Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

Advent- Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 28, Resurrection of central importance

By Elizabeth Prata

Christmas advent. We are coming toward the end of our look at the life of Jesus through scripture. The first section of His life was seen through verses focused on prophecy, arrival, and early life.

The next section of verses looked at Him as the Son, second person of the Trinity.

Continue reading “Advent- Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 28, Resurrection of central importance”
Posted in theology

Will a piece of Scotch tape stop an avalanche?

By Elizabeth Prata

Now on the next day, that is, the day which is after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, 63and they said, “Sir, we remember that when that deceiver was still alive, He said, ‘After three days I am rising.’ 64Therefore, give orders for the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise, His disciples may come and steal Him, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” 66And they went and made the tomb secure with the guard, sealing the stone. (Matthew 27:62-66).

Nicodemus was a Pharisee and THE Teacher of Israel. He came to Jesus saying “WE know you are from God…” (John 3:2). They knew. They also remembered Jesus had said He would rise on the third day. The disciples had apparently forgotten, but the priests and Pharisees and scribes didn’t. They were worried that the disciples would come and steal the body and try to claim He had risen. So they went to Pilate. They reminded Pilate that the disciples may steal the body. This was likely a strategic mention, not just to prevent any claims of having risen, but tomb robbing was a terrible problem in the Roman Empire. Severe penalties existed for grave robbing. Mentioning the likelihood of the body being stolen would have startled Pilate and/or the Romans into action.

Placing a stone against the tomb’s opening was a usual practice. Lazarus’ tomb had a stone against it. (John 11:38-39). The seal on the stone was probably what they used commonly in those days- a wax seal impressed with a signet and some cords pressed into the wax and then stretched across to an opposite lump of wax.

The seal was not intended to prevent moving the stone away, the guards were there for that, and the stone itself. The seal was only to indicate that if the seal was broken it would be a sign someone had messed with the grave.

Poole's Commentary says, "So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch. Vain men! as if the same power that was necessary to raise and quicken the dead, could not also remove the stone, and break through the watch which they had set. But by this their excessive care and diligence, instead of preventing Christ’s resurrection, as they intended, they have confirmed the truth and belief of it to all the world. So doth God take the wise in their own craftiness, and turn their wisdom into foolishness, that he may set his King upon his holy hill of Zion." Poole, M. (1853). Annotations upon the Holy Bible (Vol. 3, p. 143). New York: Robert Carter and Brothers.

The Pharisees had set up triple barriers but in the end all they did was prove that Jesus had resurrected! They knew that Jesus was from God, did they really think a paltry rope seal would stop the avalanche of God’s power in raising His Son from the dead?

They had seen or heard of the moment in Nazareth where Jesus stood in the synagogue and read from Isaiah as depicted in Luke 4:16-19,

And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to Him. And He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

And then Jesus announced that the prophecy had been fulfilled in their hearing. Who else but someone from God, or the Messiah Himself, could open the eyes of the blind? No other blind person had ever been made to see in all of Israel’s history, before this. They knew. Romans 1:18 reminds us that the unsaved suppress the truth in unrighteousness. They were very busy suppressing the truth of who Jesus was, and scurried around putting Scotch tape over a boulder’s crack.

Nothing can stop the power of God. Nothing. He created the worlds with a word, and the stars also. He made man from dust. He sustains it all by His power. He resurrects the dead, and he regenerates sinful hearts. His power cannot be stopped with a stone or a guard or a wax seal. Poole is right- o vain men!

I like to ponder the love of God and His invitation to come to Him who is gentle and lowly. I also like to ponder His power and might!

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

Advent- Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 28, Resurrection of central importance

By Elizabeth Prata

Christmas advent. We are coming toward the end of our look at the life of Jesus through scripture. The first section of His life was seen through verses focused on prophecy, arrival, and early life.

The next section of verses looked at Him as the Son, second person of the Trinity. Continue reading “Advent- Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 28, Resurrection of central importance”

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Repeat: Day 28, Resurrection of central importance

By Elizabeth Prata

Christmas advent. We are coming toward the end of our look at the life of Jesus through scripture. The first section of His life was seen through verses focused on prophecy, arrival, and early life.

