Tag Archives: death

More Than Death Insurance

More Than Death Insurance

“When one asked the salesman what he was selling, he said, “Life insurance.”

“That’s not life, but death insurance.”

“What do you mean?”

“You have to die to win.”

“Not always. You get your money back with big interest in 10 or 20 years if you live, but if you die your family is protected for a number of years.”

“Fine. The Bible says, ‘But if any provide not for his own, specially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel, but it’s more important to carry life insurance.”

“Say, what are you selling?”

“Life insurance. Eternal life. Nothing to pay, and you begin to get big dividends immediately, of peace, joy, contentment, and an understanding of God’s plan for your life.””  (-Knights)

What kind of insurance do you have?  Jesus came to earth to give something better than death or life “insurance.”  He came to earth to purchase eternal life.  Jesus paid the full price that our sin – death.  He died in my place.  He died for my sin.  He died in your place.  He died for your sin.  He shed His blood for our sin.  Theologians call this Substitutionary Atonement.

Romans 5:8 teaches, But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Jesus demonstrated or proved His love for us with his work and action on the cross.  He did not just say “I love you.”  He demonstrated love when He laid down His life for us.  No matter how BIG or little you perceive your sin to be, Jesus still loves you!  None of us are worthy, but He loves us anyway.

Then He rose from the dead.  The phrase: “Rose Again” in 1 Corinthians 15:4 indicates that while He was previously dead, He came back to life, and continues to be alive!”  What an incredible truth!  Jesus continues to be alive today.

As I prepared for Easter Sunday preaching, I searched out all the leaders of the worlds major religions.  Here is what I found:

Buddhism. The Buddha’s body was cremated in Kushinagar, India and the relics were placed in monuments or stupas, some of which are believed to have survived until the present. Ramabhar Stupa in Kushinagar was built over a portion of the Buddha’s ashes on the spot where he was cremated by the ancient Malla people. The Temple of the Tooth or Dalada Maligawa in Sri Lanka is the place where the right tooth relic of Buddha is kept at present.

Christian Science.  Mary Baker Eddy is buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the United States.

Confucianism. The grave of Confucius, founder of Confucianism, is in his home town of Qufu, Shandong Province, China. The grave of Confucius is located in a large cemetery where more than 100,000 of his descendants are also buried.

Islam. According to early Muslim sources, Muhammad is buried in the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (“Mosque of the Prophet”) in the city of Medina in Saudi Arabia. The tomb of Muhammad lies within the confines of what used to be his wife Aisha’s and his house. During his lifetime it adjoined the mosque, which was expanded during the reign of Caliph al-Walid I to include his tomb.

Scientology.  Upon his death, L. Ron Hubbard was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.” (Wikipedia)

Christianity: Go to the Garden Tomb at Jerusalem.  There are no bones, no ashes – nothing!  Jesus walked out of that stone tomb alive!  Jesus is alive today. 

Would you believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus?  This is called the Gospel.  Jesus is alive and calling to you for a response.  Will you accept the forgiveness of sins and receive eternal life from Jesus?  He loves you.  Believe in Him today.

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Did You Think To Pray?

Did You Think To Pray?

Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.  Psalm 88:9

We pray when we are in trouble.  It is easy to turn our thoughts to Heaven when we have a big problem or a predicament that we are in.  For most people, the first time they fervently pray is when hey are in trouble.  Affliction drove the psalmist to pray every single day.  He actively sought the Lord lifting up “holy hands” to God, begging for His deliverance, guidance, and help.

What if we learned to pray before the big problem comes?  How would an active prayer life before the trouble arises help us navigate the storms of life?  It think it would make a big difference.  Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the “Prince of preachers” said “All the Christian virtues are locked up in the word prayer.”

The daily discipline of open communication with God, asking and receiving, better known as prayer, can change your life. There are several ways prayer affects not only the situation, but the one doing the praying.

Prayer calms the soul.  Prayer creates a connection with God. Prayer confirms our relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus.  Make it a daily practice to spend time with God in prayer.

I leave you with the words of Mary Kidder in her hymn “Did You Think to Pray?”

  1. Ere you left your room this morning,
    Did you think to pray?
    In the name of Christ our Savior,
    Did you sue for loving favor,
    As a shield today?

