“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here; but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and on the third day rise.” Luke 24:5b–7 ESV
How do people respond to the Cross, and the death and Resurrection of Jesus?
At His cross we see indifference as the crowd watched the spectacle of the day. Followers of Jesus grieved and watched. Others mocked or blasphemed Jesus, some from their cruelty, others from their religious view that excluded seeing their need for the promised Savior who came to take away their sin.
And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the king of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” And the robbers who were with him also reviled him the same way. Matthew 27:39–44 ESV
The soldiers also mocked him…” Luke 23:37a ESV
The grace of God in the cross of Christ can transform anyone, even the one who ridicules Jesus.
One robber on the cross turned from belligerently mocking Jesus to belief in Him. The criminal saw the justice of his own punishment, and he recognized the innocence and deity of Jesus Christ. His belief is shown in his response to the other robber’s taunts to Jesus.
But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:40–43
How gracious our Lord is! He didn’t have to reassure the man that he would join Him, yet He tells him “…today you will be with me in paradise.” The sinner did not need to live righteously or earn his way into Christ’s presence. He didn’t have to do good works, be baptized, or say a prescribed set of words. All he needed was to believe in Christ Jesus.
The centurion and fellow soldiers had crucified many people before crucifying Jesus. Consider their response to Jesus’ death.
So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!” Matthew 27: 54 NKJV
How do we respond to Jesus’ death and resurrection?
Does Jesus’ Resurrection affect how we live life? Or do we dismiss His resurrection as a hoax? (Matthew 28: 11–15)
Are we too fearful to tell others that He was risen? (Mark 16:1–8)
The apostle Thomas doubted Jesus’ resurrection, refusing to believe unless he could see Jesus personally. Do we doubt and want proof before we wholeheartedly follow Jesus? (John 20:25)
Let’s believe! Let’s tell others of Jesus, as the women eventually did after learning that He was risen. (Luke 24:22, 23 and Matthew 28: 5–11a)
Lord, I believe You are risen from the dead. Help me to put my faith in You into action. Amen.
Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV Text Edition: 2016. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scriptures marked NKJV are taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION (NKJV): Scripture
taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION®. Copyright© 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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