THE TOMB OF JESUS
Read: Luke 24:1-12
He is not here, but is risen! - Luke 24:6
In his documentary"The Lost Tomb of Jesus," Simcha
Jacobovici claims archaeological evidence that disproves the
resurrection of Christ. He says that the words "Jesus son of
Joseph" found on a burial container near Jerusalem refer to Jesus
of Nazareth. He also claims to have identified Jesus' DNA. How
valid are these conclusions? The Israel Antiquities Authority
calls - them "nonsense." Other secular and religious scholars
agree. Jesus and Joseph were common names in first century Judea.
And Jacobovici needs DNA samples from Jesus to compare with the
bones in the tomb. Obviously, that's impossible!
But there are strong arguments in favor of Jesus'
resurrection. Most compelling is the fact that every disciple
except John died a martyr's death. Central to their message was
Jesus' resurrection (Acts 2:29-32). If Christ had not been raised
from the dead, why did the disciples choose to die rather than
Assaults on our faith and on the Scriptures come and go.
Don't be shaken by these baseless attacks. Two thousand years
ago, the disciples were eyewitnesses to the real tomb of Jesus.
The angels told them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?
He is not here, but is risen!" (Luke 24:5-6). - Dennis Fisher
Up from the grave He arose, With a mighty triumph o'er His foes;
He arose a Victor from the dark domain, And He lives forever with
His saints to reign. - Lowry
THE RESURRECTION IS A FACT OF HISTORY THAT DEMANDS A RESPONSE OF
NIC AT NIGHT
Read: John 3:1-21
I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in
Me should not abide in darkness. - John 12:46
According to the apostle John, Nicodemus "came to Jesus by
night" (John 3:2). Was this Pharisee skulking under cover of
darkness, embarrassed or ashamed that he, as one of the ruling
class, was curious aboutJesus?
Some have suggested that it was just cooler at night. Others
have said that evening was a better time to ask Jesus questions
because it was quieter and there were fewer distractions.
We really don't know the reason Nicodemus went to Jesus at
night, but John seemed determined to make a point of that
specific fact. Every time he mentioned Nicodemus, he identified
him by saying something like: "You know who I'm talking about the
guy who came to Jesus by night" (see 7:50; 19:39).
Nicodemus, no doubt, was quite moral and lived according to
Mosaic Law. People probably thought he was a pretty good person.
Yet none of that mattered. He was in the dark about who Jesus
really was, and he wanted to know the truth. So he was drawn from
the darkness into the presence of "the light of the world" (John
Jesus calls us "out of darkness" too (1 Peter 2:9) and
promises that whoever believes in Him will not stay in the dark
(John 12:46). - Cindy Hess Kasper
Our search for truth is hindered by The darkness of the night,
Until the Bright and Morning Star, Reveals His brilliant light. -
FAITH IN CHRIST IS NOT A LEAP INTO THE DARK; IT'S A STEP INTO THE
THE SEARCH FOR JUSTICE
Read: Ecclesiastes 3:14-22
I saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, wickedness was
there; and in the place of righteousness, uniquity was there. -
A trial has just ended, and the reactions to the verdict
could not be more different. The family of the alleged murderer
celebrates the declaration of a mistrial due to a legal
technicality. Meanwhile, the grieving parents whose daughter has
died wonder about a justice system that would allow such a
decision. As they stand weeping before a mass of microphones and
cameras, they exclaim: "Where is the justice in this? Where is
We've seen this scenario played out in the news or on TV
crime dramas. We instinctively long for justice but cannot seem
to find it. The wisest man of his day, Solomon, faced a similar
frustration and disappointment. He saw that imperfect human
beings could never administer perfect justice. He wrote: "I saw
under the sun: In the place of judgment, wickedness was there;
and in the place of righteousness, iniquity was there" (Eccl.
If all we trusted in were imperfect people, we would lose
all hope. But Solomon wisely added in verse 17: "God shall judge
the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time there for every
purpose and for every work."
The search for justice can be satisfied only by trusting the
God who is always just. - Bill Crowder
Though sin seems to triumph and wrong conquers right, Though lies
can put justice to flight, God's truth is eternal, His Word shows
His might, And He will bring justice to light. - Gustafson
SOMEDAY THE SCALES OF JUSTICE WILL BE PERFECTLY BALANCED.
DON'T GO DOWN THERE
Read: John 14:15-24
This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. - 2
In his book "Lessons Learned Early," Jerry Jenkins tells a
story about his freshman year in college. It was 1968, a year of
tremendous political and social upheaval in the US.
Riots had broken out in many major cities. From the rooftop
of his dorm in Chicago, Jerry heard sirens and saw fires burning.
Students had been told to stay on campus, but Jerry wanted to see
what was happening.
As he ran toward a store that was blazing a few blocks away,
a police car pulled up beside him. "Don't go down there," the
Jerry waited till the car pulled away and then kept walking.