Refrain:
Oh, how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day;
So when life seems dark and dreary,
Don’t forget to pray.

  1. When you met with great temptation,
    Did you think to pray?
    By His dying love and merit,
    Did you claim the Holy Spirit
    As your guide and stay? [Refrain]
  2. When your heart was filled with anger,
    Did you think to pray?
    Did you plead for grace, my brother,
    That you might forgive another
    Who had crossed your way? [Refrain]
  3. When sore trials came upon you,
    Did you think to pray?
    When your soul was bowed in sorrow,
    Balm of Gilead did you borrow
    At the gates of day?

 

 

Understanding God

Understanding God

There are some things that happen in life that we will never understand.  There are some events that God orchestrates or allows in our lives that are beyond our human comprehension and understanding.  That’s OK.  If we could understand everything about God then He would be minimized and we as humans would be elevated like God.  That would be the religion of humanism. We all fall far short of the Lord.

We have legitimate questions:

  • Why did the loved one develop cancer?
  • Why is it that you have a debilitating sickness?
  • What will you do now that a family member has died?
  • Where will I find another job?
  • Who do I turn to when relationships are strained?
  • What happened to my kid?
  • Why are there so many problems in the world?
  • Another car wreck? Really?

Job was accused and assaulted by Satan himself.  If you read Job chapters 1-2 you will find that if there was a way to suffer in life and still not die – Job suffered it.

  • Job’s oxen company was stolen by a neighboring tribe of people.
  • Job’s wool business with 7000 sheep was shut down when lightening (fire from heaven) struck, killing them instantaneously.
  • Job’s transportation enterprise with 3000 camels was closed when the camels were “carried away” by thieves.
  • Job’s 7 sons and 3 daughters were celebrating a party in one of the sons houses when a storm came knocking down the walls and killing Job’s entire family.
  • On top of the family businesses and the family dying, Job comes down with a devastating illness. His body is covered with boils from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head.  The boils ooze and he scrapes them with sharp shards of pottery while applying fire ashes to his wounds. He aches with burning pain from the inside out.  He cannot sleep at night.  He loses weight and his cloths wrap up around his body.  His condition is so bad that when friends come to see him – they cannot recognize him.
  • This pain is suffered for about 12 months. An. Entire. Year.

The young friend, Elihu, suggests in his last speech to Job that man cannot “comprehend” God.  He says in Job 37:5 “God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.”

Very true.  All the bad things that we see, feel, and endure in life are much bigger than us. We need the Lord – even when we do not understand.  Romans 8:28 assures: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

If we cannot understand the Lord in the “bad times” what about the “good times?”

David writes in Psalm 40:5 and declares: “Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.”  

David was also no stranger to tragedy.  In this Psalm, we see him trying to count the blessings God placed on his life.  We cannot count all the blessings, but we should try.  David could not stop talking about the “wonderful works” of God.

We will still not be able to fully comprehend “why” or “how” it is that God would choose to bless us.  We do not deserve grace, goodness, or the love of God.  Go figure that.  We cannot explain the Lord!!!  Just be thankful for Who God is and what He has done in both “good” times and “bad” times.

Counting the blessings helps us in several ways.

  • Counting blessings removes our eyes from being fixated on our problems and to refocus our gaze upon the Lord.
  • Counting blessings reaffirms in our mind God’s love for us.
  • Counting blessings realigns our perspective to be thankful.
  • Counting blessings helps us realize how great, big, incredible, wonderful, amazing, loving, giving, and awesome our God is.

We will not fully comprehend all that God says, does, or allows in life.  That’s ok.  Let God be God in your life.  His way is perfect – even when we do not understand.

