Freed From Decay

Todays Reading Acts 13

Happy Easter Monday

The passage for today’s blog is a beautiful complement of the Easter Resurrection story. Paul and Barnabas are sent on their first mission trip of the gospel. They have recently come from Jerusalem for the celebration of the Passover and they meet up with some spiritual brothers to prepare to go to Cyprus. While at Cyprus, Paul and Barnabas encounter several people who want to know Christ for their spiritual growth and some for their personal growth. While at the Antioch, Paul gives a great speech, which showed the completeness and fulfillment of the Scripture.

Acts 13: 15-35

After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.” 16 So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said:

“Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. 18 And for about forty years he put up with[b]them in the wilderness. 19 And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. 21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ 23 Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’

26 “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. 28 And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm,

“‘You are my Son,
today I have begotten you.’

34 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,

“‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’

35 Therefore he says also in another psalm,

“‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.

In the New International version of the bible the word for corruption is replaced with decay. This is a really important use of the word and aspect of the Easter story that we sometimes forget. We remember the trial and the beatings and flogging of Jesus. Then we see the crucifixion and burial. Then we see the resurrection of the body. We forget the days in the tomb and the decay that was taking place for three days. Many of the disciples and followers of Christ witnessed the horrible treatment that he endured before the cross. This brutality started to disfigure him, so much that the people hardly could recognize him. Then he was crucified and left in the hot arid sun for several hours. This intensified his disfiguration and appearance. He had bruises and blood dried on him and that left him unrecognizable. Then he is anointed with oils and wrapped in linens and placed in a tomb. Here he lies for three days. This would have left him decaying to a point that no one would be able to know that it was a human before. The image that I imagine is one from those CSI shows where they have to re-create the person face with technology to make a positive identification. He not only was resurrected from the dead, he was recreated and perfected in Glory.

This was not the first time that a person was resurrected; remember the widow’s son and Lazarus, but this is the first time that decay could not hold onto the body or the spirit. This is the first time that decay could not complete its orders. This is the first time that decay could not accomplish its main objective and I am excited for the Monday after Resurrection Sunday. It tells me that no matter what type of decay that I may face in life, family, finances, work, or health the decay will not be able to complete its work because Christ has freed me from that death and given me a new and risen life.   Be Blessed as we start these 40 days of the Easter Season.