March 12, 2013

Not Listening Again?

Matthew 20:17-19

He took the Twelve aside and said … “On the third day [the Son of Man] will be raised to life!”
—Matthew 20:17-19


On the journey to Jerusalem Jesus predicts that his death will take place there. It will include betrayal and condemnation by the religious leaders of his people. Those who should be welcoming him as the promised Messiah will instead sentence him to suffering and death, handing him over to mocking, flogging, and crucifixion by the Romans.

Then Jesus also predicted that he would rise again! But it seems that after hearing the predictions about Jesus’ suffering and death, the disciples somehow tuned out. It’s as if they missed hearing the promise that “on the third day” he would be “raised to life!” When the time came and Jesus died on a cross, the disciples were a despondent group of followers wondering what had happened. They scattered in fear, leaving the burial and preparations to others. (See Matthew 26:56; 27:45-28:10.) There was no expectation of Jesus’ coming to life again!

Are we any different? We hear dire economic warnings or a doctor’s frightening diagnosis, and we forget Jesus’ words: “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). We experience ridicule or rejection and forget that God’s Word warns that we may be called to share in Christ’s sufferings (John 15:18-20; Romans 8:17). Facing them, let’s remember Jesus was raised to life. We serve a risen Savior!

Lord Jesus, thank you for the assurance that you are with us, whatever we face. Give us peace of mind that you are in control of your world. We pray, confident of your care. Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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