The message(s) of Easter:
Jesus died for us and then rose again. Why He did that and how is quite an amazing story and it is shared year after year. I didn't want to simply write about the events as they happened, I didn't want to simply tell the story this year, so I did some searching for verses that talk about what happened on Easter and why. The gift, the purpose, in some ways it is a simple story. Most of us know what happened and we are filled with joy. It really is an amazing story. But sometimes I try to look at things a little differently and in more depth and so that is my goal this week. Let's look at some verses. I apologize if any of it is out of order or if I jump from one thing to another.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- We know that Christ died for our sins. He paid our debt with His life. When He did that He overcame death and sin. And then He rose again. He is alive. Christ did not die so that we can sin all we want and never think about it again. He died so that we too may have power over death and sin. We are no longer slaves to sin. Christ has overcome it. And now, we are alive in Christ.
50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
- As soon as Jesus died, the veil in the temple was torn in two. That veil was a real item. It was something that separated the part of the temple where people could be from the holiest part. This was very symbolic of our relationship with God. We are so unworthy to be in His presence. Back in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had a close personal relationship with God. They spent REAL time with Him. They could talk to Him and walk with Him whenever they liked. Can you imagine anything better? Well, as soon as death came into the world, we became separated from God. Adam and Eve were no longer allowed in the garden. Things became quiet different. And now, well Jesus said at one time that no one could come to the Father except through Him. We have been separated from God. It's like someone put up a wall, or a veil between us and Him.
When Jesus died, all that separated us from God was torn in two. We are now able to go to God and talk with Him whenever we need Him. The distance between us has changed drastically, and when Christ returns all will be made whole again.
I don't know, I just found that passage quite interesting. Almost like poetry. It would have been pretty amazing to actually witness that veil tear. Even though we didn't get to see that physically ourselves, that veil has been torn so that we are no longer separated from Him.
1 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.
- I find it interesting how many times in the bible an angel will appear. Each time the angel will be quite an appearance. A person wouldn't be able to look upon them without some sense of amazement. This is a perfect example. Can you imagine being at that tomb that morning? Can you imagine the ground shaking and that stone being rolled away... and then seeing this angel who's appearance is like lightening and clothes as white as snow? It is no wonder that the guards became as dead men. I think many people would pass out or at least tremble in fear. And yet each time an angel appears like this, He will say "do not fear" or "fear ye not" as it says in this passage.
In a way it makes perfect sense that an angel would have such an appearance. I mean, who would believe it if some bum on the side of the road was the one who told them Jesus was risen from the dead... Just like the angel that visited Mary and told her not to fear. The angel has to calm the people because their presence is so amazing. Why is their presence so amazing? Well for one thing, they're angels. I really wouldn't expect anything else. But also, I believe, to prove who they are. As I mentioned before, who would believe it if it were a bum on the side of the road telling you these things. But imagine standing there and this awesome presence is before you. Light shines around, and it's just amazing. Actually, I suggest that you take a moment, close your eyes, and really imagine it. Chances are I would have trembled a bit. Now imagine while you are standing there in this awesome presence, perhaps a bit scared... just imagine the authority you would hear in their voice as they told you what has happened. I mean, this is a real messenger from God, bringing a real message from God. And with the appearance being so amazing, it would be hard not to believe it.
Anyway... the whole story, the whole event... what happened, what Jesus did... that was all powerful enough... but all those signs... the earthquake... the veil tearing... the stone rolling away... Jesus appearing before them... What a tremendous story. I can't help but close my eyes and try to imagine being there in those days.
Are you looking for Jesus this Easter season?
Just don't look for Him in the grave... He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.
He is risen indeed. And always remember, He did not rise from the dead for you alone... or just your good friends and family... Go, and tell the world what the Lord has done. People need to know this wonderful story.
Dear Lord I thank you so much for what you did for us. That death on the cross, I believe, was a bigger sacrifice than we can imagine. You gave up so much for us. You paid our debt so that we may have eternal life with you. Thank you Lord. Thank your for loving us so much. I just pray right not that we would be able to share your story with the world. I pray that we would find those that are seeking you Lord. I pray for all those that visit you in church once or twice a year would be touched this year and that they would develop a closer relationship with you. I pray that we would see all the opportunities around us to witness to those in need.
A new subject or passage each week for all to discuss.
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