As I was studying the Resurrection story in Matthew 28 this week, one line kept jumping out at me. I’ve read this passage countless times, but this time, four simple, yet powerful words jumped out at me. — just as He said.
Friends, today we celebrate the Resurrection! The raising of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, from the dead. “Impossible!” some might say. But it happened.
Jesus promised that this day would come. He has risen victoriously — Just as He said. Three years before his death, just as he said, Jesus told the Jewish leaders it would happen. But like many of us, they didn’t believe it. In the book of John, chapter 2, verses 18-22 they press Jesus for a miraculous sign to prove who He was. Jesus told them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They laughed at him. They were probably thinking, “You fool. It took 46 years to build this temple. Who do you think you are, saying that you’ll rebuild it in three days?”
When we read Jesus’ words, it’s important to really read them. Don’t just gloss over them. Jesus didn’t say, “I’ll rebuild it in three days”. He said, “I’ll raise it in three days. Jesus was talking about His body. They would destroy His body. And through the power of the Holy Spirit, He would rise in three days.
He has risen victoriously — Just as He said.
The resurrection of Jesus is the hinge pin that we hang our faith on. Since Jesus said it would happen, we can take it to the bank. Jesus’s resurrection is the sign that proves Jesus is who He says He is. The leaders again ask Jesus for a sign. In Matthew 12, Jesus puts it pretty bluntly. And still they didn’t recognize who He is… Mt 12:39-40
Jesus replied, “Only evil people who are unfaithful to God would demand a sign. There will be no sign given to you except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just like Jonah was in the belly of the huge sea creature for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
What does it take for the world to see that He is who He says He is? How about that “He has risen victoriously — Just as He said.”
Jesus’s claims were common knowledge. The disciples and the religious leaders knew what he said. Yet they still didn’t believe… From the passage in Matthew 27:63, they said,
We remember that this imposter claimed that he would rise from the dead after three days.
They heard him say it. His words were known to many people. But they still didn’t believe. Now we know “He has risen victoriously — Just as He said.” Many people today still have trouble believing.
This is Just like Jesus, and because He loves us so much, he decided to prove it to us.
In the Easter passage in the gospel of Matthew, we heard the angel at the empty tomb tell the women these words –
“There’s no reason to be afraid. I know you’re here looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here—he has risen victoriously, just as he said! Come inside the tomb and see the place where our Lord was lying. Then run, and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead! I give you his message: ‘I am going ahead of you in Galilee and you will see me there.'” They rushed quickly to tell his disciples, and their hearts were deep in wonder and filled with great joy. Along the way, Jesus suddenly appeared in front of them and said, “Rejoice!” They were so overwhelmed by seeing him that they bowed down and grasped his feet in adoring worship. (MT 28: 5-9 TPT)
As if he words He told them – just as He said – weren’t enough. As if the empty tomb wasn’t enough. He wanted to prove to them that it was just as He said! And so that they could see Him with their own eyes, he met them on their way to tell the others – and when their eyes met, they fell to their knees and worshiped him.
Notice what they were doing…. They were on their way to tell others. They met the risen Lord on their way to share what had happened. Those of you who are reading this and who know Jesus but have been longing for a fresh touch from him – a deeper relationship with Him — look closely at the words you just read – the women were on their way to tell the others — when they met Jesus – face to face.
I feel like God is telling us today – If you really want to experience the risen Jesus – you have to tell someone about him. Share what you know, and He will make himself more real to you than you ever experienced before – but you have to be willing to go and tell. Church, we’re called to be part of this end time revival.
Jesus is our only source of freedom from pain and fear of this life. He also told us THAT. Jesus tells us in John 14:6, “I am the Way, I am the Truth, and I am the Life. No one comes next to the Father except through union with me. To know me is to know my Father, too. (TPT)
The condition of the world right now is only the beginning of challenges and persecution. Just as He said, these days would come. We read about these days in the bible. Jesus is the only solution.
A good friend of mine sent me a text this week. He was watching Cornerstone TV, a Christian network in our local area of Pennsylvania, and heard a doctor make this statement, and considering the coronavirus pandemic we’re immersed in, I want to share this great hope with you: Sin is the only virus known to man with a 100% death rate absent the cure. And then my friend added these words – Furthermore, the cure – Jesus – is the only one to never have had the virus of sin. Thank you, Jesus!
Some of you reading this today haven’t yet met the risen Jesus. He is alive! And He is the cure! Maybe you don’t know him because nobody ever really told you. The women were on their way to tell the others when they met Him alive again! So, please read this, my invitation to you. Friends, the resurrection is real. It’s documented. And He has risen victoriously, just as He said. This isn’t craziness. This isn’t a story, or a fable, simply about a wise man. This is real. He is who all of us need, because we’re all filled with sin. But – hear me…. In this season of changing… One thing remains unchanged – God loves you, no matter what you’ve done. And no matter how wild it seems, this love is God in the man we call Jesus. He is the only way that any of us will have hope.
Take a moment – right now – and recognize who He is. Turn away from the sin in your life, and give Him your life. You will be changed forever, and He will give you eternal life. Mark my words.