devotions for women


Rejoice! Jesus Rose from the Dead

by Gini Crawford

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Dead and buried for us

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures... 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 ESV®

A missionary nurse told me this: A teenager got sick and died. The people of that tribe were gathered to bury the boy when all of sudden he sat up. The people were shocked but rejoiced. Was the boy resurrected? No! The tribe didn't understand the medical condition of death. The nurse said, "Now that I am there this scenario won't happened again, because I know if someone is dead or not." Did Jesus really rise from the dead or did the people just think He was dead?

God made sure we would know Jesus was dead by giving us the accounts in the Gospels. In Mark 15:44-45, the centurion who was in charge of Jesus' crucifixion, who knew how to torture and then kill by crucifixion, told Pilate that Jesus was dead. A soldier who had done many crucifixions thought Jesus was dead but made double sure by piercing Jesus' heart and stomach area. The blood and water that flowed from Jesus has several physiological explanations but is a sign of death (John 19:31-34).

Jesus' burial gives another proof of His death. Joseph and Nicodemus who were Jewish leaders but didn't want Jesus crucified (Luke 23:50-52), asked Pilate for His body, which Pilate gave to them after he knew from the centurion that Jesus was dead. Joseph and others took Jesus' body down from the cross, which wasn't an easy task since Jesus was nailed to the cross and had gone through a lot of physical torture even before the crucifixion. In other words, Jesus' body was a bloody mess. Then they took His body to a tomb and prepared it for burial by wrapping linen cloths about a foot wide tightly around Him. They put about seventy-five pounds of spices between the wrappings, which formed a tight shell around His body. (Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-46; John 19:38-39). that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath ... the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. ... For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken." And again another Scripture says, "They will look on him whom they have pierced." After these things Joseph of Arimathea ... asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also ... So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. John 19:30-42 ESV®

Try to imagine how it would have been for Joseph and Nicodemus to have probably washed, then wrapped Jesus' dead body. What emotions do you think they would have had. Did they believe He would rise from the dead? How would you have felt?

Jesus endured the cross for us

Because Jesus is God, He lived on this earth knowing He would be crucified for our sins. I would guess, He saw crucifixions throughout His lifetime because the Romans used that form of the death penalty often and didn't hide it. So Jesus saw firsthand how awful crucifixion is and knew He would experience it. I think we would all agree, "How upsetting!"

The actor who played Jesus Christ, in the movie, The Passion of Christ was Jim Caviezel. Even though the crucifixion and scourging was simulated for the movie: Jim lost 45 pounds during the filming, he was accidentally struck twice during the scourging scene leaving a deep 14-inch scar, he dislocated his shoulder when the cross was dropped into the hole with him on the cross. He suffered hypothermia from being nearly naked with only a loin cloth on the cross for endless hours. I think this illustration gives us a glimpse into what Jesus experienced for us. Yes, Jesus knew the suffering that was before Him but endured the cross for us!

Jesus experienced psychological struggles like us all. We all hate the struggles that produce anxiety or any negative emotion in our lives, don't we? But Jesus bore the greatest psychological distress I can think of - dealing with crucifixion. Jesus knew what was coming around His crucifixion, which made His humanity anxious. We know this by what happened in the garden of Gethsemane (Mount of Olives). Jesus in agony cries out to the Father about going to the cross (Luke 22:44). The Greek word agony (agonia) in Luke 22:44 refers to anxiety produced by fear or tension before something hard such as a battle.

The joy of our resurrection

...looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame... Hebrews 12:2 ESV®

For the joy before Him, Jesus endured the cross. Jesus knew every aspect of His suffering and crucifixion before it happened, but He also knew the joy that would come from the resurrection. He knew He would rise from the dead bringing the power of the resurrection to us – causing us to be born again, to be a new creation in Him, guaranteeing our resurrection with an inheritance in heaven and with the hope of living with Jesus (John 14:1-3; 1 Peter 1:3-5). Jesus knew the power of His resurrection would allow Him to heal our broken hearts, to comfort and strengthen us in our sufferings, to carry our burdens, to give us freedom from what holds us captive and to give us joy even in mourning. (Isaiah 61:1-4).

Life Application

Easter is my favorite holiday because it is the pinnacle of God's love story towards us. As I described in this devotional Jesus’ love fought through everything to bring us life everlasting with Him and a new body to go along with that reality. Read Luke 22:39-24:7; 1 John 4:9-10. Briefly describe from these passages what Jesus went through to love us well.

Jesus has joy because of us. Let's have joy over Him! Rejoice He has risen from the dead, so we will undoubtedly rise from the dead too! Read 1 Corinthians 15. What are your thoughts on the resurrection?


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