Just As He Said
by Rebekah Gilbert
Note: This week’s devotional entries all pertain to the events of Passion Week, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection.
Read Matthew 28:1-7
“Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”
Several years ago, our family attended a health fair in the city of Whittier, CA, where we lived at the time. As part of the fair, my two oldest kids, Jacob and Emily, participated in the race for their age group: the “Kiddie K Fun Run!” They had printed t-shirts. They had tightly-laced running shoes. They had high hopes and big dreams. Gathered at the starting line, they waited until the air horn blasted, and then they were off! My eyes were drawn to Jacob because I had honestly never seen my oldest child, who is normally very placid, give his all in a competition. He ran hard, and crossing the finish line without slowing, he let out a scream of victory; “I did it! I won! Mom, did you see? I won!” He was awarded a medal, and he was absolutely elated.
What Jacob didn’t realize until later that evening, as he was turning the events over in his mind, was that he hadn’t actually won the race. He had completed the race, and had been awarded the same medal that was given to all of the children: a participation award. His elation dissolved into dismay. What he thought had been a REAL victory with a tangible reward, turned out to be a mere exercise commemorated with a trinket. How disappointing!
Can you relate to that feeling? Isn’t it just the worst, most disheartening feeling when something is tested and found to be lacking? Everywhere I turn in this world, I see false hope, empty promises, and inauthenticity. I’m sure you see it too; it’s everywhere! It can leave a person with such a hollow feeling inside! By contrast, what hope and refreshment we gain when we encounter something that is true and real; now THAT is a genuine treasure.
Let’s consider Jesus’ life. He made many promises in His lifetime. He offered unspeakable gifts. He talked about an everlasting life beyond this earth without pain, fear, sadness, or death. Could what He said be trusted? Could it be true? I can imagine the murmurings of the people around Him as they wondered. The integrity of His word would certainly go on to be tested. He was tempted and tried by teachers, laypeople, officials, even Satan himself, but Jesus stood firm under the covering of God’s Word. His words were put to the ultimate test when He was crucified and killed. Three days later, everything He had taught and had promised was REALIZED in the Resurrection. He is who He said He was! He did what He said He would do!
The Resurrection means to me that I can trust my Creator God. He is faithful to complete what He begins, He is faithful to fulfill His promises, He is faithful and mighty to save. We don’t deserve it, but He loves us, and His love is proven by the Resurrection. Aren’t you just overcome with gratitude, knowing that we have something so profoundly REAL? I pray that the joy of it wells up in your heart until it bursts out of you!
I am in sheer awe of my God, knowing that I have nothing to fear, because He has risen, just as He said.
Reflect on these questions on your own or with someone else:
- Can you think of a time when you tested something, only to find it lacking? (It can be something as simple as opening a pack of steaks to find that the ones underneath are gristly. Ha!)
- Contrast that with a time when you experienced integrity. What was different between the two experiences?
- In what ways have you seen God reveal truth to you; how has He shown you that He can be trusted?
Use this to help guide you in prayer:
Pray for God to reveal any areas of inauthenticity in your own life, and pray that He will help you to make a change.