April 6: The Empty Tomb That Sets Jesus Apart

Read Acts 5:12-40

Approaching the end of our journey to the empty tomb, we find the power of Jesus working through the disciples as they preached boldly and spread the truth about Him and the life He gives. We also find Jesus’ enemies threatened by their courage.

From the reading, did you pick up on Gamaliel’s counsel? He was drawing a parallel between Jesus and two other men—Judas and Theudas. Together, Jesus, Judas, and Theudas had three things in common:

  1. All three were counter-cultural.
  2. People rallied around them.
  3. They were all killed.

In the cases of Judas and Theudas, the movement died out with the leaders. Gamaliel was leading up to a point related to Jesus: “No need to kill the apostles. This Jesus thing is probably like the situation with Judas and Theudas. It will die out too . . . unless it is really of God.”

So did it die out? No! Now, 2000 years later, it is stronger than ever with hundreds of millions proclaiming and celebrating Christ. It did not die out, because it really is an unstoppable movement of God.

What is it that made Christ’s story different from that of Theudas and Judas? It was the resurrection that set him apart from these two other “no-names.” Unlike the others, Jesus rose from the dead three days after His crucifixion. As such, He is still at work. Through faith in the immortal Christ, we are given eternal life. Jesus Himself put it like this: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die” (Jn. 11:25).

It is no surprise, then, that the Immortal Christ set into motion an unstoppable movement. Here is the way that Jesus stated it in Matthew 16:18 “. . . on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” The Church of Jesus Christ remains strong today because Jesus is set apart from people who died and stayed in the grave like Judas and Theudas. His resurrection power moves His Church forward. How are you contributing to this movement?

sbk

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