“On Your Mark”
Freedom in the Risen Christ (Chapter 14 vv 27-31)
The pathway to Gethsemane is marked by this amazing disclosure by Jesus (vv27-31). He never fills his disciples with false hope, the truth of their next couple of days is made clear to them. They are fore-warned that they are going to be overwhelmed to most awesome degree. Like the bottom had fallen out of their world, and it will happen because it is laid down, it is written in Scripture, says Jesus (Zechariah 13.7). So when Peter begins to protest (v29) he is arguing with the inscripturated word of God, and he is arguing with Jesus. It is God himself who will strike (v27b) the Shepherd, stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted (Isaiah 53.4). And the effect on the disciples is they will be scattered, all of them. The down-side is followed with the up (v28), the resurrection note. But how many of them took note, even heard, never mind believed these words, especially during those three dark and awful days. I think most of us so often when listening to God’s word only hear the things we want to hear. But his resurrection had been declared by Jesus over and over, and now he tells them again. What a blessing, what rejoicing these words would bring to these men in time, and especially so Peter, when finally they understood them, and of course to us.
The resurrection is the dimension that brings immense joy into our Sabbath worship services, or should do. The authentication of our justification is Jesus resurrection (Romans 1.4). And so we can sing with great enthusiasm;
Jesus, he lives, my sins are gone,
Hallelujah, he arose;
Jesus, he lives, He is the Son,
Jesus, victorious. (James R. Hamilton)
Set free from all condemnation (Romans 8.1), from the power of sin (Romans 6.11), free from the condemnation and rigours of the law (Romans 10.4), though not as our rule for life (Galatians 5.13-14); free from the world (Colossians 2.6; Romans 8.2); free from Satan and his evil spirits (Ephesians 2.6; 1John 3.8); free from fear (Romans 8.15; 2Timothy 1.7; 1John 4.18); free from our sinful natures (Romans 8.4-8); free from a critical spirit of others, even when they have failed (Matthew 7.1-5; Galatians 6.1); free from depression and despair because we have such an abundant hope. The Old Testament gave such hope (Psalm 42 & 43), but how much more the empty tomb. I tell you if Christ has made you free, you are free indeed (Galatians 5.1).
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)