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Posts tagged ‘Resurrection Sunday’

I Am the Reason Jesus Had to Die


waving flagAuthored by Jim Shempert | Thursday, April 13, 2017 @ 10:06 AM

URL of the original posting site: http://www.afa.net/the-stand/faith/2017/04/i-am-the-reason-jesus-had-to-die/

I Am the Reason Jesus Had to Die

-You have no problem finding enthusiasm among Christians during Christmas.  Most seem to be reverential of Christ’s birth.  We go out of our way to say Merry Christmas to all we know, sometimes with the love of Christ in our hearts, and sometimes with fire and brimstone.  Yet during Easter, there seems to be a lack of excitement among the brethren. We all strive to buy that new tie or a new suit, but do we seek to tell others of the monumental moment in our lives as believers?  Do we seek to reach others and bring them in, so that they can experience the victory of Easter?  Or do we look down our noses at those who only darken the doors at Easter? 

I am a very introspective person.  I like to challenge myself, and especially my relationship with Christ on a continual basis.  A relationship is similar to a muscle, it can atrophy without activity.  The same is true of ongoing renewal in Christ.  None of us are ever completely sanctified. 

“Whoa fella, you need to calm down a little.  I’m a good Christian,” I can almost hear someone say.  It is never my intention to question anyone’s Christianity.  My point is simply that even though we sing about “the Old Rugged Cross” and “Up from the grave He arose,” are we honest enough to admit the cause?  Are we willing to look at ourselves in the mirror, strip ourselves of the title  “good Christian” and throw ourselves at the foot of the Cross to see that it was our (my) sins that necessitated the death of the Son of God?  

My late teens and early twenties are years that I wish I could have back.  I lived for no one but myself during that time.  I cared little for what others thought about me or my decisions.  In my mind, I was the only one that mattered.  I worshiped only the god of self.  When I accepted Christ as my Savior, everything changed.  

It is one thing to have “head knowledge” of Christ’s sacrifice.  It is quite a different thing to have “heart knowledge.”  In the “I’m a good Christian” camp there is always someone who touts their knowledge of Scripture as evidence of their relationship with Jesus.  In Matthew 4, even Satan used scripture to tempt Jesus.  Knowledge of the Scriptures is paramount in the life of a Christian.  The Word of God should be the guiding force of our lives, and we should hide it in our hearts for the moment when we most need it.  However, knowing Scriptures does not make you righteousChrist does. amen

In my new life with Christ, many verses have hit me hard.  One of the hardest is Romans 3:10.  “As it is written:  There is no one who is righteous, not even one.”  That is a hard reality for a new Christian to wrap his mind around.  I mean, here I was, new to the faith, a dirty sinner who was just adopted into the family of Christ, and you are telling me that I am equal to all these people?  The world may say no, but Jesus says yes. 

From His birth in Bethlehem until His death at Calvary, Jesus’ purpose on this earth was to draw all who would come to Him. On Calvary, He took the sin of all the world onto Himself.  That “all the world” part included me.  I was one of the ones who shouted to Pilate “Crucify, Crucify.”  I was the Roman soldier that beat Him.  I was one of the crowds that mocked Him as he bloodily stumbled up that hill.   I was the soldier that nailed Him to that cross.  I gambled for His clothes.  I mockingly commanded Him to call His angels down to rescue Him.  And, when He says in Luke 23:34“”Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” I was one of them

We all are one of “them.” We are the reason that Jesus had to die.  At any point, Jesus could have stopped His crucifixion, His trial, or His arrest.  Yet, because of His great love for us, He chose to move forward with it.  He chose to accept all that man could throw at Him to prove that the love of God will win out over death

He chose it because He was the only sacrifice that was worthy.  He chose it, because “the love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell” (Frederick Lehman).  He chose it so that we could come back to Him. 

In celebrating this year, don’t skip right to Sunday.  Sure, “joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).  We are Easter people and should celebrate such a day.  Take the time to realize the personal implications of this season.  Take the time to return to the foot of the cross and see your Savior dying and yet praying for you. 

The best three words in the English language are “I love you.”  I love you can be stated many ways, but the best may be in John 19:30:

When Jesus had received the wine, he said,It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up His spirit.amen

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jim Shempert One Million Dads

He is Risen!


waving flagAuthored by Monica Cole | Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 1:10 PM

URL of the original posting site: http://www.afa.net/the-stand/faith/2017/04/he-is-risen/

He Is Risen! All that Christians do for Christ must be rooted in Holy Week which culminates in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Nails were not what held Jesus to the cross. – Monica Cole

Resurrection Sunday is a time to rejoice! Jesus paid a debt that no one else could ever pay so that we could be in heaven with Him for eternity. God gave the perfect sacrifice, His only Son, and if we believe in Him, then we will be forgiven and saved from our sins.

