Good For His Word! A Message for Resurrection Day
It is a marvelous trait to be good for your word. When you promise, you keep your promise. When you say you will be somewhere at a certain time, you’re there. When you report information, you tell truth. Sadly, we humans are not flawless in this regard, but Jesus was!
I was struck yesterday upon hearing the story of Jesus’ Passion according to Mark’s Gospel, that there were several occasions specifically connected to His death and resurrection, where Jesus shockingly proved good for His word.
For example, remember when Jesus sent disciples to secure the donkey for His Palm Sunday ride into Jerusalem, He told them exactly where to go, what would happen when they got there, and what to say (Mark 11:1-11). Jesus told them that someone would specifically ask: why are you doing this? And He told them what they should say in response. Well, every event went exactly as Jesus said it would, right down to the very words asked and answered, and of course the results of disciples returning with precisely the colt Jesus told them to get for Him to ride.
Another occasion concerned the preparation for the Passover celebration. The disciples asked Jesus about His choice of location. Jesus sent two of them into the city, with specific instruction about how they would meet a man carrying a jar of water (Mark 14:13). They were then to follow that man, and the house he entered would be the dinner location. It’s startling that the two disciples were instructed to TELL (not ask) that owner of the house, that the Teacher said, where is my guest room… (vs14). Surely pre-motivation by some Divine means had been executed here, in that the two disciples went out, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them… (vs16). Notice: it was not “almost as he had told them”, but “just as he had told them!”
What astounding occasions for disciples to learn the trustworthiness of the word of the Lord, right before Jesus’ crucifixion. Yet in spite of these previous proofs that Jesus is good for His word, disciples did not do so well on Resurrection Day. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome found the stone rolled away, when on the third day they entered the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus (Mark 16:1f). The Lord’s messenger met them and announced Jesus risen, no longer dead, not in the tomb. The messenger then said, Go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there just as He told you.’ (vs7) …just as He told you. This was yet another one of those occasions about which Jesus had given specific words. Jesus had made an appointment to meet disciples after His resurrection in Galilee. Jesus previously set up this meeting. He told them exactly how it would be. He gave His word. But disciples didn’t act obediently on the Lord’s word this time, at least not at first. Mark reports that …trembling and astonishment overwhelmed them. And they said nothing to anyone, since they were afraid (vs. 8).
But thanks be to God, fear did not prevail! Disciples did go to Galilee and the resurrected Jesus did meet them there. They ate together, they fellowshipped, and then Jesus sent them to continue His Kingdom building mission. Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation (vs15). And it wasn’t just instruction of what to do next. Jesus gave them (and us) His word in so many ways. Truths like: I am with you always… I go to prepare a place for you… I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also… In the world you will have trouble… I have overcome the world… I am coming soon…
Rejoice! Jesus, Messiah, Son of God, King of kings and Lord of lords, is always and in all ways, good for His word!
...and the journey continues, Pastor Jim