whatever tickles your fancy.
easter | commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Let's not forget what Easter's all about. God sent his only son to this earth to die for those who choose to walk with Him. He gives us this gift of salvation freely. Even though we don't deserve it, and never will, He graciously offers it to us. It's our decision if we want to accept this free gift.
Romans 3:23 | "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"
We're all sinners. We were born sinners. Because of this, we were not able to have a relationship with God without a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. God sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to come die for our sins by shedding his blood on the cross, so that we could have a close relationship with God.
John 3:16 | "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
But the story doesn't end there. Not only did Jesus take our burdens upon him when he was crucified, but he was resurrected after three days.
Matthew 28: 1-10 | After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you." So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
Jesus rose from the dead.
Bob Deffinbaugh wrote a good article on The Significance of the Resurrection that you can read here. I thought I'd wrap up this post with one section from his article.
The Necessity of our Lord’s ResurrectionThe resurrection of Jesus Christ is significant because of its necessity. There are several reasons why the resurrection was necessary, and we shall consider some of them below.
(1) The resurrection of Christ was necessary to prove that Jesus Christ was who He claimed to be. Our Lord had clearly claimed to be the son of God, which was the reason why the religious leaders conspired to kill Him (cf. John 19:7). The resurrection was God’s proof that the Lord Jesus was Who He claimed to be: the Son of God:
Who was declared with power to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 1:4).
(2) The resurrection of Christ was necessary to prove that Jesus Christ had accomplished what He had promised. The death of our Lord alone would not have sufficed, since it is by our identification with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection that we are saved.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (Rom. 5:9-10).
In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, that great resurrection chapter of the New Testament, Paul argues that apart from Christ’s resurrection, we would have no hope:
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. . . . For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins (1 Cor. 15:13-14; 16-17).
In his message at Pentecost, Peter taught that the resurrection of Christ by the Father (through the Holy Spirit) was God’s vindication of His Son, His message, and His work:
“This Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its powers...
This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. . . . Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:23-24, 32-33, 36).
(3) The resurrection was a necessary in order to fulfill biblical prophecy. In Acts chapter 2 Peter argued that the resurrection was biblically necessary, citing David’s words in Psalm 16:10:
“Because Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay” (Acts 2:27; cf. 13:33).
Peter argued from Psalm 16 that David could not have referred to himself, but rather to his Son, Messiah, whom God would raise from the dead. The Old Testament Scriptures were understood by the apostles to foretell the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection of Christ was thus a biblical necessity.
(4) The resurrection of Christ was also a logical necessity. In his message in the second chapter of Acts, Peter also contended that the resurrection of Christ, the Messiah, was a logical as well as a biblical necessity.
“And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power” (Acts 2:24).
Peter argued here that it is impossible for God to remain in the grave and to decay, as men do. By virtue of being God, Christ could not have been left in that tomb, dead.
(5) The resurrection of Christ is vital because it is a necessary element of a saving faith. In both the Old and the New Testaments, a saving faith was a faith in a God’s who could and would raise men from the dead. A careful study of the 11th chapter of Hebrews will indicate that the faith of Old Testament saints was a resurrection faith.
Allow me to use one Old Testament figure to demonstrate the resurrection dimension of faith, the faith of Abraham. The initial absence of this kind of faith is apparent from Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his wife’s purity in order to save his own skin. As Abram and Sarai approached Egypt, he said to her,
“See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and it will come about that when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I might live on account of you” (Gen. 12:11-13).
This was far from a resurrection faith on Abraham’s part. He was so fearful of dying that he was willing to sacrifice his wife’s purity to save his own skin.
As God continued to work in Abraham’s life, a resurrection faith resulted. When God promised Abram and Sarai a son in their old age, Abraham believed God because he had come to possess a saving, resurrection faith. Paul writes about Abraham’s faith in his epistle to the Romans:
And without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what He had promised, He was able also to perform. Therefore also it was reckoned to him as righteousness (Romans 4:19-20).
Abraham’s resurrection was put to its most crucial test, once again pertaining to his son. The writer to the Hebrews tells us,
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” He considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a type (Hebrews 11:17-19).
Thus we can see that the faith of the Old Testament saints was a resurrection faith. So, too, the faith of the New Testament believer must be a resurrection faith. Jesus said,
“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
The apostle Paul wrote:
. . . if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved (Rom. 10:9).
Personal faith in the resurrection of Christ is therefore necessary because it is a vital element in a faith that leads to salvation.
I hope through this post you were able to see the LOVE that God has for us. I hope you all have a happy Easter. If you live in the Springfield, MO area, stop by James River Assembly for our Easter service: GOD IS ALIVE