To be saved, you must believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for everyone’s sins, including your own, and receive Him as your personal Savior so that one day you can be with our Heavenly Father. If you believe Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, you will also need to admit you are a sinner – as we all are. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” If you have never confessed your sin and professed your belief in Christ, take time to do it right now. Jesus is the only way to be saved and receive eternal life.

On the third day, he rose again from the dead. This is the Good News that Christians celebrate: His Resurrection! He is ALIVE! And one day our Savior will return. He, and only He, sets us free from our sins! “Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me’” (John 14:6 KJV).

The birth of Jesus is wonderful, but the resurrection is even more exciting. It is the finale to the Christmas story. Jesus accomplished what he came for. His last words before dying on the cross were documented in John 19:30 as, “It is finished.” He knew that all was now completed and that Scripture would be fulfilled. To suggest that more needs to be done to earn your way to heaven is the same as saying Jesus died for nothing. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast”  (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV).

Nails were not what held Jesus to the cross. He had the power to come down from that cross, but He knew His sacrifice had to be complete for there to be true salvation. He died on the cross for you and me because of His love for us. He loved us that much! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV).

If you know of someone who is not saved, please pass this on to them. Share the greatest gift of all with them: a relationship with Jesus Christ and eternal life. Also, share this with your brothers and sisters in Christ so they may use it to share with others. God commands that we share the gospel with others. We need to help one another become passionate followers of Jesus Christ.

Have a meaningful Holy Week and blessed Resurrection celebration!

Monica Cole

One Million Moms Director

 

 

rom 6 23 wages of sinrom 5 28 showed his great love for usmatt 20 28 came to serve and give his lifejohn 3 16Gal 5 24 nailed to his crosseph 1 7 purchased freedom with his blood2 cor 5 21 He knew no sin but became sin

Happy Resurrection Season


Jesus paid it allHe is Risen INDEEDJill and My Greeting

JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON – “HE IS RISEN!”


Jesus paid it all
Signs of Easter
Today’s Devotional by Dr. David Jeremiah
“A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” (Matthew 16:4; NKJV)
“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9(They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) (John 20:1-9; NIV)
America begins showing signs of Easter earlier and earlier every year. Plastic eggs for sale by the millions, chocolate eggs and bunny rabbits in every store, pastel colored Easter baskets and bundles of plastic green “grass” to fill them—the world’s signs of Easter can’t be missed. But today’s signs of Easter are a far cry from the signs that proved the reality of the very first Easter morning.
Jesus told His detractors who had asked Him for a miraculous sign that they would see only one sign—the sign of Jonah, who spent three days in the belly of a great fish before being rescued from death. On the third day after Jesus’ own death, He came out of the grave to give the world a sign it cannot deny. For a man to predict His own death and resurrection was something only God could do. The Gospel writers give us many proofs of His resurrection: sightings by witnesses, nail-scarred hands, a stone rolled away, and more. Truly, Jesus was—is!—alive.
As you prepare to celebrate Easter this Sunday, give thanks to God that your faith is not in vain—that Christ was raised for you (1 Corinthians 15:14).
“The Easter story ends not with a funeral but with a festival.”
John Blanchard
He Is Risen
© 2014 Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah

 

 

Challenging Question: Would You Do What Jesus Did?


http://clashdaily.com/2014/04/challenging-question-jesus/#iKW0EgM0VWsEX4R7.99

By / 15 April 2014

 
cutting-edge-past-present

As the Easter season approaches, it is time to reflect on our faith and stand in awe of the miracle that is Jesus Christ.

I am given to remember a song titled “Wonder of Wonders” by Charles B. Wycuff.

It was recorded by The Inspirations, one of my favorite gospel groups from Bryson City, NC.

This is the line I find most impressive in the beautiful hymn:

“The wonder of wonders, oh how could it be, that God became flesh and was given for me. The Almighty came down and walked among men. The wonder of wonders he died for my sin.”

Wonder

If you think on that line, God’s sacrifice is almost too much to imagine, and that is not even getting into His crucifixion.

He came down and walked among men. He left heaven to come and live here on earth with us.

When I hear that, I wonder how He saw the difference in this earth with its’ carnal ways. How difficult it would be, if we put ourselves in His shoes, would we be willing to do it?

Just as a most simplistic comparison, would you or I be willing to leave our comfortable, clean, well-appointed homes to live in squalor in a third world country for 33 years just because our father asked us to do it?

How much more did Jesus give up to come here, knowing how long He would be here and how horrifically He would die, yet still willing to do his Father’s will?

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday, the day Jesus entered the city. He knew he would be killed in a very violent way within the week.

He was made flesh and felt all things as we do. He asked His Father to let it pass from him in prayer, yet ultimately accepted His fate with serenity.

If you only think of these examples of His exemplary life, disregarding all of the rest, you cannot help but marvel and praise.

The very least we can do is stand up for His name and His church in everything we do.
It is not something reserved for the Holy Week, but should be a lifestyle.

