What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 24)
The people stood in astonishment and fear, having witnessed the terrifying spectacle. Still suspended above them was the lifeless body of their executed King, and before them, the aftermath of His violent and dramatic end. Some who had been watching were immediately filled with remorse and regret—their eyes opened to the atrocity that had just been perpetrated. Even as the people realized their grave mistake, saying, “Truly, this was God’s Son” (Matthew 27:54), a soldier pierced Yeshua’s side, and blood and water spilled out from His body upon the ground (John 19:34). The people returned home beating their chests in grief (Luke 23:48). The Son of God was dead.
And they will look to Me whom they have pierced,
And they will have mourned over it
As a mourning over an only son,
And they will have been in bitter weeping for it
As a bitter weeping over the firstborn.
(Zechariah 12:10, mjlt)
Since it was the day before the Sabbath, one of the council members (who was a disciple of Yeshua, and had dissented over His death) received permission from the governor to take Yeshua’s body for burial (Mark 15:42f, Luke 23:50ff). The councilor was a rich man, and donated his own tomb that had been newly cut out a large mass of solid rock. That evening, Yeshua was wrapped in a clean linen shroud and laid inside the cavern, with a huge stone rolled in front of the entrance. The Jewish leadership—worried that the disciples would steal the body and then claim He had risen from the dead—secured the tomb, sealed the stone in place, and posted guards (Mat. 27:62ff).
After resting on the Sabbath as is commanded (Luke 23:56), several of the women headed to the tomb around dawn on the first day of the week (Mark 16:1f). Though they were expecting nothing more than to anoint the body for burial, there suddenly came a massive earthquake with a flash like lightning (Matthew 28:2f), and they saw that the tomb’s heavy stone door had been rolled away. Disoriented and dismayed, they stumbled inside. To their horror, they did not find Yeshua’s body and were afraid He had been taken (John 20:2). Yet as they looked on in wonderment—and as the guards shook with fear (Matthew 28:4)—they beheld a sight of Messengers from God who were declaring that the Crucified One was once again… alive (Luke 24:23). “Fear not!” came the exhortation. “Be not amazed.” “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but was raised!” (Matthew 28:5, Mark 16:6, Luke 24:5f).
By the extraordinary, explosive power of the Creator of all things, Yeshua forever defeated death and the authority of the grave. The Messiah abolished death’s dominion—it being utterly unable to hold Him—and, for all who believe in His rising again, He put a permanent end to mortality’s pain (1 Corinthians 15:42ff; Acts 2:24; 2 Timothy 1:10; Romans 6:9, 10:9f).
“THE DEATH WAS SWALLOWED UP—TO VICTORY! WHERE, O DEATH, IS YOUR victory? WHERE, O Death, IS YOUR STING?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55, mjlt)
“And we proclaim Good News to you: that the promise made to the fathers—this, God has completed to us (their children) in full, having raised up Yeshua [from the dead]… (Acts 13:32-33, mjlt)
The God of Love gave His only Son in order to open the final, long-awaited, promised door to our reconciliation with Him. The sins that Yeshua took away from us and paid for though His death were exchanged for the eternal salvation that He offers us through His life. By His selfless, loving, one-of-a-kind sacrifice, Yeshua has led the way for us to emulate and follow: to be buried with Him in victory over sin, and to be raised up with Him in triumph over death (Romans 6:4-10).
For the next several weeks, the resurrected Yeshua frequently appeared to His disciples, doing many other signs (John 20:30) and offering many convincing proofs that He was real and human and scarred and alive (Luke 24:38ff, Acts 1:3). He also expounded to them all the things written about Himself in the Scriptures, opening up their understanding beginning from the Torah, the Prophets and the Psalms (Luke 24:27,45).
Finally, appearing to them one last time, the Messiah Yeshua commissioned His disciples to proclaim in His Name the release from sins and restoration to the Creator—beginning from Jerusalem, to Judea, and even to the end of the earth (Luke 24:47, Acts 1:8). And after bringing them outside the city, He turned to them and raised up His hands, and then the everlasting King of Israel—the Jewish Messiah, the eternal Son of God—blessed them, was lifted up, and ascended out of their sight to be seated upon His heavenly, never-ending throne (Luke 24:50f, Acts 1:9, Hebrews 8:1). The disciples bowed down in worship, and then returned to Jerusalem with overabounding happiness and joy. And from that day on they were continually in the Temple, proclaiming and blessing Israel’s awesome, astounding, forgiving—and loving—God (Luke 24:52).
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