 13:1
~ Click here to read today's Scripture on BibleGateway.com ~
~ Listen to today's Scripture on DailyAudioBible.com (podcast) or OneYearAudioBible.org ~
Old Testament - Fascinating! verses today in Joshua chapter 5 verses 13 - 15 - "As Joshua approached the city of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man facing him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you friend or foe?" "Neither one," he replied. "I am commander of the LORD's army." At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. "I am at your command," Joshua said. "What do you want your servant to do?" The commander of the LORD's army replied, "Take off your sandals, for this is holy ground." And Joshua did as he was told." Tyndale's One Year Bible Companion says this about these verses - "The captain of the host was no mere angel. His presence was an appearance of Christ in person. Joshua worshipped the captain; his worship was accepted and he was neither rebuked nor instructed otherwise." Whaddya think? Was this Jesus in these verses?? Bible.org's commentary on "The Captain of the Lord's Army" is at this link.
In Joshua chapter 6 we read about the fall of Jericho to the Israelites - but... things take a turn for the worse in chapter 7 with the defeat at the city of Ai. It is interesting to note why the defeat happened in Ai, in verse 1 - "But Israel was unfaithful concerning the things set apart for the LORD." Think about it. Israel just had a great victory at Jericho and then they were unfaithful toward God. I wonder if perhaps we are like this in our lives today as well? Maybe something amazing happens in our life, and we get so swept up in the victory dance that we forget about God. And yet... it is God who gave us that victory. It is God who gives us every good thing we have in our lives. Are we being unfaithful in our lives concerning things set apart for God? Below is an image for verses 2 & 3 as Joshua sends out some men to spy on Ai, before the defeat" "Joshua sent some of his men from Jericho to spy out the city of Ai, east of Bethel, near Beth-aven. When they returned, they told Joshua, "It's a small town, and it won't take more than two or three thousand of us to destroy it. There's no need for all of us to go there.""
New Testament - Beautiful verses today in Luke chapter 15 verses 8 through 10 - ""Or suppose a woman has ten valuable silver coins and loses one. Won't she light a lamp and look in every corner of the house and sweep every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her because she has found her lost coin. In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God's angels when even one sinner repents."" Do you believe that there was joy in the presence of God's angels when you repented? Or... when you will repent? That is a beautiful thought indeed!
More beautiful verses today (22-24) as we read through the famous Prodigal Son story: ""But his father said to the servants, `Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.' So the party began."
Bible.org's commentary on our Luke chapter 15 readings today titled "Lost and Found" is at this link.
Psalms - I always like reading verses like 1 & 2 in Psalm 81 today - verses that speak of music & God - "Sing praises to God, our strength. Sing to the God of Israel. Sing! Beat the tambourine. Play the sweet lyre and the harp." Do you sing praises to God? Is God your strength? I'll go off on a tangent here, which is always a risky thing to do... :) I'll admit that I am a music junkie. Really. I have loved music immensely ever since I was a pre-teen and heard K-TEL's Hit Explosion with such songs as Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger." :) Well, ever since then music has played an interesting role in my life - both positive and negative. Bottom line is that I think God used music to bring me to Him. Seven years ago I ended up at a rock & roll postmodern evangelical church where I really first heard songs about Jesus in a rock song! It was a paradigm shifter for me... I ended up accepting Jesus as my Lord & Savior at that church two months later - thanks in large part to an amazing pastor there at the time and thanks in large part to the rock & roll worship. I have to confess that I do love any opportunity I can get to flat out worship God in a rock & roll worship way! :) I do realize the risks of high energy rock music... it can propel people to do very dumb things. But I think it can also propel people toward Jesus. Maybe music is like anything else - it's a double edged sword. I will share with you that a buddy of mine shared with me how he threw out every single one of his worldly / secular rock & rap CD's after becoming a Christian. He said he didn't want to be fed by that garbage anymore. I tried following his lead on this - and actually threw a few CD's in the trash... but I pulled them out before taking them to the dumpster. :) I'm starting to think though that I have a few CD's that need to get to that dumpster here sooner rather than later... I don't listen to them. But why keep them around at all? Hope you don't mind this long tangent. Does anyone else have any music / God experiences that you would be up for sharing with us all? Please post up in the Comments section below! (And please forgive me for this image below... I couldn't resist... :)
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 13 verse 1 may at first glance seem to be speaking about young children - but... I believe it can definitely speak to how we also should respond to God, our heavenly Father - "A wise child accepts a parent's discipline; a young mocker refuses to listen." Are you a wise child of God accepting His discipline in your life?
Worship God: As it is Resurrection Sunday, below is a great video of the Resurrection Story from Matthew Chapter 28 set to artwork. The audio for this clip comes from The Bible Experience, a fantastic audio Bible.
Do you know our Resurrected Lord? Click here for Resurrection!
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!