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Matthew 26:32, 28:1-7, Mark 16:3, John 20:19, Revelation 22:20

For Children’s Church this Easter Sunday, we brought a colorful bag with chocolate crosses.  We sang, “Hear the Bells Ringing” and I read the verse that goes with the hymn, Matthew 28:6.  The verse says, “He is not here: for He is risen, as He said.”

Let’s take a closer look at the above verse and other related Scripture.  The “angel of the Lord” came from Heaven to roll the stone of Jesus’ tomb back.  Why did the angel move the stone?  It certainly wasn’t for Jesus.  In John 20:19, Jesus unexpectedly greeted the disciples after going through a locked door.  No, a large stone wouldn’t stop Jesus.  The women going to Jesus’ tomb, however, were concerned about the stone obstacle.  The angel moved the stone for them.

With the appearance of the angel came not only the moving of the stone but an earthquake.  The tomb guards were shaking “and became like dead men.”  When we think of the deceased, we know that they are not standing, but lying down.  The fearful guards were probably lying down on the ground in front of the tomb.

The angel dealt with the stone and the guards and sat on the stone.  I picture the women possibly struggling to keep walking with the earthquake (if it wasn’t just around the tomb), being afraid yet pleasantly surprised to see the guards out of commission, feeling a new fear and maybe gasping greatly as they witnessed the intimidating appearance of the angel of the Lord.  The angel knocked out two obstacles before the women arrived, and so apparently knew they were coming.  When they saw the angel, the angel said, “He is not here: for He is risen, as He said.”  By saying this, the angel revealed he knew the words Jesus spoke while on Earth and expected Jesus’ words to come true.  To me, “as He said” could show a little irritation that people on Earth didn’t remember what Jesus said in Matthew 26:32, and they appeared not to believe what Jesus said would happen.

What did Jesus say in Matthew 26:32?  He said, “But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”  After the angel told the women, “as He said,” he spoke, “Come and see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples:  ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.  There you will see him.  ‘Now I have told you.”

The angel believed that whatever Jesus said would happen would come to pass.  Jesus said He would rise from the dead and He did.  In Revelation, Jesus said He’s coming.  I believe Him!

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Luke 2:8-20, 6:12, 9:10-17, 13:10-17

On Good Friday night, my family watched the movie, Jesus (1979).  We had watched it several times before, but this time I took notes.  This movie is based on the book of Luke and is careful to adhere to Scripture.  Still, I wanted to analyze how the movie helped enrich our understanding of what Jesus and others might have experienced.

In Luke 2:8-20, at the beginning of Jesus’ earthly life, shepherds reside in fields at night, guarding flocks from whatever lurked in the dark.  They would surely have been prepared for any predators.  What they didn’t expect was an angel.  The Bible lets us know that the shepherds were frightened.  The movie did well showing shepherds initially doing their job with one shepherd even playing a flute-like instrument.  But when the angel arrived, the flute playing stopped and you see one shepherd stop petting a lamb, get up, stagger, and stare.  It felt realistic.

In Luke 6:12, it’s mentioned that Jesus spent the whole night praying.  There was a convincing scene for that.  Imagine staying up the entire night praying!  That’s amazing!

In Luke 9:10-17, Jesus miraculously fed more than 5,000 people with a small amount of bread and fish.  Everyone ate until they were full.  The movie added cheering people when the food was being distributed, which I thought was a nice touch.  It could have happened-Who doesn’t want a free all you can eat buffet?

In Luke 13:10-17, A woman who must have had kyphosis, praised God after Jesus healed her.  In the movie, the elderly actress spoke heartfelt dialogue as she moved to frame Jesus’ face with her hands saying, “Praise to the Lord!  God keep you Rabbi.”  I got teary with her believable lines.

Jesus is a good movie.  It prepared our hearts for Easter Sunday.   The movie makes me think of a framed quote in my dentist’s office that says, “It was not the nails that held Jesus to the cross but rather his love for us.”

 

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