"Christ Resurrected" painting by J. Kirk Richards

Today: Psalms 21:8-13; Matthew 28; Exodus 15 & 16

Matthew 28 – Jesus is Risen!

I love the description of the angel that rolled away the stone from Jesus’ tomb. “His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.” (v.3) How does someone look like lightning? Did you ever try to picture that? Must have been pretty scary because “the guards shook from fear of him and became like dead men.” (v.4) They fainted from fright!

But the two Marys didn’t faint. They were astounded and overjoyed at the angel’s incredible message that Jesus had risen from the dead. And then they actually met Jesus. He appeared to them outside the tomb. Oh JOY!!! Can you imagine the relief and elation they must have felt?! Whenever you might feel doubtful of this good news of the gospel, think about the glorious moment when Jesus appeared to these two grieving women. In an instant, all their sorrow vanished. It is true! He IS the messiah!! He is ALIVE!!!

And He is here NOW, with us today. The very last words He spoke to His disciples in his physical form were “behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (v.20) And it is true. Soon after this, Jesus returned to us as the Holy Spirit. He never left us. He is still with us today. Hallelujah!

"Manna" painting by Cody Miller

Exodus 15-16

“The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.” Exodus 15:2

No surprise that on the same day we read about the risen Christ, our Old Testament reading includes Moses and Miriam’s beautiful praise song about God’s salvation.

Just as the right hand of God saved the Israelites from the Egyptians, Jesus’ resurrection offers salvation for all of humanity. Jesus is the right hand of God who has destroyed our enemy forever.

This entire song foreshadows the coming of Jesus who will purchase His people with His own blood. And He is leading us to a promised land. Glory!

But now, for a little while, we remain here on this cursed planet. We have an advantage over the Israelites because we have the wonderful presence of Jesus (as the Holy Spirit) as our guide and comforter. But they had the advantage of God’s continuous stream of amazing miracles.

We shouldn’t despair at life’s troubles. But we do and so did the Israelites, almost immediately. They soon are grumbling again, telling Moses, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we ate bread until we were full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this entire assembly with hunger!” (v.16:3) Wow, talk about sour grapes. They would rather still be slaves in Egypt?

Those ungrateful Israelites. How quickly they forgot. But God bails them out once again and so begins 40 years of manna. God literally rained down “bread from heaven” to feed them.

He is our spiritual bread from heaven as well. He will indeed give us this day our daily bread when we ask him. We only have to ask.