This little three-letter-word, “but,” is more powerful than you can imagine. Use it well.
Acts 13:30 – But God raised him from the dead.
In simplest terms, “but” fills the role of a conjunction in speech. A conjunction joins nouns, verbs, phrases, and sentences together. However, the conjunction “but,” when considered in its full function, does something additional. Let’s take a moment and look at that “something additional.”
While the word “but” is a conjunction that joins two elements of speech together, it does so in a unique way. In reality, when the word “but” is used, in joins those elements in a work of cancellation. Consider, for example, how it is used in our Text for Today. The preceding verses relate the story of the passion of Jesus, all the way up to and including His death and burial. The events that followed His burial were unlike any other series of events that had ever occurred. Yes, Jesus was arrested, beaten, ridiculed, mocked, crucified, died on the cross, and was buried. BUT!
And that’s where our Text for Today comes into view, and the depth of meaning of “but” becomes clearer. While we understand that EVERYTHING Jesus did, and ALL that befell Him in the passion was necessary, we also know that His resurrection was also necessary. However, it would seem that all that occurred in His passion was geared to destroy His life and end His existence, we know it did not. We know that He lives, having been resurrected and given a glorified body that will never taste death again. That is where the “but” becomes so important. Yes, Jesus was arrested, beaten, ridiculed, mocked, crucified, died on the cross, and was buried, “BUT” He was raised from the dead and lives forever. While the work of His passion was not destroyed, the personal effect on Him was cancelled at the resurrection. In short, the resurrection was the “BUT.” It changed everything.
Oh, how thankful I am for the “BUT” in our Text for Today. Can you imagine the horror, sorrow, grief, and anguish of the followers of Christ as they watched Him go through the torments laid upon Him from the moment of His arrest to His burial? Surely those same grievous thoughts and images followed them, haunted their sleep, and likely every waking moment until “BUT.” You see, the “BUT” changed everything for them. He was arrested, BUT now He is free. He was beaten, BUT now He is victorious. He was mocked, BUT now He is exalted. He was dead, BUT now He is alive, and alive forevermore. Oh, such a powerful little word. It has the ability to change one’s outlook. You may feel sick, BUT Jesus has healed you. You may feel defeated, BUT Jesus has given you victory. You may feel lost in the darkness, BUT Jesus has made you the light of the world. Whatever you face that tries to bring you down, remember, “BUT!”
Manna for Today – Acts 13:13-52; John 3:16-17; Galatians 3; Romans 10:6-17