Every time I think of Jesus’ resurrection, I get all happy inside and wish I knew how to play the trumpet so I could do a little fanfare. This is such good news people! Jesus is alive!
I’ve been writing my own psalms inspired by the actual Psalms and today I just happened to land on Psalm 98. I thought I would share since it fits the occasion so well.
Sing a song of praise everyone for the King of Heaven has conquered death! Shout praise to the God who created the wold, then saved it! Never before has anyone conquered death for the sake of His murderers. Shout praise to the God whose infinite love has saved you from hell! No other man or god has made such a sacrifice that ended in such victory: Jesus Christ willingly subjected Himself to torture and death, never even opening His mouth in protest, so those dead in sin could live forever in God’s light and love. And then! And then!! Victory!!! Death vanquished by Life! Our risen savior is King in Heaven so PRAISE! Lift up your hands and shout! Throw back your heads and sing! Musicians, at attention! Trumpets, trombones, tubas and cornets – blare a fanfare for the God of heaven! Violins, cellos, zithers, lutes, erhus, bow your strings in a sweeping welcome to God Almighty. Flutes, clarinets, saxophones, oboes, bassoons, and pan pipes, rams horns, didgeridoo join in! Now percussion lend us your beat and let’s bring the house down! Everyone giving all they’ve got to praise their creator! But why stop with people and instruments? Birds, soar in formation before your king! Fish, dance your fishy dance for the One who made you. All animals everywhere – you’ve been waiting for this day – make the best noise you’ve got in honor of your king! Everything on earth that’s been created by God – let’s hear it for your King!!! Welcome your risen king as He comes to put everything right. At last! His kingdom has come!
Whoo-hoo! Ok, I’m all jazzed up! Let’s here about what Jesus has to say.
- V1 – It’s still the women who are faithful (and perhaps hopeful?)
◊ Do I wait on God with hope when it seems all is lost?
- V2-4 – You’d think guarding the tomb of a dead man would be boring… I think it’s funny that the soldiers were paralyzed with fear and the women weren’t.
- V5-6 – Yum-ta-da-tum-ta-ta-tumm!! (That’s my trumpet fanfare.) So many extraordinary things happening at once! And in one verse the fate of humanity is altered forever.
- V7 – Jesus already promised His disciples that He would do this (26:32).
- V8 – “…fear and great joy.” – What are they afraid of? That it is a hoax? Of a Messiah who can rise from the dead? I suppose that is a little fearsome.
- V9-10 – They touched Him so they knew He was real. He allowed them to worship Him because He is God.
- V11-15 – Again, no matter what they saw or heard, the elders would not be persuaded to believe. This would have been a good time for them to admit they were wrong and seek out the risen Messiah. Instead, they come up with a logically flawed story that they know they just made up! If the guards were sleeping, how would they know the disciples stole the body?!
- V16 – Matthew doesn’t mention this, but this is one of the few times when the disciples didn’t obey right away – although this time the instructions came from a messenger and not straight from Jesus to the disciples. John 20:19 tells us they were meeting behind locked doors in Jerusalem out of fear when Jesus appeared to them there. It wasn’t until after that that they went to meet him in Galilee (John 21)). But for the most part the disciples seem to do as they’re told. They didn’t always have faith things would work out, but they were pretty consistently obedient in following orders.
◊ Do I obey with my actions, even when it doesn’t make sense in my head?
- V17 – “They worshipped but some doubted.” – Is this referring to Thomas? To people who were standing there looking at HIm? What does this mean exactly? Did they worship Him in spite of their doubt? Or were they unwilling to worship in spite of the evidence that He was God?
- V18 – Here’s the note from my ESV: “In his risen state, Jesus exercises absolute authority throughout heaven and earth, which shows His deity. His authority has been given by the Father, which indicates that He remains subject to the Father (1 Cor. 15:28).
- V19-20 – Because Jesus is King of heaven and earth we should teach people how to be citizens in His kingdom based on what He taught. Baptism is the new circumcision so now women can join in the covenant. “Teaching them to observe all I commanded.” – Making disciples doesn’t mean baptizing people and leaving them on their own. We have to teach them to grow in Christ and, in the process, we become more like Christ. Remember how high He set the bar in chapters 5-7? Good thing He “will be with us always”. It is only through His Spirit – the Spirit that conquered death and sin – that we can obey His commands and be productive citizens in His kingdom.
◊ Who am I making a disciple? Who am I teaching to obey His commands? Do I teach anything apart from what He commanded?
Wrap up your quiet time by praying through the following questions:
- Based on this passage of Scripture, what can I thank God for?
- What do these verses tell me about God and His character?
- Based on this passage, is there anything I need to confess to God and ask forgiveness for?
- What do these verses remind me to pray for others?
- What do these verses move me to pray for myself?