TITLE: Really, Really Dead
DATE: Sept. 25, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT:. Matthew 27:62–63 - ESV - The next day, that is, after the day of gPreparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how hthat impostor said, while he was still alive, i‘After three days I will rise.’
When I took Latin, I memorized a little poem. In doing do I joined the ranks of all students who have in the last 300 years studied Latin. The poem is:
Latin is a language, as dead as it can be. First it killed the Romans, and now it’s killing me.”
To the best of my knowledge, when a language dies, it usually stays dead. Oh, it may be examined by scholars but it doesn't get resurrected. Jesus’ resurrection. That is what the priests and Pharisees were trying to prevent when they came to Pilate and said, “We want to make sure Jesus is dead.” They had a good idea.
You never know when someone is going to cheat death. It does happen, you know.
Not so long ago, a Romanian woman fainted when she opened her front door and found her husband standing there. Her husband, Neagu (say: “Knee-ah-goo”) had choked on a fish bone, stopped breathing and collapsed. The family doctor, knowing about Neagu's heart condition, promptly declared him dead of a heart attack.
Three days later, gravediggers at the cemetery heard a knocking coming from the inside of a casket.
They opened Neagu's coffin to find him, surrounded by wilted flowers, very much alive. When Neagu arrived home his wife, thinking he was a ghost, refused to let him spend his nights at the house. Neagu had an even more difficult time with the authorities. It took Neagu more than three weeks to convince the authorities to strike his death certificate from all of their records.
Yes, the priests had a good idea in making sure Jesus was dead.
Skeptics might say, “See, people do come back from the grave.” I would agree. When a person chokes on a fishbone and a doctor misdiagnoses the illness, it is possible for that person to come back from the grave.
But nobody ever came back from a Roman crucifixion.
Roman death squads crucified tens of thousands of victims. In every one of those thousands of cases, when they took the condemned off his cross, he was dead. These squads took pride that their charges were dead. These squads knew their own lives depended upon the crucified being dead. That’s why they speared the crucified in the heart, or broke his legs, they wanted to make sure he was absolutely, completely, totally dead. There was no room for exceptions.
That’s why, I’m glad when the Pharisees and Priests said, “Make sure Jesus is dead.” I agree with them. If these doubters and skeptics are content that Jesus was deceased, I know it was so. I know that Jesus has truly paid the price for my redemption. I know that the Lord has accepted His Son’s sacrifice made for us.
And I know that when Jesus rose on the third day, it really was from the dead.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks that You are my Redeemer, not a deceiver. You have given Your very life so that I might have life eternal. May I treat that sacrifice with the respect I should. In Your Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html