 

 

 

 

 

The Announcement That Changed the World

The Announcement That Changed the World

There have been many famous announcements in history.  For example, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed a paper with 95 statements about the Catholic Church.  The “95 Theses” was an announcement that changed the world.  People began protesting the Catholic Church because it did not follow the Bible.  Historically, Baptists were never part of the Catholic Church, but this announcement of Luther started a turning back to the Bible for many people.  On July 4th, 1776 the most important human statement of political principles in the history of the world was announced.  The Declaration of Independence was signed on that day, changing the world.  In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell patented his first telephone.  This technology announcement changed the world.  English scientist Lord Kelvin called it “the most wonderful thing in America.”  In 1879 Thomas Edison announced the invention of the light bulb that forever changed the face of this planet.  What a blessing the light bulb has been to millions of people the world over.  On April 6, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson declared “the world must be safe for democracy” and declared war on Germany.  The US troops made it in time to rescue Paris from falling to the Germans.  In September 1938 President Roosevelt cabled Hitler and told him to turn from his course of war.  Again in April 1939 President Roosevelt informed Hitler and Mussolini of the American people’s desire to avoid war and promote peace.  The only message these tyrants could hear was war.  After the attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, the next day, December 8, 1941 America declared war on Japan, three days later on Germany, and Italy.  These are some announcements that changed the world…

Only a few announcements in history changed the entire world.

  • The Angel of the Lord told Abraham in Genesis 22:18: And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
  • Moses took God’s message to Pharaoh in Egypt: “Let My People Go.”
  • The Angel of the Lord gave the birth announcement of Jesus Christ to the shepherds; what a world/eternity changer! I DO NOT KNOW how to compare the birth of Christ to the Death and resurrection of Christ.  BOTH are important.  Both announcements are needed.  Jesus was born to die.  IF He did not rise again, He would have been an ordinary person who lived and died.  That is why His resurrection is called the Announcement that Changed the World!

Here is the greatest announcement as told in the book of Matthew…

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.  3  His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:  4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.  8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.  9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.  10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.   –  Matthew 28:1-10

His friends and family members were witnesses to His death.  What a tragic, saddening day, when the innocent Lamb of God was led away to be crucified.  “Crucify Him, Crucify Him” the people jeered.

Sin is a separator.  Sin separates us from God.  Death is the penalty for sin.  Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, gave Himself as a perfect sacrifice.  Man is not good.  We are sinners.  Titus 3:5-7 says… “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”  Jesus died in our place at the hands of hateful people and of a Holy God.  Jesus became sin for us – that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.  Man hated Him.  The Father turned His back to Him.  Jesus suffered our death and our Hell so we could be saved.

One commentator said this: “The friends of Jesus saw him and heard him only a few times after that Easter morning, but their lives were completely changed. What seemed to be the end proved to be the beginning; what seemed to be a cause for fear proved to be a cause for courage; what seemed to be defeat proved to be victory; and what seemed to be the basis for despair proved to be the basis for hope.”

The sacrifice had been given.  Christ had died and was buried, placed in the tomb.  His body was wrapped in linen and laid on a stone bed with a stone covering the tomb entrance.  The stone was sealed probably with a cord and wax attaching both the stone and the exterior cave wall.  Similar to the sealing of letters, the wax would give away if there was any tampering.  Sabbath Day had passed, by the time the ladies who came to properly and permanently bury His body with spices.  They were confronted by the Angel of the Lord at the tomb on Sunday, the first day of the week…

The Angel of the Lord had rolled back the stone and sat on it.  Then the Angel appeared, the earth shook, and the soldiers fell down and fainted in amazement.  By the time the ladies arrive it is early in the morning, sunrise.  They get to the scene and find the Roman soldiers lying on the ground, the tomb door rolled away, and an angel sitting on the stone!

This booklet is written to let the reader know:  Jesus rose from the dead!  The greatest announcement in the history of the world is that: “Jesus is alive!”  The power in the Gospel is that Jesus rose from the dead!

There are 5 points in the announcement the angel gives pertaining to Christ in this passage. 

Notice verse 6 and 7 in particular:  “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.”

“He is Not Here.”

If you were able to take a roll call of famous religious leaders of the past, if they were able to respond, what they would say.  “Buddha?”  “Here.” ”Muhammad?” “Here.”  “Joseph Smith?” “Present.”  Gandhi? “I’m Here.”  None of these men have risen from the dead.  Their bones are still in the tombs in which their body was laid at the time of their death…

Jesus was and is not in the tomb.