The officer returned. This time he made it more clear as he
repeated, "Don't go down there" - and leveled a shotgun out the
Our rebellious or willful streaks often lead to unhappy
outcomes. In anger, Moses struck the rock to get water rather
than just speak to it as God had commanded. He forfeited the
privilege of entering the Promised Land with his people (Num.
20:7-12). Jonah disobeyed an order to go to Nineveh and was given
3 days to think about his choice-inside a big fish (Jonah 1).
What does it take for us to obey Him? Will we obey simply
because we love Him? (John 14:15,21). - Cindy Hess Kasper
Nothing between, like worldly pleasure: Habits of life, though
harmless they seem, Must not my heart from Him ever sever, He is
my all! There's nothing between. - Tindley
OBEDIENCE IS ANOTHER WORD FOR LOVE AND LOYALTY.
A GRADUATION WISH
Read: Psalm 42
Why are you cast down, O my soul? ... Hope in God; for I shall
yet praise Him. - Psalm 42:5
The high school commencement speaker was the president of a
large corporation. He was chosen for the occasion because of his
success. Yet his speech came with a most unusual wish for the
The speaker told the students sitting before him in their
graduation gowns, "If I could have one hope for you as you go out
into the world, it would be this: I hope you fail. I hope that
you fail at something that is important to you." He went on to
say how his own early life had been one failure after another,
until he learned to see failure as an effective teacher.
Many of the songs of Israel were born in seasons of failure.
Out of desperation came the cry, "As the deer pants for the water
brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God" (Ps.42:1-2).
Sometimes we are not ready to see the wonder of God's wisdom
and strength until we are gasping for breath in the exhaustion of
our own strength.
A recurring story of the Bible is that mountains of faith
rise from the valleys of failure. Before discovering the high
ground we are looking for, we may need to see the failure of the
dreams we hold in our hearts and trust instead in the love,
wisdom, and guidance of our God. - Mart De Haan
The lessons we learn from our failures, Are lessons that help us
succeed, And if we are wise and we heed them, Then failure is
just what we need. - D. De Haan
LEARN FROM YOUR FAILURES, OR YOU WILL FAIL TO LEARN.
FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
Read: Esther 4:10-17
I will go to the king, which is against the law, and if I perish,
I perish. - Esther 4:16
When Sha'Ri Eggum was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia,
doctors told her that only a bone marrow transplant from a blood
relative could save her life. Complicating matters, Eggum, 32,
was adopted and didn't know anything about her biological family.
But a private investigator tracked down her brother, Mike Ford,
who was a perfect match. Today, Eggum's leukemia is in remission.
Ford was the right person for the right moment.
The book of Esther tells another story of love, sacrifice,
and God's timing. Mordecai, a Jew in exile, refused to bow to
Haman, second in command to King Ahasuerus. Haman became furious
and plotted to destroy Morde cai and all the Jews. So Haman
deceived the king and persuaded him to issue an edict condemning
the Jews to death. When Mordecai told his cousin Queen Esther
about the edict, he urged her to intervene. "Who knows whether
you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" he said
(v.14). Approaching the king uninvited was punishable by death.
But Esther seized the moment to save her people!
When we are able to rescue others, we should do so at all
costs. Ask God for His direction and act! He may have placed you
here "for such a time as this." - Marvin Williams
O for a faith that will not shrink, Though pressed by many a foe,
That will not tremble on the brink, Of any earthly woe. -
COURAGE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF FEAR - IT IS THE MASTERY OF IT.
Read: Romans 6:15-23
Having been set free from sin, you became slaves of
righteousness. - Romans 6:18
On June 19, 1865, over 2 years after President Lincoln had
signed the Emancipation Proclamation, General Gordon Granger rode
into Galveston, Texas, and read General Order Number 3: "The
people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a
Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves
are free." For the first time, slaves in Texas learned that they
were already free. Some were shocked; many others celebrated.
June 19 soon became known as "Juneteenth"
Nearly 25 years after the "Emancipation Proclamation" of the
cross of Jesus, Paul wrote to the Roman believers. Some of them
still did not understand what it meant to be free from sin's
bondage. They thought they could go on sinning because they were
under grace (Rom.6:15). So Paul reminded them of their status in
Jesus by appealing to a familiar fact: Whatever we submit to
becomes our master (John 8:34). To commit sin puts us in bondage
The other option is to be a slave of righteousness.
Salvation actually means a change of bondage. As we once served
sin, we are now committed to lives of righteousness because of
the freedom Jesus provides.
My brothers and sisters, let us become in practice what we
already are in status - free! - Marvin Williams
The Savior can break sin's dominion, The victory He won long ago;
In Him there is freedom from bondage, He's able to conquer the
foe. - Smith
TRUE FREEDOM IS FOUND IN BONDAGE TO CHRIST.
To be continued