ODJ: Jesus, Tragic?

November 10, 2016 

READ: Colossians 2:12-17 

With [Jesus] you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead (v.12).

Crumpled tissues littered the floor. Tears had been flowing as I felt sympathy for the two main characters in a novel I was reading. The two—a husband and wife—had suffered deeply during the course of the story, enduring miscarriages and a failed adoption. They unfairly lost their good reputation. In the end they lost each other.

A tragedy is a story in which the main characters succumb to the difficult circumstances in their lives. Some might call Jesus’ life a tragedy. As an adult, He was homeless and often misunderstood. The Pharisees harassed and hated Him. Even Jesus’ disciples occasionally doubted His divinity. When He truthfully said He was the Son of God, the authorities convicted Him of blasphemy (Mark 14:61-65). As punishment— although innocent of any sin—Roman soldiers tortured, mocked, and crucified Him.

Jesus, tragic? No way. His death was the foundation for the most important triumph of all time—the resurrection! (John 20:11-14). Paul wrote that God “raised Christ from the dead” (Colossians 2:12). Beyond the flesh-and-blood miracle of Jesus’ resurrection, He “disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross” (v.15).

Without Jesus, our lives would be tragic. We would live and die in our sin with no hope of escaping its consequence. Paul said, without the resurrection, our “faith is useless and . . . we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world” (1 Corinthians 15:16-19). But because Jesus is alive today, we know that He has “canceled the record of the charges against us and [taken our sin] away by nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). That’s victory, not tragedy.

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day plan: Acts 21:18-36

How would you answer the question Jesus asked Martha in John 11:26? According to Acts 2:32-33, where is Jesus today? 
How have you experienced the power of Jesus’ resurrection in your life? What value is there in meditating on Calvary and Jesus’ triumph over death?