What a big difference in contrast to Jesus.  On the Cross Jesus cried out as John 19:30 says, “It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.  Jesus was dead, the Roman soldier verified this when he thrust the spear through the side of Christ.  Water and blood gushed out – Jesus was dead.  Jesus was buried in the tomb.  When the ladies arrived at the tomb, it was three days earlier Joseph of Arimathea had wrapped up the body of Christ and laid it in the tomb.

Jesus was not in the grave clothes. John 20:5-7, tells us what John saw: And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

We do not expect dead people to move!

The women initially thought “someone stole His body.”  The Bible records in John 20:2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. The body of Jesus was missing.  The body of Christ was not where it was laid to rest.  “He is not here” is a powerful start to this announcement.

“He is Risen.”

Jesus defeated the grave.  Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:55, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” The tomb, the grave did not have power over Christ.  Jesus rose from the grave.

Jesus Defeated Death.  Death had no power over Christ.  Jesus willingly gave His life in dying on the cross for our sins.  He took our death.  Death is the penalty for sin.  The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death.”  Jesus had no sin of His own.  He took our sin upon Himself and paid the price for our sin with His life.  Jesus rose again, victorious over death.  Believer, we need not fear death.  Sometimes Christians sorrow at the moment of the death of a loved one.  If we are believers and if the loved ones were saved, we will meet again one day.  For the believer, death is compared to sleep.  Read I Thessalonians 4:13-18 for more details of this truth.

Jesus defeated Satan. For a moment, Satan may have believed he had won.  The Son of God was dead.  Satan witnessed his destructive plan unfold and then thought that he had defeated God.  Darkness fell upon the earth, Satan celebrated.  What a blow to that old serpent when “up from the grave Christ arose!”   Hebrews 2:14-15 says, Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

The penalty of sin, including the power of the grave, of death, and the power of Satan were defeated when Christ rose from the dead!  Believer, Because Jesus is alive, we are no longer in bondage to sin.  We are no longer dominated by Satan.  We are no longer doomed to death!  Jesus is alive – He gives a new life to believers!

“Come and See the Place.”

What a beautiful sight.   This author has yet to visit the tomb, but think with me about the magnitude of the moment when the stone rolled away and Jesus walked out of the tomb.  What a big event occurred in that small place outside the city of Jerusalem.  Notice with me as we look at this place through the eyes of the witnesses who were there…

The Tomb is Empty.  Jesus was not in the tomb.  When we go to the cemetery or find a tomb, we expect to find corpses, dead people, and bones in the tombs.  As we peer along with these ladies in to the tomb, there is nothing dead in there!  This tomb is a new tomb, freshly built and given to Christ by Joseph of Arimathea. No one else had ever been buried in there.  Now after the resurrection, the only evidence that it had been used was the fact that the grave clothes were still there, but there was no-body there!

As we peer into this place we realize that Salvation’s Plan is Complete.  When Mary Magdalene goes into the tomb – She sees two angels, one on each end of the place where the body of Christ was laid.   In the OT the Lord gave a covenant to the Jewish people.  They had the Law and the Tabernacle, and the Holy of Holies, and in that place the Lord gave the “Ark of the Covenant” with the Mercy seat on top of the ark.   The High Priest would go into this place once a year on behalf of the people. Exodus 30:10 describes this by stating, “And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD.”

What picture the Ark of the Covenant and the Cherubim on either side looking to the mercy seat displays.  A new covenant was convened on that day.  A new testament in action based on the blood of a perfect sacrifice, the sacrifice of God the Son, Jesus Christ.  God’s plan for salvation was complete.  For the first time in History, there was no more need for perpetual, daily sacrifices.  Christ made the sacrifice – once for all!

“Go and Tell.”

Every Resurrection Season, we see “Easter Lilies” as decorations.  The Easter Lilly is called that because it is blooming and opening up in the shape of a trumpet, as if it is announcing the resurrection of Christ.  It’s a new day on the earth! What a reminder of the need to go and tell of the resurrection of the Savior. 

Go tell other people are the instructions.  The angel tells the ladies to go and tell His disciples.  They needed to know what had happened.  Then with the fact of the resurrection in their mind, they were to go and tell others.   Jesus went to the people.  What an example Jesus is for us.

