JESUS! In Word and Song



“Christ’s resurrection is one of the central truths of the Christian faith and the only plausible explanation for the empty tomb. Many theories have been sinfully invented over the centuries to explain away the empty tomb, all of them equally futile.”1

“Though Jesus had predicted His resurrection numerous times, it was more than [His followers] could believe at that point. It would take His showing Himself alive to them by many ‘infallible proofs’ for them to believe.”2 (Acts 1:3)

“That the women came to anoint Jesus’ body on the third day after His burial showed that they, like the disciples, were not expecting Him to rise from the dead.”3 But GOD . . .

Jesus rose. His body had not decayed, for it was not possible for that holy thing to see corruption; but still it had been dead.  And by the power of God—by His own power, by the Father’s power, by the power of the Spirit, for it is attributed to each of these in turn—before the sun had risen, His dead body was quickened. This is the doctrine that is the keystone of the arch of Christianity.4

The guards at the tomb experienced paralyzing fear: “[A]n angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became as dead men”(Matt 28:2-4 ESV).

The angel proclaims the great truth that concerns everyone and will change the universe forever. It is with flight, trembling, astonishment, silence and fear that the women initially receive the angel’s message about God’s action in raising Jesus from the dead.5

But instead of paralyzing fear the women’s fear energized them: “So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy”(Matt 28:8 ESV). “[T]rembling and astonishment had seized them”(Mark 16:8 ESV).

“These graphic words indicate dramatically the soul-shocking nature of the truth those women had just learned.”6

Fear and great joy is: “A natural state of mingled feeling, in view of what they had seen and heard. Fear at what they had seen, joy at what they had heard, and both mingled because the latter seemed too good to be true.”7

“Energizing fear pulled them out of the paralyzed fear of obsession with themselves and into a world of GOD’s surprises.”8 “Suddenly they understood they were not the center of their own existence nor wanted to be!”9 That energizing fear became an excitement in waiting for what GOD would do next!

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(21) Energizing Fear

            1. John MacArthur, One Perfect Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2012) 472.

            2. John MacArthur, 471.

            3. John MacArthur, 470.

            4. Charles Spurgeon, “Resurrection,” Free Grace Broadcaster 235 (Spring 2016) : 3.

            5. Gerald O’Collins, “The Empty Tomb—What Does it Mean?” 21 April 2003, America, The Jesuit Review, 12 February 2021

            6. James Burton Coffman, “Commentary on Mark 16:8,” 1999, Coffman Commentaries on the Bible, 12 February 2021

            7. Philip Schaff, “Commentary on Matthew 28:8,” 1879-90, Schaff’s Popular Commentary on the New Testament, 12 February 2021

            8. Eugene Peterson, Living the Resurrection (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress 2006) 17.

            9. Peterson, 28.

            10. Peterson, 30.

            11. Peterson.

            12. “ . . . the LORD of hosts . . . Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread” (Isaiah 8:13 ESV).

            13. Eugene Peterson, Living the Resurrection (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress 2006) 17.

            14. Peterson, 28.

            15. Peterson, 38.

            16. “And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD” (Isaiah 11:3 ESV).

            17. R. Macculloch, “Commentary on Isaiah 11:3,” 1905-09, The Biblical Illustrator, 12 February 2021

JESUS! In Word and Song



“The glory of the LORD is his manifested presence with his people.”1

The term Epiphany is taken from the Greek word for ‘manifestation; and is a date to celebrate the incarnation of Christ. In some traditions the season of Epiphanytide ends on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season. In most Protestant churches, though, Epiphany is usually just celebrated on the Sunday closest to January 6.2

“Epiphany is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.”3

The Cambridge English Dictionary calls Epiphany “a Christian holy day that celebrates the revelation of the baby Jesus to the world.”4

God’s ultimate purpose in redemptive history is to create a people to dwell in his presence, glorifying him through numerous varied activities, and enjoying him forever. The story begins with God in eternal glory and it ends with God and his people in eternal glory. At the center stands the cross, where God revealed his glory through his Son.5

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Tim 2:5 ESV).

It was requisite that the Mediator should be God, that He might sustain and keep the human nature from sinking under the infinite wrath of God and the power of death; give worth and efficacy to His sufferings, obedience, and intercession; and to satisfy God’s justice, procure His favour, purchase a peculiar people, give His Spirit to them, conquer all their enemies, and bring them to everlasting salvation’ (Westminster Catechism, 1643).6

“God with us. Applied to Christ in the highest and most glorious sense: God incarnate among us, He is still Immanuel, God with us; once He came among men and identified himself with them; now He saves men and identifies them with Himself.”7

“That almighty Friend we now have in heaven, in whose hands all our high interests are placed, though once ‘Man of sorrows’, was, and is, no less, at the same time, one with the Father.”8

“Christ is God over all, blessed forever. Amen” (Rom 9:5 ESV).

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(7) Linking Clay with the Divine

            1. Joe Carter, “9 Things You Should Know About the Christian Calendar,” 1 December 2019, The Gospel Coalition, 3 July 2021

            2. ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition: 2011) 1503.

            3. “Epiphany,” Wikipedia Wikipedia, 26 January 2021

            4. “Epiphany,” The Cambridge English Dictionary The Cambridge English Dictionary, 26 January 2021

            5. ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition: 2011) 2495.

            6. Arthur W. Pink, “The Mediation of Christ,” Studies in the Scriptures, (Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library) XI (January 1932) : 2.

            7. Philip Schaff, “Commentary on Matthew 1:23,” 1879-90, Schaff’s Popular Commentary on the New Testament, 18 January 2021

            8. R. Hawker, 1825 quoted in Arthur W. Pink, “The Mediation of Christ,” Studies in the Scriptures, (Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library) XI (January 1932) : 3.



“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;”(John 14:16 KJV)

“A comforter is one who stands alongside of one in need, to strengthen” (ref: A.W. Pink, Commentary on John and Hebrews, [John 14:12-20]).

The SPIRIT comforts me as Jesus comforted the disciples in their abiding with Him.  “…the office of the Spirit…is to furnish to all Christians the instruction and consolation which would be given by the personal presence of Jesus” (ref: Thomas Constable,“Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable,” [John 14:16],

The SPIRIT comforts me in my work.  My work is the same as CHRIST’s—to present the kingdom of GOD to man.  The SPIRIT is mine because I do not have CHRIST with skin on.

The word “Comforter” in John 14:16 is “…translated in our English Version ‘Comforter,’ and partially introduced into the English language as ‘Paraclete,’ means properly, One called to stand by us for our help, our Advocate, Helper, Representative. ‘Comforter’ is not its meaning” (ref: Philip Schaff, Schaff’s Popular Commentary on the New Testament, [John 14:16],

The SPIRIT does not comfort me just because world living is tough and I need comfort.  His comfort does not glorify me—is not for my well-being. He is not given to make me feel good.

The word, “Comforter” tends “to make believers think less of strength than of comfort, of the experience of a private Christian who needs consolation instead of that of one who has to face the opposition of the world in his Master’s cause.  The ‘Paraclete’ is really One who stands by our side, sustains us in our Christian calling, and breathes into us ever new measures of a spirit of boldness and daring in the warfare we have to wage” (ref: Philip Schaff, Schaff’s Popular Commentary on the New Testament, [John 14:16],

FATHER, I desire to experience the “Comforter” as I venture into this resisting-You world.  I want to speak and act in Your behalf.