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(18 August 2017)
We have been looking at some verses in the Word with the words,
'But God...' in them. In each of these verses, we have seen God make the difference, turning bad into good.
Today we are going to have a look at Acts 13:29b-30: "...they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead."
A few months ago we celebrated Easter. We focused on what our Lord Jesus did for us; how He gave His life so we can be saved.
Satan thought he had the victory the day they nailed Jesus to the cross. He thought he now had the upper hand, that he finally foiled God's plan. Ever since God told him in the Garden of Eden that there would one day be someone who would crush his head, he had been trying to stop that plan.
Just think about it. He influenced Cain to kill Abel. Maybe he thought Abel was the one God spoke about. He had the king of Egypt kill the babies of the Israelites. Maybe he thought killing the children would prevent God from executing His plan. And when that didn't work, and Jesus was born many years later, Herod was influenced by him to once again kill a lot of children, hoping to once and for all get rid of the Messiah.
But again it did not work. Then Satan tried tempting Jesus to get Him to abandon the plan the Father had for Him, but Jesus kept quoting Scripture to him, and again he failed.
And then he had a final plan.
He worked in the hearts of the Scribes and Pharisees, and they got so jealous, they just had to kill Jesus to get rid of Him.
So after they did all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb.
I can just see Satan throwing a big party for all his followers to celebrate their victory.
When He entered the scene, things changed in a way that Satan could never have anticipated.
God stepped in and raised Jesus from the dead.
Now He was the One who was victorious. He did exactly what God said He would do all those years ago when He told Satan about the One who would crush his head.
But God didn't stop there. In Ephesians 2:4-6, our first "But God..." verse we read: "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
God raised Jesus from the dead. And then He made us alive together with Him and raised us up with Him.
God stepped in and made the difference.
Jesus said He came that we may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance, to the full, till it overflows.
And because "But God raise Him from the dead", that is exactly what we have - life in abundance!