Saturday, January 23

Why We Can't See For Looking?

"Amazing! I know I've read it many times before, but I never SAW it!" Expressions like this erupt from many Christians who have made it a habit of reading their Bible. We seem to be blinded to stuff in Scripture that seems so obvious -- once we've seen it! It's the "once we've seen it part" that blows our minds.

Once such portion came out today in our Men's Study Group, the reference to the graves being opened after Jesus' resurrection and from them came "many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep . . . and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many" (Matthew 27:52-53). Jesus' resurrection was a categorical miracle calculated to reinforce his claims to deity and to being the Savior of the world. Anybody can claim anything. That's a fact, a truism. But not just anybody can support their claim. The resurrection was the most momentous demonstration in history verifying a most outlandish claim of someone claiming that he was MORE than a mere man. Such a claim was not likely to win adherents, at least humanly speaking. Gentiles deemed it foolish beyond belief, and the Jews considered it sacrilege, a stumbling block to their religious paradigm (1 Cor. 1:23). And when Paul astutely proclaimed the gospel on Mar's Hill in Athens, the intelligentsia gave him a condescending ear UNTIL he grounded his statements in the resurrection! The "unknown god" is the God of the Bible, who doesn't need praise from any man especially since he created them and they owe HIM their life and breath and everything else! He reached down to man via "a man" whom he verified as more than just a man by raising him from the dead! This is no small feat, no matter how used to the doctrine of resurrection we may have grown.

Back to my initial point. Not only did JESUS rise from the dead (which is a game stopper), but "many saints" went into Jerusalem at the same time. Really? Yes. Come on! A bunch of formerly dead saints came out of the tombs and walked right into town and appeared to many friends and strangers. Can you imagine what that must have done? Jerusalem and the surrounding areas boasted at certain times of the year hundreds of thousands of people!! This is amazing in the least! And so widely known was Jesus' resurrection that the Emmaus road disciples (Luke 24) could not believe that their traveling companion (Jesus himself though they had not yet figured that out) had not heard! How could you NOT have heard? Nothing has been more broadcast!

OK. So, Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection took place among multiplied thousands (perhaps over a million) who HAD heard the news. And now, word was getting out that not only Jesus but many, many dead people ("saints") also had been seen walking about town talking to friends and relatives. We've seen strange things before, but NOTHING like this!

That defies belief. Or, . . . DEFINES it. . . . See the unseen in order to know the unknown. Lord, open our eyes to behold wondrous things out of your Word.


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