The next section of verses looked at Him as the Son, second person of the Trinity. Continue reading “Thirty Days of Jesus Repeat: Day 28, Resurrection of central importance”

Posted in old testament, theology

Dead bodies and live bodies

By Elizabeth Prata

I’m reading through 1 and 2 Kings this month. There are certainly many interesting and strange things happening in those books of history. Remember, the events in those Bible books really happened. Elijah really slew 400 prophets of Baal. God really threw down fire and consumed the sacrifices in the showdown with the prophets of Baal. Wars happened. In 1 Kings 20:29 we read that the Israelites killed 100,000 Aramean foot soldiers in one day. I looked up the slaughter at Gettysburg, well-known to be one of the bloodiest battles, and about 50,000 died. The same with Waterloo. Can you imagine, twice as many Arameans dying on one day?

Here are two other unusual happenings:

In 1 Kings 17:19-21, we read of the prophet Elijah raising the Zarephath’s widow’s son, who had died.

He said to her, “Give me your son.” Then he took him from her bosom and carried him up to the upper room where he was living, and laid him on his own bed. 20He called to the LORD and said, “O LORD my God, have You also brought calamity to the widow with whom I am staying, by causing her son to die?” 21Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and called to the LORD and said, “O LORD my God, I pray You, let this child’s life return to him.”

In 2 Kings 4:18-37 we read of the prophet Elisha’s raising of the Shunammite’s son, who had died. Here are verses 32-34,

When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed. 33 So he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he went up and lay on the child, putting his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. And as he stretched himself upon him, the flesh of the child became warm. 

The prophets laid outstretched on the dead person and the LORD graciously used their body as a vehicle for life-giving resurrection power.

It reminded me of the same but opposite historical punishment. Paul was probably thinking of this punishment when he wrote in Romans 7:24,

“Who will set me free from this body of death?”

As John MacArthur explains the punishment:

In the ancient times, one of the ways they punished murderers was to take the victim, the dead corpse, and strap them to the back of the murderer. And eventually the rotting body would cause the rotting of the murderer…a horrific way to suffer for your crime.

The corpse was used to bring death to a living body. The bodies of the prophets were used to bring life to the dead.

The wages of sin is death. Only God can resurrect life, both physical and spiritual.

As I read along, I just thought it was an interesting juxtaposition. It’s what I was thinking about.

new life 4

Posted in theology

He is Risen!

He is Risen indeed!

easter verse

They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. (Luke 24:2-3)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all. (Acts 4:33 )

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)

Though Jesus is enthroned, becrowned, reigning in love and wrath, seated next to the Father, today is a day we remember what He did. Today is the day we know death is dead, but the Lord lives.

Happy Easter everyone.

Elizabeth Prata

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Redux: Day 28, Resurrection of central importance

By Elizabeth Prata

Christmas advent. We are coming toward the end of our look at the life of Jesus through scripture. The first section of His life was seen through verses focused on prophecy, arrival, and early life.

The next section of verses looked at Him as the Son, second person of the Trinity.

We proceeded into looking at Jesus as the Son’s preeminence, His works, and His ministry. Under ministry & works, I chose verses showing His attributes and aspects of being servant, teacher, shepherd, intercessor, and compassionate healer; and His attributes of omniscience, having all authority and power, and sinlessness.

Now it’s the last section. We’ll look at His resurrection, ascension, and prophesied return. There is one more day until Christmas, but I have more verses waiting. We are going to go over by a week, into the New Year, which I believe fits. When we finish, we will be looking at the New Year with all that entails, the feeling of freshness, hope, optimism for a new start. And when we finish the last verse, we will be looking through the lens of scripture at the hope and optimism of His return and that all will be made new.

On to today’s picture verse. Note Paul’s statement “of first importance”.

thirty days of jesus day 28

Further Reading:

CARM: Jesus’ resurrection was physical

Al Mohler: Of First Importance: The Cross and Resurrection at the Center

And what is of first importance? “That Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,” and “that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” The cross and the empty tomb stand at the center of the Christian faith. Without these, there is no good news — no salvation.
Paul gets right to the heart of the matter in setting out those truths that are “of first importance.” Following his example, we can do no less.


Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient!
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is pleased with His Son
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The gift of eternal life
Day 16: Two Kingdoms
Day 17: Jesus’ Preeminence
Day 18: Jesus is highest king
Day 19: Jesus emptied Himself
Day 20: Jesus as Teacher
Day 21: Jesus as Shepherd
Day 22, Jesus as Intercessor

Day 23: Jesus as Compassionate Healer
Day 24: Jesus as Omniscient
Day 25: Jesus’ Authority
Day 26: Jesus’ Sinlessness
Day 27: He rises!

