Sunday, April 24, 2011

Christ is Risen!

Christ is Risen!  ("He is risen indeed.")

He is risen from the dead, 'born again'!  Let's talk about the first time he was born on earth to frame the perspective of Easter.  Everyone, it seems, or at least the majority of folks, love Christmas.  The gift giving and receiving, the kind spirits and wishes for peace and harmony, all help to ease entry into winter.  Secular folk and non-Christians alike tolerate it still being called 'Christmas', even though its a commercialized version with little in common with the Christian meaning of it.  Except that Jesus is God's biggest gift to man, and we celebrate giving gifts to each other.  Christians do well to incorporate the remembrance of God giving us Jesus (his birth on earth) as we give gifts to others.

In contrast, Easter is huge for followers of Jesus, of much more significance than Christmas.  Christmas is the birth of the promised and prophesied Messiah, savior of the the Israelites (Jewish people) and the entire human race.  Easter is the culmination and completion of that work.  First Jesus was convicted (falsely and with improper legal procedure) of blasphemy, by claiming he was the Messiah.  For this he was crucified on the cross by the Romans, on behalf of the religious Jewish leaders and the crowds in Jerusalem.  He was buried in a tomb sealed with a huge boulder and guarded by Roman soldiers.  But on the third day he rose again (as He promised) from the dead, in a resurrected body.  

We believe that the reason Jesus died on the cross, after being brutally tortured and mocked, was to pay the penalty of our sins, to make us right with God.  He freely, voluntarily, bled for us: "our sins were washed in the blood of Christ!".  Jesus Christ, "Son of Man and Son of God", was made guilty of all of the sin of humanity.  How?  Substitutionary atonement.  I'd have to be a seminary student or theologian to explain, its a mystery but we believe it.  The burden of the guilt of our sin was laid upon Him.  "For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ."  2 Corinthians 5:21

The most well known bible scripture is John 3:16.  Say it with me: "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."  John is quoting Jesus here, Jesus said these words near the beginning of John's record of his ministry.  Applied to the resurrection, whoever believes in Jesus will have a resurrected body and eternal life.  Jesus proved it by his own rising from the dead!  Alleluia!

A believer is "saved by grace, through faith".  No good works or any good deeds one can do in this life can ensure a person of eternal life with God; only by investing your faith in Jesus as your Savior by his completed work on the cross can.  This is a great thing!

I appreciate you reading my blog and letting me share my faith with you.  God Bless you!  Jesus is risen!

Let's celebrate His resurrection!  Here is another video of a great song by Matt Maher.

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