For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.
Thank you for joining today as we share in Easter joy. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Jesus came to earth to win, to achieve the victory His Heavenly Father intended.
We might find the incredulity of the Apostles and disciples slightly odd. How could they arrive at the tomb and not understand?
Each of the gospel accounts show Jesus telling and indicating to His disciples that He must die and that He would rise – achieve victory. He told them this three times. Not just once, He repeated it.
In John 14:29 as part of the Last Supper narrative we hear Jesus say: And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.
So, what happened? Here we are with those Apostles before the tomb, seeing the victory of Jesus over death and… we hear silence and see a lack of understanding.
Perhaps, the people of Jesus’ time had trouble recognizing true victory much in the same way as we misunderstand victory in our day.
Like us, the Jews of Jesus’ times engaged in games and sports. The Israelites played board games such as chess, checkers, and backgammon. Pieces of clay, parts of bones, or pebbles were used as game pieces. They also had athletic contests in wrestling, running, and discus throwing. They also understood victory on the battlefield – who is a winner and who was looser.
They, like us, viewed winning as a very personal thing. At most winning was achieved as part of a corporate body – a team or army. I won the game. We beat that team. I came in first. We won the battle. We can, as they could in Jesus’ day, say winner and victor in a thousand different ways but it was always personal and one sided.
Jesus came to earth to win, to achieve the victory His Heavenly Father intended. It was not our kind of victory; it was not within the scope of our understanding. How could this man Jesus sacrifice His life and die, not for His own sake, but so that all of us might win?
Jesus’ victory was not a one sided and personal victory – just for Himself, nor a victory for a small team, but victory for all of us, for all of humanity.
That is the glory of God! Jesus took on all our battles and removed all our obstacles. So, we are victorious in Him. We are in the winner’s circle. All the heavy and ugly things in our lives have been carried away in Jesus’ overcoming. Yes, even the challenge of death has been overcome for us. All praise to our victorious King Jesus! He won for us all.