Past Issues

Jesus -- the Guru #47

 “Jesus the Master, Savior, and Lord”


There have been many spiritual masters. Many have taught what Jesus taught. Many have spoken against suppression of the poor and of women and of outsiders. Many spokespersons of God have been persecuted by religious authorities. Many good people have been killed by jealous leaders.


However, only one person has made the claims that Jesus did. Only one person rose from the dead. Jesus’ resurrection is what separates Him from all other spiritual masters. Just as at His birth, at His Baptism, and at His Transfiguration, the Father publicly affirmed the work of His Son, so now through Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus said He was going to give His life as “ransom” for sin (Mt. 20:28; remember the meaning of the name “Jesus:” Mt. 1:21). Jesus’ resurrection proclaims to all the world that the Father has accepted this perfect sacrifice. The price for all human sin has been paid.


This is why we can call Jesus not only Master but Savior.


A. The Master as Savior


Read Matthew 28:1-15.



1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.


2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.


5The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”


8So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.9Suddenly Jesus met them.“Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

The Guards’ Report


11While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened.12When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money,13telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’14If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.



Notes:


1 – The discovery of the empty tomb came on Sunday, the day after the Sabbath rest. This is the reason Christians traditionally worship on Sundays. Each Sunday as a celebration of the first Resurrection Day.


2 – Jews bury their dead.     At that time, wealthy people (like Joseph of Arimathea, Mt. 27:57-61) had tombs carved into caves. To keep out robbers, they would seal the tomb by constructing a ramp and propping a huge one-ton stone on the ramp. When they wanted to seal the tomb, they would unloose the prop, the stone would roll down, and the entrance to the tomb would be sealed. The fact of the huge stone makes the story concocted by the Jewish religious leaders (vv. 12-13) all the more incredible.


 


vv. 5, 10 – In other gospel accounts of Jesus’ greetings after His resurrection also, it is reported that Jesus repeatedly used the statement: “Be not afraid.”


Why might the disciples be afraid at seeing Jesus in His resurrected glory? (Remember Mt. 17:1-9)


Jesus had called them to be His apostles. If they faithfully continued His ministry, Jesus knew what opposition they would be facing. (Remember Mt. 10:26) Note the last sentence of Matthew’s gospel: “And surely I am with you, always to the very end of the age.” (Mt. 28:20)


What does the resurrected Jesus’ call and promise mean to you as a present day disciple?


In other New Testament gospels and writings, Jesus’ promise to be with us is not for this life only but also for all eternity. We see in Jesus’ resurrection that we also will be raised at the end of time. We see that our body will be like His resurrected, transfigured body. We have the assurance of life after death because Jesus did it first. The Son has returned to the Father in heaven, but He will not forget us. He will bring His disciples to Himself for all eternity.


Jesus says, “Be not afraid” also in the face of death, because “I will be with you” forever. What does that assurance mean to you as one of His disciples?


Looking forward to your email today,


Yesudas


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