Just as He Said

by Kristi Bothur © 2012

Photo by Mark Butterfield
"He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said." (Matthew 28:6, NASB)
Have you ever done a trust fall? Popular in youth groups or other programs targeting teenagers, the idea is to have one person stand with his arms crossed over his chest. Another person stands behind him, arms outstretched. On cue, the person in front leans back, and when he begins to fall, his partner catches him.

The lesson is to learn to trust each other. But that lesson only sticks if the person doing the catching actually comes through! Otherwise, you end up with a sore behind and a determination to be careful who to trust in the future. Finding out that you can't trust someone leads to all kinds of negative feelings – disappointment, discouragement, embarrassment, fear, betrayal.

I think Jesus' followers must have felt all of those feelings in the hours following his crucifixion. They were confused and broken – what had happened to all of their hopes, all of his promises?
The disciples on the road to Emmaus voiced as much – "We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel" (Luke 24:21).

How many of us have said those words, "We were hoping…"? We were hoping he would heal our mother. I was hoping he would provide for me financially. I was hoping he would lead me to a spouse, give me children, take care of me. Behind every "I was hoping" trails a bitterly disappointed "…but he didn't." And close behind that is the implicit feeling that maybe my hope was misplaced, maybe I should look elsewhere for healing, or safety, or comfort. God let me down.

That's why the angel's words to the women on Easter morning are so significant and filled with hope – "He has risen just as He said." You thought he let you down, but look! He did just what he said he would! And with that understanding comes hope for the future, the hope that everything else he promised will likewise come to pass. The apostle Paul affirmed this in 2 Corinthian 1:20 when he said, "for as many as are the promises of God, in Him [Christ] they are yes."

Where we trip up sometimes is in holding God to a promise he never made. He does not promise us a life of ease, free of grief or pain or suffering. Just the opposite – Jesus assured his disciples that experiencing trouble in this life is normal, and even expected (John 16:33). But in the midst of that, he promises peace; He promises to carry us through the fire, to comfort us. He promises strength and grace to meet the challenges of each day. He promises the presence of the Holy Spirit if we will but place our trust in Jesus.

Over 2000 years ago, Jesus rose from the dead "just as He said." Regardless of your circumstances (and what can be more hopeless than a cold, dead tomb?), He remains trustworthy today. Don't let your disappointments in life keep you from falling into the arms of the Savior who can and will carry you through every trial. He won't let you down.

Jesus, it can be so hard to trust you when I experience disappointment again, and again, and again. Help me to remember that in you, every promise of God is a firm "yes"! Help me to understand what those promises are and to trust you to be with me in my time of trouble and distress. Thank you for the hope of Easter, not only the promise of the resurrection, but the promise that I can trust your words, no matter what. Amen

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kristi Bothur is a pastor's wife, teacher, and mother of five - two on earth and three in heaven. She has a heart for other women who have experienced the loss of children during pregnancy or in early infancy, and she has a passion for sharing the truth of God's word in a way that makes sense in everyday life. She and her husband are the founders of "Naomi's Circle", a ministry for parents of babies in heaven (www.naomiscircle.weebly.com). You are welcome to contact her at naomiscircle@gmail.com. Kristi lives in Columbia, South Carolina, with her husband and daughter.

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