Saturday, March 30, 2013

If Jesus said "It Is Finished", Why the Resurrection?

This last Wednesday evening at our Prayer meeting we had a really good discussion. The question came up, that we know how to tell people why Jesus died on the cross, but how can we explain why Jesus had to rise again? And we kicked around several really good answers for that.
As a boy, it seemed that the main reason was just to show that Jesus beat the devil! Jesus wins, satan loses, end of story. And it felt good to know that. Boys are little competitive guys and that whole “we win you lose” story appeals to us.
Well, guess what. That’s really not totally off course. There is a sense of defeating the enemy in the work of Christ. In Colossians Paul ties together the death and resurrection of Christ and the giving of eternal life to this: 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
So I’d say yes, there IS victory in Jesus. But I’d like to show you a few more reasons if you have a few minutes on the Great Easter Sunday!
1.   First, To Show He was truly the Messiah. Why does the resurrection of Jesus from the dead show us that he is the Promised Messiah? Because, He did not die for his own sins. He died for our sins, but once he paid for them, he rose again. This also shows he can give life to all who trust in Him Act_2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be held of it. Death could not keep him. He was the sinless perfect man. He was the only one who lived a Righteous life. Act 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. Rom 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
And this was important enough for Peter to say, Act 10:40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly. This was for His disciples to see His victory and for the evil powers who thought they had victory.
2.   He rose to give us eternal life.
Paul writes: Rom 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.  We have many verses that state clearly that without the resurrection our salvation is not complete.Listen:
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. And,  1 Co 15: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. AND,
Eph_2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 
Jesus needs to be the Living Risen Savior if we are going to be “In Christ” and in the heavenlies. Jesus must be raised in a New Life if he is to give us a new life. Jesus needs to have conquered Death if we are to conquer death. BUT, I want to show you one more thing: 1Pe  1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, be multiplied. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
It is the duty of the High Priest to take the blood of the sacrifice into the Holy of Holies! Now I don’t know exactly what Jesus did when he entered the presence of His Father. Remember, Jesus is still the God/man. This was the reunion of Father God and God the Son, but also human and divine. But I know this, Jesus was obedient to death, He shed His perfect sinless blood, and entered Bodily into the very Throne room of His almighty Father- to declare for us that Redemption has been accomplished and Applied! And by This living Christ we have Eternal life, eternal standing in the heavenlies
3.  3rd He rose to defeat death so we could be raised, too.
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you. 1Co 6:14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
     Way way back, at the beginning of the story. There was Adam and Eve. They weren't created to die in 70 or 80 years. I think they were made perfectly and given access to the Tree of life so they could eat it and live forever. At least potentially. But they ate fruit from the Other tree, right? And the dream of eternal life with the Father was lost forever. Paradise Lost. But God didn't forget about it. God is preparing a place for us. Not so we can float around like disembodied spirits strumming imaginary harps!
No, but to have glorified bodies. Bodies that interact with things. Bodies that have senses. Bodies that glorify God.
They will be different for sure. Jesus has a glorified body and he appeared in a room whose door was shut. We also know that Jesus ate food, but we suspect He doesn't need to. I don’t think we’ll need blood in our veins. The life of human flesh is in the blood but Jesus said after the resurrection; Luke 24:39 See my hands and my feet? It is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see I have.
But however our bodies 1 Cor 15 is very clear, we will have a very real body.  1 Co 15:42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, "The first Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
4.   And Fourthly: He Rose to Come again as King of Kings.
I’m going to take us from Paul and Peter who had a lot to say about the resurrection of Jesus, and go to His brother, James.
Jas 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws nigh.
The First Time: Jesus came as suffering servant. He came to turn the other cheek, heal the brokenhearted, raise a few dead, and preach the Coming of the Kingdom of God!
But Jesus is coming again! Amen?
Jesus is coming again.
Jesus ascended to heaven from a lonely hilltop with a few hundred followers. Jesus is coming again to multitudes of faithful saints!
Jesus, left behind 11 apostles. Jesus coming back to saints from every tribe and every tongue; every color and every race.
He had no form or comeliness that we should desire Him, but when He comes again Every Eye shall behold Him!
We esteemed him stricken of God and Afflicted!
But now God has given Him a name that is above every other name, That at the Name of Jesus…

That AT the Name of Jesus…

That at the NAME of Jesus…

That at the name of JESUS…

That at the name of Jesus… Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
To the Glory of God the Father.

Proclaim Jesus as Lord today. Don’t wait.
Proclaim Him as Lord over your life.
Surrender your sinful life to Jesus.
Beg His mercy and Grace. He is our only hope.
Take Him as your redeemer. He bought your soul with His blood.
Embrace Jesus with your whole heart.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Christians and Irreverent Silliness on Facebook

In studying through Romans I came across:
Rom 12:16  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
Well, I had to stop and admit, I have failed at this from time to time.
And I take it to heart that God is serious about this.
But at the risk of people thinking I am violating this verse I'm going to say something anyway.

I am so sick and tired of the silly little pictures - supposedly of Jesus - that ask questions on facebook like "Excuse me but will you take a moment and 'accept' me?"
First, HEY PEOPLE! That's not Jesus in the picture!

Exo 20:4  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 
Deu 4:16  Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female....  This refers to images of God or a god whom you might worship. Now I don't believe that people are going to bow down in front of their computer when a 'likeness or similitude of what Jesus looks like pops up, but why do it? Why publish false images of God?

Thank you, I feel better.

Second, STOP PUTTING WORDS IN HIS MOUTH! (Sorry, I'll try not to shout, but I am a Baptist preacher.)
Deu 4:2  Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it...
This is one verse that demonstrates a principal in scripture that we are not to add to God's Words.
Third, please stop making Jesus sound apologetic and nervous and well, effeminate. When he was in the temple courts, he didn't say "Excuse me, please stop selling those doves for such an outrageous price and please stop ripping people off while exchanging their currency."
He didn't say to the rich young ruler, "Sir, if it's not too much trouble, you might want to think about giving some of your money to the poor and then come follow me. I mean if it's not too much trouble. If it is that's OK you can still be my follower. Unless of course you'd like to lead a while. What do you think guys?"

One thing that grieves me about all this is that there are many who are not true disciples of Jesus who click "Like" or say "Yes I accept Jesus" who are lost and going to hell and by their flippant response to Christ A) believe they are accepted by Him, and B) insult the Lord of glory by treating him like something to pin on pintrest.
Another thing that bothers me about this trend is that True Believers go along with this irreverent silliness with out stopping to think about the message they send, that following Jesus is some easy little thing you tack on to the rest of your life; Ignoring that Jesus Is Lord of All! King of Kings and the Sovereign master of the Universe. He is a jealous God, a demanding God, and a God who will not share his glory with another, not even His true children!

Look I know my sins are great. I know every time I choose my way over His it's a rebellion. When ever I prize my way over His its idolatry. And I am so thankful for His Grace and Mercy. And I am thankful that His goodness continually draws me to repentance.

We have such a gracious God. But He is also Worthy of all honor and glory and praise. Let's not belittle Him in the public square with irreverent casualness.

You know what I am for?  I am for snippets of scripture! I love pretty pictures! You can even combine these. I love examples of some one doing something Christ-like. I think its great to call people to True repentance and faith in the Christ of scripture (read evangelism). I like it when someone posts a scripture or an idea that challenges, comforts, edifies. So, keep up the good work in those areas and be not weary in well-doing.