Tag Archives: resurrection

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.

Advertisements

Running to the Tomb

Running to the Tomb

“Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 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. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.”  John 20:3-9

Peter and John are stoked.  They are amazed at what Mary Magdalene has just told them about the tomb being empty.  It had been a fast three days earlier that everyone saw Joseph of Arimathea wrap the body of Jesus and lay it in a brand-new tomb.

Peter and John run.  They run to verify the amazing story of the resurrection.  After running to ensure the validity of the empty tomb, verse 8 says: “he saw, and believed.”  What John saw and believed was that Jesus was gone, the resurrection took place, just as He had said.

Many Christians would say they “believe.” Our issue today is that we take that “belief” for granted.  Since the resurrection is life changing, eternity changing, and is the single most monumental moment in history, you would think we would have a higher regard for Jesus and the salvation He purchased for us on the Cross.  This moment of victory is unparalleled by anything else in life.  Anything.

Even while we “believe” many of us are not as enthusiastic about the Cross, the Resurrection, and of Jesus as we ought to be.  How many Christians will make it to Easter Sunday on time?  How many will be late?  How many will show up at all? How many will have an inner excitement visible on the outside with facial expressions of peace, joy, and satisfaction in Jesus?  We tend to “run” everywhere else: “Run” to the store.  “Run” to the Doctor or to the school event.  We “run” to sporting events and more!

We should run to the empty tomb Easter Sunday and every Sunday.  The Christian church celebrates the resurrected Lord Jesus every Sunday.  That is why the old “Sabbath Day” of worship was moved to Sunday.  Because Jesus rose on the first day of the week. We should congregate with other Christians to worship the resurrected Lord.  We should be quick to priorities celebrating our faithful God and praising His Son for what He did on the Cross and in the Tomb for us.

We may not need to physically run to church, but we should have the same drive and energetic spirit to stop everything else to praise the Lord.  Go to church this Sunday with the same emotions of jubilation and amazement that Peter and John had that very first resurrection day!

 

 

 

 

 

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?