God is Faithful—Jesus Kept His Promise to Rise from the Dead

Bible Studies for Life lesson for April 1, 2018 from Luke 24:1-12 (originally published here at the Biblical Recorder)

It amazes me the memory of my children. If I said I would play with them or take them somewhere or get them something, they never forget. I wish I could say that my faithfulness matched their memory. We are flawed and many times unfaithful. We break promises. But God does not. God is supremely, perfectly, gloriously faithful. There is no greater miracle than the miracle of the resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection has been doubted, denied and dismissed by skeptics over the years. Theological liberalism arose from Enlightenment skepticism. Where skeptics outright denied the claim of Jesus’ resurrection, theological liberalism contended that the resurrection was a spiritual experience that took place in the heart of every believer, but not an historical event. How could the resurrection actually happen? Dead people don’t come back to life. But Enlightenment skepticism and theological liberalism neglected to explain an integral element of the resurrection story—Jesus predicted it. Not only did Jesus predict his resurrection, but the disciples themselves dismissed his prediction. The angel they met at the empty tomb told them, “Remember how he told you… that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” They were completely unprepared for Jesus’ resurrection as they huddled together in fear and hopelessness. But when Jesus appeared to them resurrected, they came face to face with his faithfulness. Jesus kept his promise. Not only did he rise again, but he had predicted he would rise again. His resurrection declared his deity and the fulfillment of his promise vindicated his faithfulness. Before the resurrection the disciples were more likely candidates for depression than for becoming spokespersons for the largest religion of all time. The only explanation for change in the disciples is the ratified faithfulness of their risen Lord. Jesus promised he would rise. The disciples saw him, changed and declared his resurrection. And we today can have confidence in the historical reality of the resurrected Christ who has redeemed billions of lives.

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