Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
"Mindful of Jesus"
May 7, 2018
Now before faith came, we were held captive under the Law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the Law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
~ Galatians 3:23-26 (ESV)
How can you be sure Jesus is the Savior? No, it's not because He died; all of us will do that.
You can be sure Jesus is the Son of God not because of His dying, but because of His living.
That's right. The crucified Christ lives. Today, it's fashionable to say Jesus never died upon His cross. Authors and skeptics gleefully endorse the heresy that Jesus merely fainted and then revived in the cool, damp, borrowed tomb into which He was placed.
My friends, as much as I am able, I have searched through the ancient records. Never once have I ever found an example, any example, of someone being crucified and not dying -- unless he was reprieved at the last moment.
But, in all of history, Jesus is unique in that He rose from the dead.
Three days after He was buried, Jesus was seen alive. And then He was seen again, and then again, and then again. And not just seen. He also ate with the people to whom He showed Himself. He told them to touch His wounds. He breathed on them. He was real. The crucified Christ was, and remains, alive. And because He is alive and real and well, our faith in Him as our Redeemer is also alive and real and well.
Jesus' cross and empty tomb change everything. A few months ago, I found out one of my friends had died: Alzheimer's. I remember going to see him some time ago. The vast majority of the time he didn't know his family. He certainly didn't know me. I had come too late in his life for me to stick with him.
But he did know Jesus.
After our conversations, I always asked him if he would like to pray the Lord's Prayer with me. He always did. The memory of those words, given to him as a little child remained almost until his end. Together we prayed, and the atmosphere of his little room changed. Jesus was there, and my friend was at peace.
He was at peace when I recited the words of the 23rd Psalm.
You may remember those words: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.' A living Lord Jesus took my friend through the valley.
And now, as David said it, as Christians in every age have said it, because of the resurrected Lord my friend "is dwelling in the house of the Lord forever." The cross and the empty tomb make a difference because they bring us life, forgiveness, and an unending future with our Redeemer.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant Your servants to be free to proclaim Christ crucified and risen throughout the world. Where there are road blocks and stumbling stones, please clear the path for proclamation. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
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How can you be sure Jesus is the Savior?