Friday, April 01, 2005

The Scriptures Prove It

Higher ranking character. That’s what Paul said the Bereans had in comparison to the Thessalonians who had chased Paul and his companions out of town. Instead of chasing them out of town, the Bereans received Paul’s message and searched the scriptures daily to see if what he said was true. What had Paul said? He said that you could prove from the Old Testament that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead.

That wasn’t commonly understood, of course. Even after Jesus crucifixion, John comments that “they (the disciples) still did not understand from scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead” (John 20:9).

The Jews, disciples and unbelievers alike, believed in a very powerful messiah. While power and resurrection go hand in hand, power and death do not. Of course, to resurrect, you have to die. They didn’t believe that would happen to the Messiah – the Anointed One of God.

Convincing the Jews that the Christ must suffer and rise from the dead was a constant crusade for Paul. Preaching that the Messiah died was stumbling block to them. Even Peter said, “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!”

Peter, Paul, and the other apostles would use various Old Testament passages to prove that the death and resurrection of Jesus was a fulfillment of prophecy about the Messiah. Peter quoted the Psalms on Pentecost:

…because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.”

We are used to using the New Testament to prove the resurrection of Jesus. But God had revealed long before that the story of redemption would include the death and resurrection of his Son. When your faith needs strengthened, read some of those passages that will fortify your conviction that Jesus died for you and rose from the dead. See what use the inspired writers made of Old Testament passages to proclaim the good news – the news that Jesus died and rose from the dead to save you! That’s Life at Work!

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