Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Seeing the Obvious Finally

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to Him. "Listen," he said, "we're going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence Him to die. Then they will hand Him over to the Romans to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day He will be raised from the dead."
- Matthew 20:17-19 (NLT)

I don't know why it is that sometimes you see something that is totally obvious but it just doesn't penetrate your brain. I was reading Matthew 20 last week and when I came to the verses above, a light bulb came on for me. I don't know why but I never realized that Jesus had so clearly, concisely, blatantly and accurately foretold His death and resurrection. For some reason, in ignorance I always thought He had spoken in code, giving only obscure hints as to what was ahead. But that's not how it was. Jesus told twelve people in a group that He would be betrayed, beaten and killed . . . specifically, crucified. Oh, and three days later He would rise from the dead. No "hinting" there . . . he was pretty plain-spoken.

This was on my mind yesterday when in chapel at Taylor University Fort Wayne we sang "All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises" by Paul Baloche. The lyrics include:

You lived You died
You said in three days You would rise
You did You're alive
You rule You reign
You said You're coming back again
I know You will
And all the earth will sing Your praises
And all the earth will sing Your praises

In yet another "oh duh" moment, singing those words I realized that if Jesus accurately predicted in detail His death and resurrection, then He is trustworthy to have correctly foretold His return to earth:

"Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am."
- John 14:1-3 (NLT)

The realization that Jesus batted 1.000 in His first prophecy was a huge encouragement to have confidence that He also will bat 1.000 with regard to His promise to come back to receive His people . . . even if it takes two thousand years . . . or more.

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