April 19, 2016
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 19 April 2016
The great evidence of spring is when God’s creation brings forth all the colors and smells that winter caused to rest! Spring is also the time of year that the First Council of Nicaea decided to celebrate the Lord’s resurrection. Sometimes, as it is this year, the Jewish Passover is subsequent to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection (Easter). Passover is a remarkable foreshadowing of the Lord’s sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection. First Corinthians 5:8 encourages believers to “celebrate the feast,” as a wonderful means to communicate the biblical heritage, and also as a testimony of the Lord’s work.
On the night in which the specific events leading to his crucifixion would begin, Jesus was “troubled” in soul (John 12:27) and spirit (13:21). As the supreme Servant, however, Jesus provided comfort and promise to his disciples who were “troubled” in heart (14:1). The disciples were troubled because they were confused regarding Jesus’ references to his impending death and departure. In response, Jesus promised that for those who believe in Him, He will “go and prepare a place” for them in his “Father’s house” that where He is, there they “may be also” (14:1-3). The disciples were not to let their hearts be troubled but to trust in God, which is related directly to trust in his Son (14:1). Jesus was telling his disciples to trust in Him the same as they trusted in the Father since his words and actions are those of God.
The reason why the disciples were to trust Jesus was due to his promise for them. In the context of the crucifixion, Jesus would indeed depart from them but he was going to prepare a place for them (14:2). The details of John 14:1-3 indicate that Jesus will “come again” and “receive” his own to be with Him forever. The departure to prepare the dwelling places is reason for coming again and receiving believers into his Father’s house. The comfort and promise of the Lord Jesus Christ is to come again to receive his own into the Father’s House where He abides presently. The Lord Jesus Christ promised, “I will come again and receive you to Myself.” The comfort and promise of John 14:1-3 is being with Jesus Christ in heaven, as the result of his coming again and receiving his own, which will result in the instantaneous glorification and resurrection of the body.
The blessedness of the resurrection of life is well attested in Scripture. For instance, David exclaimed, “With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory” (Ps 73:24). Even the book of Job, the oldest biblical writing, references the doctrine of resurrection. Job inquired, “‘If a man dies, will he live again? The blessedness of the resurrection of life instilled comfort and peace within Job: “‘For I know that You will bring me to death and to the house of meeting for all living” (30:23). Having been redeemed, Job anticipated receiving a resurrection body.
The redeemed of the Lord will experience “a resurrection of life,” whereas those who are dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1) will experience “a resurrection of judgment” (John 5:29). The nature of the resurrection body for the redeemed is entirely different than that of those not redeemed by God (1 Cor 15:35-49; Rev 20:5-15). When the Lord Jesus returns at his second coming, the dead (in Christ) will be raised incorruptible, never to die again. Both the dead in Christ and the living saints at the Lord's second coming will be raised immortal at the sound of the “last trumpet,” and as such are even now partakers of that eternal life (John 17:3). The Christian has a great hope in Jesus Christ. All humanity is guilty before God as sinners (Rom 3:1-20), but victory over the wages of sin is by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Savior (vv. 21-31). He alone can provide the victory through resurrection! What a wonderful Savior who is worthy to be worshipped, and whose works are wonderful to celebrate!!
God's Grace and Peace to You,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia