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Monday, April 20, 2015
In this post we are going to look at a section of scripture in which Paul is explaining to the Corinthians his call to preach the gospel. Paul loved the Jewish people, but God called him specifically to a ministry to the Gentile peoples—a term referencing all non-Jewish people.
1Corinthians 1:23-24 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
The majority of Jewish people in Paul’s day refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah God had promised to send the people of Israel. This has remained true of the Jewish people as a whole up until this very day. For Paul to preach the gospel declaring Jesus Christ as Savior and Redeemer was a stumblingblock to the Jews; they just couldn’t accept it.
On the other hand, the Greeks or Gentiles considered the gospel message pure foolishness. The prevailing thought throughout the Roman Empire established Caesar as God and acknowledged a pantheon of other “gods” with different areas of influence and varying degrees of power and authority.
Paul then identifies another subgroup of people that included both Jews and Gentiles—“the called.” Who are those called?
Romans 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus….
As God, He knew from the beginning who would choose to follow Him in faith. His Word is full of the truth that He is not willing that any should perish.
Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
I just take the Lord at His word. God called those whom he knew would choose Him. He didn’t create people for the purpose of condemnation. Neither did He refuse to create those who would choose to reject Him. He created all and has done everything possible to cause man to choose to follow Him in faith and obedience.
The message of Christ crucified is a message of the power and wisdom of God. Only the Son of God could have willingly laid aside His deity and clothed Himself with humanity to become the perfect, sinless man who could qualify as the blood sacrifice required to pay for “my” sin. Only through the power of the Father to raise Him from the dead could that sacrifice be declared acceptable.
Romans 4:24b-25 …if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
1Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
If these words weren’t breathed into Paul through the Holy Spirit, I would say that Paul had made a mistake here. How could any action of God be called foolish? How could God ever be considered as weak in any area? Since the purpose of scripture is to communicate truth to man and reveal God to man, the Spirit seems to be making a point from man’s point of view. It certainly seems foolish in my eyes as a parent to think of sacrificing my child to save someone else—especially knowing that sacrifice would cause that child to be ridiculed and tortured—especially knowing that sacrifice would be rejected by so many.
It seems “weak” that God has allowed the god of this world to exert his influence for so long (from man’s perspective) as God waits for man to repent and turn to Him in faith because He is not willing that any should perish. The key is found in the book of Isaiah:
Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God does not think and act in ways that man can truly understand. I feel like I get a glimmer from time to time—but only a glimmer. We are sinful; He is holy and righteous. We are selfish; He is loving and merciful. We are impatient; He is patient and longsuffering. We are so caught up in the “now”; “now” is not a relevant term to Him; He is outside of time. We are living in a finite world; He is—always has been and always will be. Our understanding is based on our knowledge base, which is limited; His knowledge base is unlimited; He knows everything there is to know.
Because God through His Son chose to appear foolish and weak to men by willingly coming to this earth in humility as a man and submitting to the cross, we have the opportunity to experience a restored relationship with the Creator. His wisdom and power were declared as the Father resurrected the Son in victory over sin and the grave.
1Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Romans 1:3-4 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
1Cor. 1:26-29 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.
Reminder, Paul is talking to “brethren,” fellow believers. “Ye see your calling” seems to be a way of saying, “Look who makes up this body of believers.” Evidently, the group didn’t include many that were considered wise or strong or noble in the eyes of man. Why would that be? Generally speaking, those who are wise, strong and noble have a hard time recognizing that they have a need; or if they do recognize it, are too proud to admit it.
Mark 2:16-17 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
These verses build directly on the previous verse. I think the point being made is that man has to realize that in and of himself there is no salvation. God’s perfect plan made clear that only through the work of Christ can man have hope for the future. Man cannot guarantee his eternal well being through plans of his own making using his own wisdom. The most powerful man on earth cannot effect his own salvation. God is no respecter of persons. No matter how high the level of society in which you are born or how rich you are, you cannot “command” salvation of God nor can you expect salvation just because of who you are.
