Day 221: August 9, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Matthew 28:5-8
5 But the angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. In fact, He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there.’ Listen, I have told you.” 8 So, departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell His disciples the news.

Mark 16:2-8
2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they went to the tomb at sunrise. 3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb for us?” 4 Looking up, they observed that the stone—which was very large—had been rolled away. 5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; they were amazed and alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he told them. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has been resurrected! He is not here! See the place where they put Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there just as He told you.’” 8 So they went out and started running from the tomb, because trembling and astonishment overwhelmed them. And they said nothing to anyone, since they were afraid.

Luke 24:1-8
1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 They went in but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothes. 5 So the women were terrified and bowed down to the ground. “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” asked the men. 6 “He is not here, but He has been resurrected! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?” 8 And they remembered His words.

John 20:1
1 On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay.
—Matthew 28:6

He's the Only One Who Could Do It
by Cliff Duren, Music & Worship Associate Minister, Brentwood Campus

Two years ago, I had the privilege of going to Israel for the first time. My wife and I will be leading worship there next summer for a conference. I can’t wait for her to experience all the things I got to experience—the Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Garden of Gethsemane, and many other places where Jesus walked.

That experience gave me a fresh perspective on scripture and drew me closer to the Lord. The entire trip builds up to the last day—the day when you get to witness the empty tomb with your own eyes.

I’ve known Christ rose from the dead for as long as I can remember, but I’ll never forget the sense of gratitude I felt when I walked into that empty tomb. That visual will forever be etched in my mind.

It’s a constant reminder that Jesus Christ defeated death, hell, and the grave. As a result, we have the privilege to be called His sons and daughters and will spend eternity with Him in Heaven.

These passages are filled with the joyful news that our Savior has risen. There’s so much we can pull from these powerful verses. Here are a few thoughts:

We serve the one true God.

Jesus is the only One who has ever defeated death. He did so by rising again three days after He was crucified as an innocent man for our sins.

Don’t ever be swayed or confused by growing false doctrines and religions around us. No other religion’s god did what Jesus Christ did more than 2,000 years ago. Their gods are all dead now, never to rise again.

One day, EVERYONE will join us and proclaim that Jesus is Lord of all (Philippians 2:10-11).

We can believe God when He speaks to us.

Matthew 28:6 uses the phrase “just as He said.” The angel was quick to remind the women that Christ prophesied His death, burial, and resurrection.

Everything He ever said would happen happened. And everything He ever said and taught is absolutely true. We can trust His word and His promises—all of them.

God is the One who removes walls in our life.

In the Mark 16 passage, the women are talking on their way to the tomb and wondering how they’ll move the huge stone in order to enter and anoint the body of Jesus.

Verse 4 says, “Looking up, they observed that the stone—which was very large—had been rolled away.”

This is a great picture of hope for us. We often think we have to handle our own obstacles and hindrances, but we must remember that God is fighting for us! He goes before us and will be our strength and help. Just call on Him.

God is the One who moved that stone—and He can move barriers in your life.

Reflection Questions

  1. What are some other ways in scripture that Christ establishes Himself as the one true God? Having an answer to this question is vital, as there comes an ever-growing need to defend our faith.
  2. What promises of God do you need to claim today? Find at least one in scripture that will encourage you in your walk with Him today.
  3. Is there a “rock” in your life right now? Spend time asking for God’s help and claim your dependence on Him in this situation.

About the Author

Cliff Duren

Originally from Georgia, Cliff graduated from Shorter University with a music education degree and from Lee University with a masters degree in church music. Before he came to Brentwood Baptist in 2012, he served as the Staff Arranger at First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Georgia for six years. During that time, he was nominated for five Dove Awards. In addition to leading worship to Brentwood Baptist on Sundays, he also arranges, orchestrates, and produces music resources for various publishers and produces multiple artist recordings. Cliff is married to April and they have three children: Mac, Sydney, and Emma Kate.