Jesus dramatically proved His identity as the Messiah sent to save His people from their sins. But He did not sacrifice Himself and atone for our sins in the way that even His closest disciples expected. Whether they thought He would supernaturally install Himself as Israel's new king or simply establish a more grassroots kingdom based on His growing popularity and dramatic healings, the disciples must have been shocked when their friend, their Lord, their Master told them what was about to happen.
Not only would He be falsely accused and arrested, but He would also be executed for no good reason. And then the apostles watched as the one who had healed the paralyzed man died the most agonizing death possible. How could this have happened?
I wonder if they secretly asked the same questions that the Roman guards used to taunt Jesus: "If You are really the King of the Jews, then why do not You come down off that cross and save Yourself?" (see Luke 23:37).
2 Ordinary Women
After the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
Jesus chose two ordinary women, one of whom probably had some baggage from her past before meeting her Savior. Keep in mind that this culture did not have high regard for women at the time. Yet they chose to go and attend to their beloved friend's body, intending to minister herbs and balms to impede the stench of decay.
Imagine their surprise when they arrived. Suddenly an earthquake occurred, and an angel appeared! The women, scared and shaky, follow the angel's instruction to go and tell the disciples.
Before they got there, however, the Lord Himself intercepts them. Mary and Mary Magdalene fall to the ground, not because of paralysis, but because they, too, have been healed in an instant. Their faith and hope have been restored. Jesus was indeed who He claimed to be: the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God now risen from the dead. Their trust in Him had not been misplaced.
And neither has yours, my friend.
Trust in the Lord—No Matter What!
No matter what your position in life, no matter what you may have done, no matter what disease you may be battling or what addiction you may be fighting, simply to look the Lord. He is alive and filled with power! He wants to heal you and give you the gift of His Holy Spirit to dwell in you, to be your comforter and friend, an advocate to the Father. If you take nothing else from our time together between these pages, I pray you will realize that it is never too late for your miracle!
You may have been waiting seven hours, 17 days or 70 years. You may not be able to imagine how your circumstances could ever change.
You may be so tired of hoping that you no longer try to believe your life will ever be any different. My friend, I have only one thing to say to you: Do. Not. Give. Up. Do not give up! Your journey will go on, and your healing has already begun! You are next—even if you do not feel like it right now. God has never given up on you. Do not give up on God!
This article is adapted from You Are Next: Destroy What Has Paralyzed You and Never Miss Your Moment Again (Charisma House, 2019) by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez. Rodriguez is the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the world's largest Hispanic Christian organization. He was named among the Top 100 Christian Leaders in America by Newsmax in 2018, and Time nominated him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013. Rodriguez has advised Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump and frequently consults with members of Congress to advance immigration and criminal justice reform as well as religious freedom initiatives. He is the best-selling author of Be Light and executive producer of two films. He likewise serves as co-founder and lead pastor of TBN Salsa. Rodriguez serves as senior pastor of New Season Christian Worship Center in Sacramento, California.
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