Although the wording makes it sound like the Lord is trying to keep people from experiencing salvation, He is really expressing a beautiful truth. Nothing man can do can accomplish his salvation. The provision has been made for us. It’s provided as a gift to those who are willing to recognize their position as a sinner before Almighty God and repent and accept His wonderful gift.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
There are some verses in Jeremiah that support this section of scripture:
Jeremiah 9:23-24 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
Even the three groups of people referenced seem to match with verse 26. No man will be able to stand before God and glory in and of himself for any reason. It is only through the gifting and empowerment of God that one is wise, mighty, or noble/rich to begin with. It is only because of the provision of God through His Son in His mercy that we can have a hope for the future.
We were created for the glory of God and for His good pleasure.
Isaiah 43:7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
We have been deceived into thinking that it is the other way around—that God is around to honor us and make our life wonderful.
1Corinthians 1:30-31 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
“of him” – This is referencing God the Father as the One Who made it possible for us to be “in Christ Jesus.” It was the Father Who gave the Son as a sacrifice for my sin; the Son was willing and obedient. Yet, Father and Son are One. Through the Father, Jesus is the One that embodies and personifies the following:
1. “wisdom” – The Greek includes both spiritual and worldly wisdom. Webster = “The quality of being wise; knowledge, and the capacity to make due use of it; knowledge of the best ends and the best means; discernment and judgment; discretion; sagacity; skill; dexterity.”
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments….
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
2. “righteousness” – The Greek includes equity of character, innocent and holy. Webster = “The state of being right with God; justification; the work of Christ, which is the ground of justification.”
3. “sanctification” – The Greek states, “properly, purification, i.e. (the state) purity; concretely (by Hebraism) a purifier:—holiness, sanctification.” Webster = “The act of God’s grace by which the affections of men are purified, or alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme love to God; also, the state of being thus purified or sanctified.”
4. “redemption” – The Greek states, “ransom in full, redemption and deliverance.” Webster = “The procuring of God’s favor by the sufferings and death of Christ; the ransom or deliverance of sinners from the bondage of sin and the penalties of God’s violated law.”
I’m gaining quite a respect for good ole Webster.
It is through Jesus that we can begin to “know” the Father. As I continue to contemplate this verse, the order seems odd. I would think first in order of redemption that produces righteousness and puts us in a position to become sanctified and wise.
This verse seems to be referencing Jeremiah 9:24 (quoted above). All through the scripture the Spirit emphasizes that God’s word is always fulfilled. God’s plan is very specific to ensure that ALL glory belongs to God. Every ability man has is a gift from God. Man’s redemption is completely dependent upon the work of God through His Son, Jesus. Even when we become a child of God through faith in Jesus, we can only accomplish His purpose for us through the empowerment and direction of the Holy Spirit. Man has absolutely nothing about which to boast except that “he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord.”
Monday, April 13, 2015
Continuing our time of meditation in Psalm 145…
Psalm 145:10-12 All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.
The Hebrew for saints makes reference to “godly men, kind, and holy.” These are the people who will humble themselves before God on bended knee in humility and adoration. Saints are those who will tell others about the glory and splendor of God’s kingdom and of God’s amazing power. They want other people to know all about God’s amazing miracles and the blessings of yielding to Him as Lord in your life.
Can the world identify you as a saint in light of the truth of this scripture?
Psalm 145:13 “Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.”
One of the most amazing things about God’s kingdom is that it will never end; it will go on forever. Those who are part of His kingdom will be a part of it forever. I remember one definition for “forever” from another study—“time out of mind.” That said it best to me, because even though we think we understand it, I don’t think we really comprehend it. Our life here is such a minute speck on the “timeline” of eternity. If we could really comprehend that truth as Christians, I don’t think we would struggle so much with temptation by the temporary pleasures of this world compared to the spiritual treasures that will be ours for eternity.