Posted in encouragement, theology

Prata Potpourri: Men acting like men, women acting like women, wrath, resurrection, ascension

By Elizabeth Prata

It’s a hot one, mid-summer in Georgia, and many of my friends and colleagues are out in the world somewhere on their vacations. Though we are only a little past the Fourth of July, the idyllic time at home on summer break from school is rapidly coming to a close. In twenty more days and I will be sitting in a large auditorium with 500 other school system colleagues, listening to an address by our new superintendent, and then heaving myself to my school, changing into scrub clothes and moving furniture to set up the classroom. Though the summer days are surely precious and annually awaited, there is an undeniable eagerness in starting a new school year. It affords me a time to start fresh, work with new children, forge ahead in a new cycle with my teacher, and alternately be challenged and fulfilled each day.

Meanwhile, summer marches on. It’s a fun time of pool noodles, fireflies, sandy flip flops, BBQs, ball games, family, and rest. Here are a few essays I hope you enjoy.

~~~~~Men & Women~~~~~

Here are some good links looking at the current issues of the day through the lens of gender.

Men: Act like Men

Today, we continue to see the Church of Jesus Christ suffering from a lack of manliness. This has been the result of the radical feminist attack as well as the problem of perpetual adolescence that continues to prevent men from rising up and taking lead within the local church. These problems together create added friction over offices, giftedness, and the need for strong leadership. We would do well to remember Paul’s words to the church in Corinth—”act like men.”

Women: Act like Women

If I could only leave five “how-tos” to the next generation of Christian women coming up behind me, ‘how to be an apologist’ would be one of them. The benefit and joy that can come from this work is hard to measure.

~~~~~Wrath of God~~~~~

Here are a couple of links focusing on the wrath of God. I don’t enjoy the wrath but I feel it is a responsibility of every Christian not to cave in to the demands of liberal Christianity never to mention it. It’s real. It already abides on all who are not saved. (Romans 1:18; Matthew 3:7). It looms ahead for all who will not repent. (Luke 21:23; Revelation 6:16).

The Destruction of Sodom

God is forgiving, gracious, merciful, and loving, but we cannot ignore that He is also the wrathful Judge. God is holy and just and cannot ignore sin. God demands perfect justice and this requires all sin to be punished. The price of sin will be satisfied either in eternity in hell or through Christ’s blood.

THE quintessential sermon examining the wrath of God:
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, read by Tom Patton.

So that thus it is, that natural Men are held in the Hand of God over the Pit of Hell; they have deserved the fiery Pit, and are already sentenced to it; and God is dreadfully provoked, his Anger is as great towards them as to those that are actually suffering the Executions of the fierceness of his Wrath in Hell,


I appreciate DebbieLynne Kespert’s writing. Here she begins a study through 1 Corinthians 15 and the resurrection of believers. As of today, she is up to #8 in the series. Enjoy.
According To Scripture: Study #1 On The Resurrection

Yet typical Gospel presentations in today’s evangelical culture virtually ignore the resurrection, instead emphasizing substitutionary atonement. As vital as it is to understand that Jesus died for our sins, however, it’s just as vital to embrace the fact that He has risen from the dead.

I’m always surprised at how many of my Reformed brethren interpret the pertinent passages of the resurrection events such as the coming kingdom symbolically, or replace Israel with the Church. If it please the reader, this is not so.

The First Resurrection in Revelation 20

As noted in a previous article, Revelation 20 has long been considered the clearest and most convincing argument for the eschatology of premillennialism. But in recent years, an increasing number of amillennial voices have insisted that Revelation 20 actually provides more compelling evidence for their own view.


There is lots of focus on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. But little on His ascension. Just start looking for credible essays on it. You’ll see.

The Ascension of Christ in Hebrews

Evangelicalism, properly conceived, has been from the beginning cross and gospel centered. But let us consider this question: does the doctrine of the ascension get minimized or neglected in our evangelical theologizing?

What is the meaning and importance of the ascension of Jesus Christ?

It is plain from Scripture that Jesus’ ascension was a literal, bodily return to heaven. He rose from the ground gradually and visibly, observed by many intent onlookers. As the disciples strained to catch a last glimpse of Jesus, a cloud hid Him from their view, and two angels appeared and promised Christ’s return “in just the same way that you have watched Him go” (Acts 1:11).

Let’s be kind to each other today.

quote reasons to be happy