THE NEATEST TIME ON EARTH
For some time, I've thought that the neatest time on earth, ever, would have been the time between Jesus' burial (in a short-term rental storage facility, courtesy of landlord Joseph of Arimethea), and Sunday morning when Jesus was nowhere to be found (but somewhere to be revealed). The reason is, it was all on the line.
All of it. Everything.
See ... one of two things happens. Jesus comes out of the tomb, alive, or He doesn't. If He doesn't, then His remarks about coming back, somewhat "veiled" though they were, would have been lies. If so, He would not have been Who He said He was. And if not, then He would have been no Savior at all.
BUT ... if He comes back, then it validates everything He said He was. Personally, I don't think He was "idling" over in a corner, just waiting for the alarm clock to go off so He could jump back in. On the cross, He said He was committing His Spirit to His heavenly Father, and that made the next move God's. Not the Man, Jesus'. Thus, when Jesus shows up alive, again, it was God the Father Who did it, and thus it is God's affirmation that Jesus was exactly Who God says He was, and Who Jesus represented Himself to be.
In our lives, we seldom put ourselves in a position like that. Where God has to come through or else we're sunk. We normally want to control our destiny. The strangeness of that is that we have to do just that in order to be saved, but we seldom want to do that with any other aspects of our lives. What makes for further irony is that, when God comes through for us when we're helpless on our own, it's a Spiritual high that will change our lives.
Consider the apostles in the boat when Jesus calmed the storm. He'd sent them into the storm, subsequently invited Peter to go for a walk with him, and then climbed in and shut down the wind and the waves. The guys then worshiped him, the first time they ever did that! At least I've never seen any reports of of their worshiping Him prior to that; not even when He turned water into that "forbidden libation" at Cana.
If He didn't rise again as He said He would, then He's not alive today. And He didn't ascend as He said He would, and the promise to send the Holy Spirit didn't happen either. And Pentecost didn't happen.
And on and on.
Proof? You want proof? I've always heard that, if a prophecy is fulfilled by someone who stands only to lose by its fulfillment, that's pretty convincing evidence. Like ... if I prophesy your house will burn down and then I set fire to it, that's not prophecy. But if YOU accidentally set it afire, then that's another matter.
Well, the big hunkies in the state religion bribed the guards to say the Body had been stolen. You don't bribe people to tell the truth! The guards and the pharisees themselves testify to the fact that Jesus was, indeed, resurrected.
I'd love to have been alive back then. In addition to witnessing the greatest time ever, I'd now be a couple centuries old, and I'd be in the Guinness Book of World Records.
I wish you a wonderful, blessed, and meaningful Easter.