Psa. 145:14-16 The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
The truth is that YHWH is ready, willing and able to strengthen, encourage, and comfort every person, but that encouragement/enablement is only given to those who have accepted Him as their Lord.
Acts 10:34-35 “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”
Psalm 18:30 “As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.”
1Timothy 4:10 “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”
These verses follow in context with those that are describing God’s Kingdom. In God’s earthly kingdom there will be no citizen who suffers from lack of needed strength, comfort or provision. “Every living thing” embraces plant and animal life as well. Point is made that in God’s Kingdom He is the source of all strength, comfort and provision. Every one in His kingdom will recognize that truth. Though we know that some will reject him and join league with Satan in one last rebellion during the first 1000 years of His earthly kingdom, none will be able to deny that He is Almighty God.
Psalm 145:17 “The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.”
The LORD’s character never changes. He is a God of justice; everything He does is right and good. Everything He does is holy, kind and merciful (from the Hebrew). It is this truth that answers all the questions that skeptics like to pose; e.g., what will happen to those that haven’t heard the gospel, etc.
Psalm 145:18-19 “The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.”
These verses help clarify the context of the preceding verses. YHWH is ready and waiting to provide for those who accept Him as Lord. There are many times that we don’t have simply because we do not ask.
James 4:2 “…yet ye have not, because ye ask not.”
Nahum 1:7 “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”
2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.”
Psalm 145:20 “The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.”
Scripture is clear all the way through that there is a different eternal destiny for those that love God and the wicked, those that reject Him as Lord. One of my favorite Christian authors is George MacDonald, and he seems to believe in universalism, the view that everyone will eventually be saved. I just don’t see where he gets it. He creates characters that challenge me as I consider my own testimony before others, yet he seems to reject such an obvious truth. No one likes the thought of fellow human beings suffering for eternity, especially Almighty God, but the holiness and righteousness of God demands that those in His kingdom be holy and righteous as well. Wickedness and evil will not be a part of His eternal Kingdom. He went to the extreme of coming Himself in human flesh to provide redemption for every man who will acknowledge Him as Lord. The choice belongs to every person. Each one that accepts Him is imputed the very righteousness of God.
2Corinthians 5:20-21 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
There are just too many scriptures to ignore the truth of eternal life and eternal condemnation.
Psalm 9:17 “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
Matthew 10:28 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
John 5:28-29 “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Revelation 20:15 “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Psalm 145:21 “My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.”
David confidently counted himself among those who acknowledge YHWH as Lord and who praise His name. He was determined to publicly proclaim his praise of God. His admonition: All flesh should choose to honor God’s name forever and be counted as saints of His Kingdom.
I am not ashamed of speaking about my love for my God or declaring His truth. I often struggle, however, with how to give a public witness more effectively. I pray for the Lord to make me aware of every opportunity and to take hold of my mouth every time I share.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Psalm 145:1-2 “I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.”
This psalm is identified as a psalm of David. David was proud to acknowledge God as “his God,” the supreme authority in his life. Whether others recognized Him as such or not, David acknowledged God as King of His creation. David declared his desire to praise God daily “forever and ever.” This should be the mindset of every true believer today!
David expected to live for eternity; he expected to have life after death. The Hebrew for the word bless made reference to kneeling and adoration and reveals David’s humbleness before God.
Psalm 145:3-4 “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.”
According to Webster the word great is an acknowledgement of many things. It acknowledges YHWH, the LORD, the self-existent eternal God, as the Supreme Being, a being of the greatest strength and power, and a being of supernatural ability. In David’s consideration, YHWH is worthy of great praise and His greatness beyond our ability to understand, as the prophet Isaiah so clearly states.
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
And the Apostle Paul…
Romans 11:33 “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”
David was confident that each generation would proudly share with their children the mighty acts of God on behalf of Israel. The scripture is full of those mighty acts, including:
· Delivering them from Egypt through ten supernatural plagues and parting the Red Sea in the process.
