February 13, Reading 3 – Matthew 28

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

He is risen! Every Sunday we remember this glorious event. Its light is to gladden every week and direct your paths into Christ’s ways. One practice over the centuries is to read from one of the four Gospel resurrection accounts each Sunday.

SJA Notes

“… With fear and great joy,”

With fear and great joy!

See the outworking of the reality of Jesus here in the his friends who were waiting at the tomb.

What hope they must have held dear in their hearts to sit and wait at the place where the dead body of Jesus was laid.

“And behold, Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!'”

Can you imagine this! Such fulfillment of the hope – Made real – Jesus alive and raised and talking to them.

Praise God, what a Saviour we have – Raised from the dead.

* Dear Father,

Please guide us each day, draw us onwards to You, grow us more like Jesus every single day.

Thank You that He is the raised and risen Christ, our King and Saviour – That death could not defeat Him, but He defeated death forever!

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

Amen.

February 12, Reading 3 – Matthew 27:45-66

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Amongst the many important issues and points raised in this passage, I would highlight this one: Jesus was forsaken by God the Father. He paid the penalty for my sin and yours. This is what the Bible calls the second death. (Revelation 2:11, 20:6,14, 21:8)

SJA Notes

“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.”

How much depth is in this verse alone. To see the Son, God’s Word become flesh, to see Him yielding up His Spirit.

It must have been a loud voice like nobody has ever heard before or since.

Because this was the being who is the energy by which creation came into being _and_ which continues to sustain all things.

And creation responds doesn’t it. Strange unexplainable (by human thinking) events happen.

This is our King. He gave Himself up as a ransom for many, for us.

Praise God!

* Lord God,

We praise You, for You have saved us.

We praise Jesus, the Son, what a Saviour!

Halellujah!

Amen.

February 11, Reading 3 – Matthew 27:27-44

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

These religious people believed that if Jesus was truly God’s Son then He could never die – God would stop it. We Australians are the same today – we get upset with God over unjust suffering. God takes Jesus’ willing though unjust suffering and uses it to break the power of sin – death itself!

SJA Notes

Here we have in a sense the most terrible even in history, and Matthew speeds through his description.

“And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots.”

Matthew gives us, in this passage, a multitude of horrible decisions and cruelty all wrapped up in a few verses.

The soldiers, the robbers, the chief priests, the scribes, the elders. They all mocked Jesus.

And they thought they had beaten him, squashed this pretender to their own power-base.

C.S. Lewis writes the words of Aslan that are rather a fitting description of what is happening here.

As Aslan says, after he has come back to life, “It means that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.”

* Gracious Father,

Thank You that though we see in this passage great brokenness and sin, it shows us Your plan – To save Your people.

Thank You for Jesus, without fault, who took our punishment, laid on His shoulders.

Thank You that You have saved us through Jesus.

Amen.