But God

March 21, 2017

 

Scripture: 39 “And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him to life on the third day. Then God allowed him to appear, 41 not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen in advance to be his witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all — the living and the dead. 43 He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.” [Acts 10:39-43 NLT]

There are those in society who pretty much believe what they see, hear, or read about in the news. There are others who question everything. Then there are those who look for and/or see conspiracies. Before I go any farther, conspiracies are a reality in some cases, but not in every case. I know a guy who has spent a lot of time and energy looking into various conspiracy theories throughout history. Because I know him I have learned that there are far more of these conspiracy theories than I ever thought possible. I have also learned that there are far more conspiracy theorists than I ever thought possible. Maybe there is a conspiracy behind conspiracy theories?

There is a link between conspiracy theories and the Bible. Usually, conspiracy theories happen because there is something that happens that people cannot immediately, or easily, explain. For instance, so many of the conspiracy theories behind President John F. Kennedy’s assassination try to explain away how one man could make two pretty accurate shots from a lousy position in such a short amount of time. The New Testament sparked a few conspiracy theories of its own as the authors wrote out the account of Jesus’s resurrection. You have to admit that at first take it is a pretty amazing claim that a controversial religious teacher was alive after being crucified, dead, and buried. It would be pretty difficult to explain that one away using the conventional knowledge of the day.

Some have conspired to say that Jesus fainted on the cross and wasn’t really dead, or the disciples stole his body, or that the disciples were hallucinating when they saw Jesus alive after his crucifixion. Whatever the conspiracy might be, believers in Jesus have rejected them and claimed the resurrection. The resurrection is the central defining doctrine and claim of the Christian faith. To explain it away would be to deny the truth of the Old Testament prophecy, eyewitness accounts, and the claims of Jesus himself. As author, pastor, and theologian Justo Gonzalez has written, “Without the resurrection there really isn’t much to Christianity.”

There is a simple phrase in The Book of Acts that helps us understand the truth of today’s Scripture. The phrase is only two words long. Luke writes that The Apostle Peter told the crowds about how Jesus had been put to death by crucifixion. Then we read the two simple words of Peter, “But God.” Peter tells them that Jesus had been put to death by human hands, BUT GOD raised him to life three days later! It’s hard to conspire against God! The reason I believe, and millions of Christians believe, is because of those two words. The darkness tried to overcome God’s plan of salvation in the light of Jesus. But God would not let that happen. God’s plan was to send his one and only Son into the world so that all who believe in Him would not perish but have eternal life. Death thought it had won, BUT GOD!

What will be your BUT GOD moment today? What has seemed to get the best of you and you are about to, or have, given up? These are the “but God” moments in our life. These are the times when things seem the darkest and we can’t see a way out, but God knows the way out and God’s light will never be overcome by the darkness. As dark as the grave was for Jesus the light of God’s loving plan of salvation was brighter. Keep your eyes and heart open to your BUT GOD moment today. Trust that the same God that raised Jesus from the dead can resurrect the broken parts of your life as well.

Prayer: God of resurrection hope, thank you for raising Jesus to life on the third day. Thank you for giving me new life by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I know I don’t deserve your grace, but God! Empower me through your Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus to help others to experience your grace today. Amen.

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