He Is Risen. . .

How Triumphant!  Mt 28:6

Three simple words: “He is risen.” And with that reality, light dispelled darkness – righteousness bested sin – truth destroyed error – life conquered death – and God defeated Satan. The consummation of that statement is still future – but immutably certain.

The full significance of the resurrection can never be understood apart from the cultural setting in which it occurred.

A tension of overwhelming magnitude existed between the crucifixion and resurrection of the Son of God. These two historical facts are separated by only three days in time and perhaps less than a hundred yards in distance. But no other events in the annals of history tended so strongly in opposite directions.

Calvary led the followers of the Lord down to the depths of utter despair and hopelessness. The resurrection lifted them up to the heights of absolute triumph and exaltation. What they mistakenly thought was the ultimate agony of defeat would issue forth three days later in the thrill of unchanging, unending victory.

The disciples had forsaken everything and followed the Lord. For three long, difficult years they walked with Him, talked with Him, ate with Him, were ministered to by Him. He was their rabbi. They were convinced that He was Israel’s long-awaited Messiah. And that, not without reason. His credentials were impeccable. He was born at the right time (after the destruction of the Temple, Dan. 9:25-26); in the right way (a virgin birth, Isa. 7:14); at the right place (Bethlehem, Mic. 5:2); of the right lineage (the tribe of Judah and family of David, Gen. 49:10; 2 Sam. 7:16). His message was authoritative (Jn. 7:46); His power confirmative (Mt. 8:23-27); His bearing divine (Jn. 8:20).

The disciples were certain that here at last was Israel’s great Deliverer. Surely this Son of David would break the yoke of Roman oppression and restore Israel to her former glory.

But during those tumultuous last days, everything seemed to be going astray. First the multitudes cried out, “. . . Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel. . .” (Jn. 12:13). But the next day many were shouting, “. . . Crucify him!” (Mk. 15:13). And within hours His life was torturously ebbing away as He hung between Heaven, and earth on a Roman cross. How ironic! Jesus was not dead because He fell off a Judean hill. They weren’t mourning because He was run over by a runaway chariot. He hadn’t been set upon by thugs. No – He had been crucified on a Roman cross – by the very same people the disciples thought He was going to lead them in rebellion against.

Low in the grave He lay – and the disciples thought that was the end; their hopes thrust through at the place called Calvary; their dreams unfulfilled; their longings unsatisfied. But on the third day – on the third day He rose from the grave. He was alive – vitally, dynamically alive. “HE IS RISEN.” How triumphant!

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