· Providing manna during the wilderness wanderings.
· Providing water from a rock.
· Parting the Jordan River.
· Causing the walls of Jericho to fall.
· Causing the sun and moon to stand still so the Israelites could defeat the Amorites.
· Sending fire from heaven to light the sacrifice offered by Elijah to expose the false god Baal.
· Blinding the Syrian army in answer to Elisha’s prayer.
Psalm 145:5-7 “I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.”
This is basically another expression of the truth already expressed in the form of Hebrew poetry. “Glorious honor” and “majesty” are references to excellence in goodness, beauty, magnificence and grandeur. It’s like David can’t think of enough words to convey the praise he wants to shower on “his God.”
How often do we overflow with such awe, love and gratitude to do the same?
It’s interesting that David describes the mighty acts of a good God to be terrible (inspiring awe, fear and reverence); but it’s true. How else would you describe turning water into blood, dust into gnats, causing ash thrown into the air to produce boils on all the Egyptians, sending locusts to destroy the crops, sending a plague of death that affected only firstborn sons, causing the earth to open up and swallow Korah and his followers, and sending a plague of fiery serpents in judgment on His own people. These were all acts of righteous judgment by a holy, righteous God of love and mercy.
When God very boldly and publicly proves His authority and power, His people can’t help but talk about it. The Jewish people have every reason to relish the memories of God’s goodness on their behalf.
Psalm 145:8 “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
After speaking of God’s mighty “terrible acts,” David balances that with declarations of God’s…
· Goodness – virtue, strength and potent power
· righteousness - moral and just
· graciousness - disposed to show kindness or favor. This is actually grace in action—the desire to bless us when we don’t deserve it.
· compassion - I liked Webster’s definition for compassion, “literally, suffering with another.” I really wasn’t thinking about it in that way, but as a parent I can certainly identify with feeling pain with your child when they are in pain and feeling disappointment when they are disappointed, etc. And we know that God is the most loving and caring of Fathers.
· slow to anger – patient - I think we don’t truly appreciate God’s character trait of being “slow to anger.” He doesn’t lose His temper and act without thoughtful purpose. He recognizes our human limitations and our sin nature and gives us every opportunity to repent and obey before judging.
· mercy – Webster defines it well: “Forbearance to inflict harm under circumstances of provocation, when one has the power to inflict it; compassionate treatment of an offender or adversary.” This is the other side of the coin with grace—withholding punishment when we deserve it.
As I think about these characteristics of God and His heart toward us, it is truly shameful that He is generally treated with more dishonor than honor, more rejection than acceptance, and more rebellion than obedience.
Psalm 145:9 “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”
I think that in the first part of this song David has been thinking more in terms of the nation of Israel. At this point I think his thoughts are embracing all of mankind. YHWH is good to all. He makes the sun to shine, the rain to fall, and the earth to produce for both those that accept Him as Lord and those that reject Him. He blesses every individual with natural talents and abilities. Why? Scripture tells us that it is God’s goodness that draws one to faith and repentance.
Romans 2:4 “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
In Hebrew the phrase “tender mercies” is a reference to the way a mother cherishes the child in her womb. God cherishes all His creation, but scripture is clear that man is the special treasure of His creation that He created in His own image.
Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Psalm 8:4-6 “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet….”
(to be continued…)
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 10:11–18 “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep….As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep….Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.”
Isaiah 53:3–11 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief….But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth….Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him….He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”
Matthew 27:22–31 “Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children….Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall….And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.”
John 19:16–30 “And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS….After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”
Mark 15:37–39 “And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.”
John 19:38–42 “And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.”
Matthew 27:62–28:8 “Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.”
1 Corinthians 15:1–7 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand….For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.”
John 20:24–29 “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
Acts 1:1–11 “The former treatise have I made…of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God…. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
John 14:1–3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
1 Corinthians 15:50–57 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Revelation 22:20 “….Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”