As you gather with your family and friends this Holy Season, remember to keep it holy.
Honor Him and thank God for His Son who did what we would shrink away from doing.

Image: Courtesy of: http://www.themindfulword.org/2014/contemplation-cutting-edge/

About the author: Candace Hardin

 Candace Hardin resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She fluent in Spanish and a student of Latin and history. She is a columnist on PolitiChicks.tv. and has a blog, kandisays.blogspot.com. Originally from North Carolina, her writing and beliefs have been heavily influenced by the Appalachian culture and tradition.

Read more at http://clashdaily.com/2014/04/challenging-question-jesus/#iKW0EgM0VWsEX4R7.99

 

Jesus: The True ‘Political Outcast’


Many families will gather together on Sunday to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is nothing short of miraculous that anything that happened 2000 years ago is even remembered, let alone celebrated. But what is often overlooked in this event—the most important one in world history—is the political nature of the death and resurrection of Christ. Jesus was a “political outcast” of the first degree. His execution was, of course, a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, reaching all the way back to the Garden of Eden, but it was also a judgment of the entrenched political atmosphere that existed in first century Jerusalem.

Now before you accuse me of teaching a “social gospel,” please understand that the Gospel (the good news of Jesus’ kingship and kingdom) does have political consequences. Herod understood this, and so did Pontius Pilate. Herod, as the “king” of the Jews, knew that Jesus’ proclamation of the “kingdom of God” was a direct assault against his own imagined authority; likewise Pilate recognized that letting Jesus live, against the wishes of the chief priests and who were stirring up the people, could very well incite an insurrection. In Jesus, Herod saw a threat to his rule, while Pilate saw a liability; neither was able to give Jesus a truly fair trial.

In many Easter sermons, the impression is often given that the crowds were aligned against Jesus and crying for His death. While this is technically true, it doesn’t tell the full story. Matthew 27: 20 says that “the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death.” The political and religious leaders were stirring up the people against Jesus, so much so that they were willing to trade a real murder and insurrectionist for a perceived one (see Mark 15:7) and condemn themselves and their posterity: “And all the people said, ‘His blood shall be on us and on our children,’” a self-condemnation which God honored less than 40 years later in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The Gospel of John is crystal clear about what the Jewish leaders and priests thought of Jesus and His promised kingdom: “Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar’” (John 19:15, see also Acts 9:14 to see that this attitude persisted well after Jesus’ Resurrection). They rejected God’s own Messiah for a pretend political messiah in Rome.

Our own modern celebrations of Easter are a reinforcement of the fact that Jesus changed everything. It is a rather bold statement to have ham on the plate when celebrating the life, death, and resurrection of the Jewish Messiah. The pig was (and still is by modern Jews) considered to be an unclean animal because it does not chew its cud (Leviticus 11:7–8; Deuteronomy 14:8). Eating pork to celebrate the risen King of the Jews is a proclamation that God has made all things clean in the death and resurrection of His Son. As Peter finally came to understand, Jesus did indeed make all things new (Acts 10:9–16; see also Revelation 21:1–5).

Communion is another aspect of Jesus flaunting Jewish tradition and giving it an entirely new meaning. During the Last Supper in the upper room, Jesus and the disciples were settled in for the traditional Passover meal of lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs (Exodus 12:8). Sometime after they began eating, Jesus passed around bread and wine; He called the bread “His body” and the wine “His blood.” Prior to this Last Supper, at an earlier Passover—in what is known as the Bread of Life discourse—Jesus had told the Jewish leaders in the synagogue in Capernaum that if they didn’t eat His flesh or drink His blood they could have no part in Him.

Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:52–58)

This command by Jesus is in direct conflict with Leviticus 17, where eating or drinking blood is expressly forbidden. In other words, Old Testament law says, “Do not eat the blood,” and Jesus, in the New Covenant in His blood, says, “You must eat the blood.” As the atoning sacrifice Himself, Jesus is drawing a distinction between Himself as the Lamb of God and a regular Passover lamb. The lamb pointed to the Lamb, and now that the Lamb is here, not drinking his blood is a denial of His being the once-for-all Atonement (see Hebrews 9:28). It was a subversion of sorts, which is to say that the chief priests and Jewish leaders were correct to understand it as such, but they were wrong to think that this subversion was not of God. It was, in reality, the final divine statement regarding Israel’s rejection of God as their King for a human tyrant (see 1 Samuel 8:7).

So when you eat your ham and drink your wine, remember that Jesus did change everything: politically, socially, religiously, and culturally, and this change came about because of what He did covenantally; He obeyed God rather than men, and so did his first century disciples. And as a result, they were accused of “turning the world upside down” because they “acted contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus” (Acts 17:6–7). May we all be accused of being such political outcasts in the days, weeks, and years to come. Happy Easter to all! He is risen indeed!

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