6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: What the resurrection means to us today

No one slept well that night in Jerusalem

 Caiaphas, the high priest, the one who rent his clothes when Jesus supposedly blasphemed by saying “He was the Son of God” tossed and turned

 Everything was going according to plan, they had got permission from Pilate to kill him, and those arrogant Romans had even done their dirty work for them

 Everything seemed to be falling into place until that unusual darkness came at midday and interrupted the slaying of the lambs for the Passover feast

 Then that crazy man Judas came storming into the temple and threw the 30 pieces of silver onto the temple floor

 But that was nothing compared to the shock of the earthquake that shook Jerusalem around 3:00pm and there were reports that some of the dead had risen from their tombs and walked into the city

 But the most unusual occurrence as he tossed in his bed trying to put the disturbing events of the day behind him was the report that the temple veil had been rent from top to bottom

 He even witnessed the event himself as he was there organising the sacrificing of the Passover lambs

 What did that mean?

 He put the events out of his head and smugly consoled himself that at least that upstart from Galilee was out of the way and despite what had happened that day, things could now get back to normal

Just a few blocks down the road, Pilate too tossed and turned

 The ramblings of his superstitious wife about a crazy dream warning him off this innocent man rattled around and around his head

 Normally, the decision to end someone’s life didn’t phase him, it rarely caused him any loss of sleep

 But this time, it was different, he was filled with doubts and even some regret

 He shouldn’t have caved into the Jews request as he knew they only wanted to get rid of Jesus for political reasons

 He would show them next time they came asking for some favor

On the other side of town the scene was pretty much the same

 Mary, the mother of Jesus, quietly sobbed as she tried to get the horrible impression of her son being crucified out of her mind

 Some of the other ladies sat around trying to console her

 The disciples sat a safe distance away with their heads bowed ashamed they had run away and hid when their Lord needed them the most

 Now he was dead

 When he died, their dreams died with Him

 They had really thought He was the Messiah, after all look at the miracles he had performed

 what about his revolutionary teachings, were they just going to be consigned to the dust bin of history

With the passing of time, Jerusalem would have returned to normal

 Jerusalem had always been associated with controversy

 in fact it was beginning to return to normal just a few days later

 sure, the rumors were still circulating about what had happened on that fateful day, but people had to make a living and get on with life

 Caiaphas even had a better night

 That is until another earthquake rocked the city early on Sunday morning

 Caiaphas hurried to the temple to see if it had been damaged just in time to meet the Roman guards who had been assigned to guard the tomb

 They rushed in looking like death

Then came the fateful news which rocked the religious establishment to its foundations– “He is Risen – the tomb is empty!”

 They were shocked but not stupid enough to imagine the implications

 They paid a huge sum of money for the guards to say his disciples had stolen the body

 But it was useless, the news began to spread from other sources all over the city

 The cry – “He is risen” echoed across the city

Its interesting the response of the three groups to the news of Jesus’ resurrection

 Caiaphas and the Jews rejected it completely

 They had seen the miracles, heard the message, were told directly by the soldiers who saw the angels, yet they deliberately tried to hide the truth

 Pilate’s response is one of indifference

 What are those crazy Jews up to now? His response to the resurrection was the same as it earlier - He washed his hands of the whole affair

 In sharp contrast, Mary and the disciples response was one of uncontrolled joy

 Peter and John rushed to see the empty tomb

 They rushed around the streets of Jerusalem proclaiming the good news

We see the same response to the Risen Christ in the world today

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