Jesus is the Living Word
In the gospel of John, the Apostle John, by an eye witness account, reveals that Jesus Christ is both God, and the living Word.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made”.(John 1:1-3)
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”.(John 1:14)
John further declares that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
Though Jesus, the living Word, was both the light and the life of men, and though He shone in the darkness, the darkness did not comprehend it!
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it”.(John 1:4&5)
- Without Christ there is no life!
- Without Christ there is no light!
How is it then, that the darkness did not comprehend it?
The prophet Jeremiah spoke these words from the Lord: “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:12&13).
The writer of Hebrews shared: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Jesus is the Messiah
When the Old Testament prophets foretold of the coming Messiah, many of the Jews had a pre-conceived idea of how He would appear — so that when Christ came, though He fulfilled every word that the Old Testament prophets said, they did not recognize it was Him. But to those who did receive Him, He gave the right to be children of God.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name”.(John 1:11&12)
The hope that is founded on Christ will never fail!
Paul said, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5).
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
Filled with the Holy Spirit, when speaking about Jesus, the Apostle Paul said: “Nor is there salvation in any other (than Jesus), for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Jesus Rose From an Empty Tomb
When Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, went back to Jesus’ tomb three days after He had been crucified, they found the stone had been rolled away and that His body was missing. Two angels met with them, saying:
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? “He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, “saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again’”.(Luke 24: 5-7)
- We can believe in Jesus!
- We can believe in His words!
- We can trust that what He has said is true!
When the women went back to tell the apostles, the apostles didn’t believe them – but one of them ran to the empty tomb. Though Peter had previously denied Christ three times, he was the first to believe in their words.
“And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marvelling to himself at what had happened”.(Luke 24: 11&12)
Though there was a delay in the disciples understanding of what had occurred, the power of the empty tomb had not failed, neither had it been delayed. On the same day that these events occurred, two of Jesus’ other disciples were travelling to a village called Emmaus. The risen Jesus drew near to walk beside them, but they did not recognise that it was Him.
“Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him”.(Luke 24: 13-16)
The Heart of Jesus is Revealed
God allowed their revelation of His resurrection to wait, so that His POWER would be more fully made known.
What started as a revelation to one man, became a revelation to many!
The prophet Isaiah said: “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
Jesus’ heart was not callous in allowing the revelation of the power of His resurrection to wait. He wanted the disciples’ faith to grow so that they would learn to completely trust in Him and not follow their own understanding. When Jesus came alongside them, He questioned them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” (Luke 24:17).
The disciple named Cleopas answered and said, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see” (Luke 24:19-24).
With every Word from the Lord there is both a beginning and an end, yet both are known to the Lord. On hearing them express their concerns, Jesus lovingly explained,
“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight”.(Luke 24:25-31)
The disciple’s eyes were opened when Jesus broke the bread.
With their eyes now opened, the man who walked beside them went from being a stranger, to being their redeemer and their friend.
For on the night before Jesus was crucified, a similar event had already occurred.
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins”.(Matthew 26:26-28)
Following the breaking of the bread, a dead man in a tomb was transformed before their eyes, to the resurrected Christ instead!
Safe in the Arms of Jesus
When visiting our local cemetery recently, I noticed a grave stone on which were inscribed the words: “safe in the arms of Jesus.” It was King Solomon who said, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:1&2).
But physical death for the believer in Christ is not the end, it is just the beginning. The Apostle Paul describes believers in Christ who have passed away as those who have “fallen asleep.” For the Christian believer, death is not permanent! For when we believe in the finished work of the cross, we must also believe in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul explains it this way:
“Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up — if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” .(1 Corinthians 15: 12-20)
Jesus Christ said these words: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:7-11).
Jesus also said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37).
When we come to Christ in faith for the forgiveness of our sins, we will not be turned away, but will receive eternal life from Him!
If you have never received this free gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, please pray this prayer today.
Dear Heavenly Father. Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sin. I am sorry for all of the things that I have done wrong and I ask you to please forgive me. I now receive Your Holy Spirit and thank You for receiving me and giving me the free gift of eternal life. Help me to come to know and experience Your love for me more and more each day and to share Your love with others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.