Would you take a pal to Easter worship if Jonas Brothers sang?”  is the title of a  USA Today, April 3, 2010 column which said the following  “There’s an unsettling theme in recent religion news. It’s not that U.S. Christians no longer celebrate Easter but that the evangelical spirit — defined as a drive to share this “good news” — seems to be waning. Christians, it would appear, are slacking on the job and their friends’ and families” souls are on the line, church leaders say.

A Christian Research firm, The Barna Group, has identified two key problems: First, many Christians are hazy on Jesus’ resurrection. Second, even those who know this is the core message of Easter, largely don’t share this faith with others.  David Kinnaman, president of Barna, told Baptist Press:  … those who celebrate Easter because of the resurrection of Christ are not particularly likely to invite non-churched friends to worship, suggesting that their personal beliefs about Jesus have not yet translated into a sense of urgency for having spiritual conversations with their acquaintances. Barna’s survey of 1,000 adults in February found just 42% tied the meaning of Easter to Jesus’ resurrection and only 2% called this day “the most important holiday of their faith.” Of those who identified themselves as active churchgoers, less than a third (31%) said they would invite guests to Easter worship services this year.

Maybe it would help if the Jonas Brothers were headlining the worship singing. That’s the idea Rev. Rick Warren had for his California megachurch Saddleback and now its Easter celebrations Saturday night and Sunday morning at Angels Stadium are “sold out.”’

What a tragedy is found in that reportLove and Truth go together in the Bible.  We love people – but not to the neglect of truth.  We need not compromise Biblical standards to tell people about Jesus Christ.   Just as the Apostles took the message of Christ to others, we are commanded to do the same.  Every Christian ought to be a missionary where he lives.

They told them the Gospel.  Dr. James Ray went to England to share the gospel and plant churches.  He told me about how he took an ad out in the newspaper personal section. The area of the newspaper that may read like this “Man seeks woman, etc.” His ad read: “Dear John, please call me at……..”  An answering machine at the other end said:  “John I just wanted you to know that your sin separates you from God.  John you need Jesus to be forgiven of you sin…..”   Dr. Ray received over 500 calls!  Some of those men named “John” were saved!

Years ago a man commented to DL Moody that “I do not like your way of evangelizing.” To which Mr. Moody responded: “I like my way of more than your way of not evangelizing.”

Christian friend, if Christians do not testify to the fact that Jesus is alive – who will?  If believers do not go into the world and tell the lost of Christ – who will?   What is the greatest need of the following people?  The unwed mother, the hateful teen, the jealous co-worker, the teacher of evolution, the neighbors who are constantly fighting each other, the arrogant driver, and the drunk college student?  Their greatest need is Jesus Christ!

The Gospel is the message of Salvation.  God’s love and grace caused Him to demonstrate His love by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die and rise again for us!   The Resurrection is the central theme of Christianity.  The Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ! Thank the Lord that the Gospel is available to all, but applied only to those who believe.

“I, the Angel of the Lord, Have Told You.”

The Resurrection is a Miracle of God.  No resurrection has ever happened without the power of God.  Anyone who was ever really dead and came back to life did so by the power of God.  The “touch and go” that some people claim to experience is not resurrection.  Jesus was dead, in the tomb for three days.  In a future day, Satan’s Antichrist will look like he is wounded to death in an attempt to claim resurrection power.  He will try to appear as powerful as Christ to the world who witness him.  Resurrection power however, is only of God.

The Resurrection is a Message from God.  Jesus spoke to Martha, the sister of Lazarus after Lazarus had died of sudden illness.  John 11:25-26 records, Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Based on the authority of the Word of God – God is extending salvation to you today.  He wants you to be saved today.  What would keep you from accepting the gift of eternal life.  Jesus paid the price for your sin, when He bled and died on the Cross.  Today you can trust Christ and receive salvation.  2 Corinthians 6:2  says, (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Today is the day, you can believe in the resurrection.  You can receive Christ by faith, and have His eternal salvation.  The greatest announcement in the world is that Jesus Christ is alive!

I enjoy the old Gospel hymn, “He Lives!”  Around 1933, Alfred Ackley, wrote these words and put them to music…

“I serve a risen Savior
He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy;
I hear His voice of cheer;
And just the time I need Him
He’s always near.”

