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Grasping the Victory Part 3

“And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you”, he said.
Luke 24:36

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We left off yesterday with the disciples thinking the women had flipped their lid with the story that “He is alive.”  Now they are hearing the same story from the two men from Emmaus when Jesus proves them right. In verse 36 we are told:

“And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them.

“Peace be with you”, he said.

Now, I’m sorry gals, but there is a part of this story that if it wasn’t so serious – it would be funny. Bear with me a moment…… Jesus does have a sense of humor – he displayed it more than once during his three years with the disciples. I believe He probably had a little fun with this.

 Get the picture: since back in verse 11 when the women first told them of Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples have finally started to believe the story really is true, Jesus has risen. But the story still seems too good to be true. He had been with them –  alive and powerful – for three solid years. Then in three short days everything had changed to doom and gloom. Their emotions had been going up and down like a yoyo. He is alive – he is dead – He is ALIVE….  They couldn’t comprehend – “grasp” it all. How can a dead man come back to life? If this were us – right now – this day – we’d be scared silly – excited, but still scared silly – just like they were.

Then suddenly– wa-la – there Jesus is, standing in the midst of them. Real. Alive. They were stunned. The yoyo goes up again……is it possible? How is it possible? They didn’t say a word – just stood there wide-eyed and scared to death. He must be a ghost.

                v.37: “But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost.“  NLT

I can relate. When Tom & I were dating in high school we went to his house one day for lunch. We walked in and didn’t hear his mom anywhere and the house was eerily quiet. Suddenly I heard a strange noise and spouted out without thinking, “I think I heard a ghost!” Well, can I say Tom was laughing so hard he literally fell on the floor, doubled over – for 15 minutes no less! To this day I don’t dare remind him of it, and if he thinks of it – well, it just starts another 15 minute fit of laughter. I promise I won’t be showing him this Daily Dose.

Now, back to verse 37 – here stands Jesus in the flesh – and their first thought was they were seeing a ghost. Jesus sure is more merciful than my boyfriend was – now my husband —-IS!  Jesus didn’t fall over in laughter – (I wonder if that was hard for him?) – he just asked them why they were afraid.

Isn’t it amazing – Jesus – God himself – didn’t laugh – but offered something they could wrap their minds around. He offered them hope and proof.

He offers it to us too………..

Until tomorrow,

Your traveling partner,

Brenda

 

photo credit: https://www.freeimages.com/photographer/Mr_Ristoo-35608

Grasping the Victory Part 2

“So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples-and everyone else-what had happened. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened. 11 But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it. 12 However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.”
Luke 24: 9-12

I shared with you yesterday how Tom & I had been going through an enormous struggle for four long years. Humanly speaking, there was nothing we could do to solve the problem and it looked as if the worst was about to happen because of it.  At the last minute Jesus did what He does best….. He intervened with His solution and it was far better than anything we ever could have done or hoped for. We were mesmerized by His grace and mercy and found it hard to comprehend while standing in the darkness of the “real world” – where the trouble lived.

We learned the disciples experienced the same thing but on a much grander scale. We learned that just like we often do, they ALL had forgotten the promises Jesus had made to them. As the week of horrors began to happen they got caught up in the darkness of the moment. When it’s dark – it’s dark  – and that is exactly when we must refer back to the promises made in the light.

Back in Luke 18:33 we see clearly the promise Jesus made that He would rise again on the third day. They had already learned that Jesus’ promise of problems had come true.  Would they believe his promise of victory? 

No. It’s just that simple. At that particular moment in time they did not believe.

They were hunkered down in the upper room, suffering from what they thought was the greatest defeat of their lives when the women who had gone to the tomb burst through the door with the incredible story of how Jesus was ALIVE! In Luke 24: 9-12 we read:

                       So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened. 11 But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it. 12 However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.”

Verse 24:11 says the men thought the announcement by the women was foolishness. The Amplified Bible clarifies it even more saying they thought it was an “idle tale (madness, feigned things, nonsense) and they did not believe the women”. Ok gals, I could have some fun chasing that rabbit ☺ – but I won’t this time….  Just suffice it to say I plan on doing a little teasing to the 11 when I get to meet them – just like the little bit of teasin’ I’ve already given to Tom!

The facts are, the story was true whether the men believed or not. We do know that Peter wasn’t quite as certain about the foolishness of the women’s story because he went to check it out for himself. In short order they all found out it was true because once again, Jesus showed up – in the flesh. Verse 36 says this:

“And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them.

“Peace be with you”, he said.

 

See, I told you Jesus always keeps his promises, even when it seems too good to be true.

Until tomorrow,

Your traveling companion,

Brenda

 

 

photo credit: https://www.freeimages.com/photographer/7rains-74038

Grasping the Victory Part 1

“The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man[a] must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”
Luke 24:5-7(NLT)

Introduction:  Sometimes victory is hard to grasp – to comprehend. A seemingly insurmountable challenge had plagued Tom & me for several years. We had not asked for this challenge, and we couldn’t do a thing to stop it, but we were honor bound to find a solution for it.  We prayed diligently for the Lord to send the solution but for four years – no answer came. The worst case scenario – which would be devastating to us – seemed about to happen when God’s answer came in one short phone call.  His answer was far above and beyond anything we had hoped for. We found ourselves stunned – unable to grasp the magnitude of what the Lord had just done for us. I stood in our living room, with the phone in my hand, speechless – and that’s saying something for me! I was frozen in place for several seconds,  (it seemed much longer) – before I could even respond to the caller on the other end of the phone.  I couldn’t believe it! It made no sense! How could the outcome be this good?   Well, there we were, after 4 years of praying and God answering in a way only He could, and we were both saying “Un-be-liev-a-ble!”  

Well, we aren’t the only ones who have ever had a hard time “grasping” or comprehending God’s Victory.  So did the disciples.  But once they did, their lives – and the world – would never be the same again!

Jesus and His followers were on their way back to Jerusalem and He had just told the disciples what would happen there. He predicted He would be handed over to the Romans, mocked, treated shamefully, spit upon, flogged and killed – and that is exactly what happened. But that wasn’t the end of the story. (Luke 18)

In Luke 24 (verified in Mark 16:10 and John 20:19) we find the disciples locked in the upper room, grieving, broken, defeated and so afraid they wouldn’t even leave the room. What seemed to all to be the absolute worst case scenario had happened. Jesus was dead. He was gone and so was the hope they had all staked their lives on. How could they have misunderstood so much? How could they have been so wrong? Now they feared for their lives and those of their families.

But, as often happens in life, just when we think we’re defeated, just when we think there is no more hope, Hope is exactly what shows up and it is always Him doing the showing!

That morning the women who had stood by Jesus’ side through thick and thin left the safety of the upper room to go the tomb and anoint the body of the One they loved. It was right there at the tomb – in the place of seemingly the greatest defeat – that they found victory instead!

                 

In an instant their fear turned to elation and their defeat turned to victory as they remembered what he had said. Reading on to verse 8 of Luke 24;

“Then they remembered He had said this.”

Jesus was not dead, He had risen just like he had promised.

My friend, take heart!  Jesus is mighty and powerful and He always shows up when you least expect Him! He always keeps his promises – even when we don’t remember them!

Until tomorrow,

Your traveling Partner,

Brenda

 

Photo credit: https://www.freeimages.com/photographer/jarpur-49678