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April 23 – LD 17, Day 1: Christ Arose

Tuesday the 23rd of April

in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations

Luke 24:34 - Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.”

From the point of view of the disciples, tragedy overwhelmed them on every side.

The soldiers came late at night and took the bound Jesus to Caiaphas the High Priest. As if that was not bad enough, He did not resist them! To add insult to injury, one of their very own, Judas, played the betrayer role, for they all saw him kiss Jesus. Moments later, another one denied Him with swearing. None of them raised a finger to help Him, rather, they all forsook Him and fled. All of this led to the crucifixion, the public display of rejection by God and man. It was obvious from the words He uttered from the cross that His sufferings were indescribable. Then He died, amazingly soon, within a few hours, something unheard of. They took note that He was buried quickly in the unused grave of Joseph of Arimathea.

Now what?

Fear and doubt overwhelmed them. They took refuge in an upper room behind locked doors. No one seemed to remember that Jesus warned them ahead of time that this would all take place. Their hopes were directed to Jesus whomthey anticipated would establish some sort of earthly kingdom and triumph over Rome. Rejection and death did not fit into their agenda.

Gradually this changed.

They began to realize that Jesus AROSE! Unheard of, beyond human reasoning, the message of the resurrection reached them as they huddled behind those locked doors. The women reported that they saw Him as they returned from the grave early that morning. Later, the travelers to Emmaus brought the same message, Jesus arose from the dead, and they had seen Him. They in turn were greeted by the disciples shouting, “The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.” That was convincing. Later that day, Jesus appeared to all the disciples in the upper room and greeted them with the precious words, “Peace be unto you.” Only Thomas was absent.

Never before and never after did one arise from the dead. Some were RAISED, but none AROSE.

Therein lies the gospel of the resurrection.

He gave Himself to death that He might arise victoriously.

It was “INDEED” for the disciples for it was verified by many witnesses.

The church of all ages confesses, “I believe that Jesus arose from the dead”. Do you?

Faith in this Jesus is secure.


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