“In all the world around me
I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary,
I never will despair;
I know that He is leading,
Through all the stormy blast;
The day of His appearing
Will come at last.”

“Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs
To Jesus Christ the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him,
The Help of all who find,
None other is so loving,
So good and kind.”

The chorus continues, “He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.”

The power in the Gospel is that Jesus rose from the dead!  Christianity is based on the fact that Jesus rose from the dead – had He not, all the preaching of the past 2000 years would have been in vain.  All the people who died for this Gospel would have died for a lost cause.  All the lives that have been touched would have been misled.  I am glad to tell you based on the authority of the Word of God, that Jesus came up out of that tomb!  Jesus is alive!

Would you be saved today?  Admit to the Lord that you are a sinner.  Believer that Jesus died on the Cross, shedding His blood for your sins.  Receive Christ as your personal savior. 

Believer, thank the Lord for the Sacrifice Christ made for you.  Thank the Lord for the salvation He has afforded you.  Ask the Lord to help the message of the resurrection to be a constant reminder of His grace, mercy, and love for you.  Be faithful to the Lord.  Find ways to share His message with others.

May the Lord bless each reader with the wonderful announcement made on that day:  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.”  The Resurrection of Christ is the greatest announcement ever given, and it changed the world!

Come See the Place

Come See the Place

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  Matthew 28:6

I enjoy reading each Gospel account of the resurrection of Jesus.  The details and perspective of each Gospel book add insight to this amazing and eternity changing event.  The greatest event in world history is the resurrection of Christ.  People may debate about the greatest occurrence, the birth of Christ, or His resurrection.  One without the other would be meaningless.  Both are required and are of utmost importance for the true story of Christ to be told.  Jesus was born to die.

As the women walked to the tomb early that morning, they were prepared to see His dead body.  They brought spices to anoint His body after the traditional custom of the Hebrews.  In the quickness of the mock trials and the riot-like execution of Christ, there was no time for a “proper” burial with spices and anointing.  We are familiar with the embalming process and use it even today.  These ladies were not sure they would even be allowed to perform this process.  The Romans soldiers were supposed to be guarding the tomb so that no-one would steal the body of Christ.  Would they let them anoint His body?  They loved Jesus so much; they were willing to try to anoint His body in a proper way.

When they get to the garden of Joseph of Arimathea, the place is eerily quiet.  I wonder if they had felt the earthquake that had occurred earlier in the morning.  As they get close to the tomb, they see the stone was already rolled away.  What was going on here?  Soldiers were lying on the ground as “dead men.”  They had fainted at the events from just a few moments earlier.  An angel of Heaven rolled the stone away after the earthquake shook the ground.  As the troops felt, and saw these things happened they fell down, fainting from shock.  Jesus then walks out of the tomb.

As the women gaze in, they here these words from the angel, “He is not here, come see the place where the Lord lay.”

There are at least two investigative type questions we must ask today about the resurrection.

  1. Was the body of Jesus stolen?  John 20:6-7 tells us, “Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.”

When Peter ducked into the empty tomb, he saw the linin wrapping that was wrapped around the dead body of Christ before He was buried.  Would someone stealing a body take all the clothes off the body and then carry the body away?  Would a thief un-wrap the body of a crucified person that was mutilated beyond recognition, and then touch the body with all the fluids, open wounds, and blood all about?  That does not make any sense.

Jesus rose again, left the wrapping in its place, and was clothed with fresh, clean garments.  His wounds were healed, yet His hands, feet, and side still showed the scars of the Cross.  (John 20:27)

  1. Did Jesus really die on the Cross? This is known as the swoon theory.  The idea is that Jesus did not really die, but “appeared” to be dead.  There is great evidence contrary to this notion.  In John 19:34 we discover that, “one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.”  The pericardium sack around the heart fills with fluid when a man’s body is under intense pressure.  The grief and trauma of Jesus taking the sins of the whole world and paying the death penalty for them was a weight too intense for us to even comprehend.  All the past, present, and future sins were paid for on the Cross.  This payment is effective for you, only if you place your faith in Christ (His work on the Cross and Resurrection), repenting of sin, and asking Christ to save you.  Jesus died because of our sin.

As the blood and water gushed from His side, it was clear that He was dead.  The idea that a man “near death” could move a 2000 pound stone is ridiculous.  Have you or a loved one ever had a surgery in your midsection, belly area or chest?  People who have intense wounds or surgery to the middle part of their body are incapacitated for some time.  They are not weightlifting within 3 days or even a few weeks.  Jesus was totally dead.

Recently, I was blessed to “come see the place” where Jesus was laid in the Garden Tomb.  His body was not there.  The tomb was empty!  Even if I did not see the place with my own two eyes, I can look at the Bible and believe what the eyewitness accounts say.  I can believe God the Father who gave us the Bible.  I can believe the Holy Spirit who inspired these Truths to be written down.

Have you been able to “see the place” with eyes of faith, believing in the resurrection?  Each Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Do you know Him as your Risen Lord and Savior today?

Remembering His Life

Remembering His Life

“And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.” Mark 16:1

Another day of remembrance is here.  Every September 11, we will remember the shameful attacks on our country, the sacrifice of men and women responding to help, and the call for international action against terrorists.  It is a day our generation will never forget.

Many who lost loved ones in the attack or subsequent wars that followed will never forget.  Today we pause to remember their lives.  We remember the sacrifice, dedication, and spirit of those who gave so much.  We remember the husbands and fathers, the wives and mothers, the sons and daughters.  We remember their lives.  Some will bring flowers, others will light candles.

Despite the difficult times we have experienced as a nation, we are blessed to live in this great land of freedom.  The Lord has prospered and provided time and again for this nation.  The Christian foundation continues to guide the land, even as many are veering from the Biblical principles that the Lord has providentially blessed.  We have the opportunity to freely remember and reflect on days such as this.

Another day that we should never forget is the scene at the Garden Tomb.  The ladies who witnessed the Crucifixion never forgot the day they saw the empty tomb.

It was Sunday morning, the first day of the week when Mary, supernaturally the mother of Jesus and naturally the mother of James, Mary Magdalene, and Salome, also known as Mary the sister of Martha, along with a few others according to Luke 24:1, came to the tomb with items with which they were going to anoint the body of Christ.  He had been dead three days now.  They brought sweet spices that had a perfuming essence and quality fit for a King.  It was a gift that they brought to remember the life and death of Jesus.

Just days earlier, Jesus had been unceremoniously beaten in a courtroom, had his clothes stripped off Him, had a large cross to carry up a hill, was met with ridicule and mocking, had a crown of thorns thrust onto His head, had nails driven in His feet and hands, and was hoisted up vertically on that cross for all to see.  On that day, man attacked God in the Flesh.  Jesus willingly endured the shame and disgrace of the cross.

These ladies had watched and listened as Christ forgave his tormentors, as He cried out “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”  They saw His blood dripping as they watched Him die.  He was taken off the cross, and Joseph of Arimathea begged for His body so it could properly be buried.

Now these ladies were reflecting on the life of Christ that had touched and changed so many people.  They brought these special items to honor His life and death.  When they got to the tomb however, the door was rolled away.  Christ was not in the tomb!  The angel told them in Matthew 28:5-6: “And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”  Look, He is not where they laid Him for He is risen from the dead!  They came to remember His life and death, but now He was alive!  Jesus is alive today!  Hundreds of eyewitnesses saw Him following His resurrection. The gifts they brought to remember the life and death of Christ were no longer needed!

Every day is a day to always remember.  Jesus at Calvary and the amazing truth of His empty tomb are events we should remember as well.   Remember the life of Christ.  He is alive today!

If you have not done so, trust Christ for your eternal salvation.  The God of eternity, Jesus, offers to you the free gift of salvation.  He gave His life so you could believe in Him and have eternal life.  Would you trust Christ today?

If you pray to Jesus in faith, He will answer your prayer for eternal life.

Pray to Him:  “Lord, I know that I am a sinner.  I believe that Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, and died in my place on the Cross.  He had no sin, yet He paid the price for my sin.  I believe He rose again from the dead.  Please forgive me of my sin and save my soul.”

Did you ask Christ for His forgiveness of sin and eternal salvation?  You may enjoy reading the New Testament book of First John.  This book will help you grow in your new faith in Jesus.