Saturday, April 11, 2020

Resurrection Proofs


Matthew 28:1-10 King James Version (KJV)

"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.
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.
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
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.
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.
And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
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."

There are few historical events which are better documented or for which there is more conclusive evidence than the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. But, my message is not to review again those many infallible proofs of the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. Instead, I want to draw your attention to some of our Christian beliefs, teachings and hopes which are firmly established and confirmed as a result of the fact that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead.
We believe that the soul of man is immortal.  We believe that if a man dies he will live again, either in Heaven or in Hell. The resurrection of Christ from the dead proves the immortality of the soul.  It proves that death does not end it all.  There is life after death!
Jesus arose from the dead by His own power and ascended into Heaven
...never to die again.  
He is alive forever more!

Recorded in James 11:25-26, "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?"
Not only will our souls live on but our bodies will be resurrected and transformed into new bodies.  The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus from the dead proves the body is indestructible.  Jesus did not leave His body in the tomb and appear in the form of a spirit. When we as God's children come forth on that resurrection morning we too shall be clothed in new bodies.  (1 Corinthians 15:53 - "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.")
They will not be bodies exactly like the ones which are laid in the graves.  We will come forth from the grave with transformed bodies even as did our Lord.  They will be Spiritual bodies like unto His...His resurrected body in which He appeared to His disciples.  A real tangible body of flesh and bones.  The Bible says in Acts 10:41, "Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, evento us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead."  Yes, He ate with them.
I won't take the time today to delve into the nature and characteristics of our resurrected bodies but we do affirm that the resurrection of our Lord is proof of life after death in the bodily form.  He brought His dead body forth to life and He will do the same for us.
Further, the Resurrection of our Lord from the dead proves the infallibility of the Bible.  Christ coming into the world, His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension unto Heaven are all foretold and fulfilled in the Word of God.  Jesus Himself said , "all things must be fulfilled which were written." (Luke 24:44)  "Thus it behoved Him to suffer and to rise from the dead on the 3rd day"....(Luke 24:46)
Christ arose and provided proof of the infallibility and immutability ( meaning, "unable to change)  of the inspired Word of God.  The disciples were living witnesses of that proof.  He said to them, "Ye are witness of these things." (Luke 24: 46-48).
The Resurrection of Jesus is 
conclusive proof the Bible 
is the inspired, infallible, immutable Word of God. 
 To refute it, disobey it or ignore it 
is to do so at ones own peril.  
Our Lord is alive and is coming back to this earth again, even as His infallible Word declares!  "He said, I will come again!" (John 14:3
 Search the Scriptures. 
 Jesus never made a promise which He did not keep or will not keep!  
He said, "Destroy this temple", (John 2:19) and He did.  He said, If I go away I will send another comforter the Holy Spirit, (John 14:16) and He did.  Another proof that He arose and was alive on that Easter morning...The angel said, He is not here for He is risen. (Matthew 28:6)  As "He" said, I will rise from the dead, (Mark 9:31) and He did.  
Friends, He said He would come again, (John 14:3) and He will.....yes He will.  

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Ye believe in God believe also in me.  In my Fathers house are many mansions.  If it were not so I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am ye shall be also."

His coming is inevitable

 because He arose and is alive!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

This Day......Passover

Matthew 26:26-30 King James Version 

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

It was in this room that our Lord was observing the Passover. 
 Here Jesus instituted Holy Communion at the Lord's Table.   
Verse 30 says they also sang a hymn and went out into the Mount of Olives.  
Have you ever wondered what it was that they sang?  It is told by some that according to Jewish history, Psalm 118:22-24 was sung as part of the Passover ritual for centuries and even so to this very day. 
 "The Hal-lel."                                                

Psalm 118:22-24 King James Version

22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
23 This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
"What does Halel mean?  (ˈhɑlˌɛl ; also hɑˈlɛl ) a part of the Jewish religious services consisting of Psalms 113 to 118 inclusive, recited or sung on certain festivals. Word origin. Heb halel, praise."
Today, most of us are familiar with Verse 24
"This is the day which the Lord hath made;
 we will rejoice and be glad in it."
In this upper room the Lord was observing the Passover before He Himself would become the Passover.  It was only hours before His death on the Cross, at Calvary.  Jesus was fully aware of the suffering which would be His. He understood the great physical agony that He was to endure during crucifixion.  At this table He was understanding the full implications of what was about to transpire, being forsaken by the Father, while He took upon Himself the sins of the whole world.
That day, only hours away from the Cross that our Lord could sing!  In absolute definitive (speaking of a definite day) triumph and victory...."This is the day  which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." 
 Oh the strength of our Lord's joy!  
The Bible says in Hebrews 12:2 that with JOY He endured the cross.                        "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."   Speaking of JOY, we are told several times in the Bible that "the JOY of the Lord is our strength."  Psalm 28:7 says, "The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving."
Jesus realized this was a day in the active plan and purpose of His Heavenly Father.  He said "for this cause came I into the world." (John 18:37)  He came to minister and to give His life a ransom for many.  He came to die.  That was His purpose.
It didn't matter what was taking place around Him, Jesus would rejoice and be glad in this day, because through His death, burial and resurrection, He would redeem those who would trust Him to be their Savior and Lord.   This was His Father's will. 
 Calvary was not a defeat but a glorious victory!

Things were NOT out of control.  His words from the Cross were "It Is Finished."                     These were words of VICTORY, not defeat.
Verse 22 of Psalm 118 that was sung at Passover was, "The stone (CHRIST) which the builders (ISRAEL) refused is become the head stone of the corner."  Ephesians 2:20 says "  The head of the corner, the chief corner stone.  This is the real support foundation. Ephesians 2:20 tells us, "Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone."                      We also read in Matthew 16:18 "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."  Upon this ROCK I will build my church... It does not say "pebble" Peter.  But, the Rock Redeemer!  

The Rock Christ Jesus, the Head of the corner.  
He was crucified.  
He was dead and buried.
 3 days later He rose again and is alive forever more!

The joy of the Lord is a triumphant joy.  
With joy He endured the Cross.  
With suffering and agony a few hours away He could sing, "This is the day the Lord hat made, I will rejoice and be glad in it".  This is the Lord's will.  It is marvelous!  Our salvation is the Lord's doing.  How marvelous!  Why should we not rejoice and be glad?  
It is all the Divine plan and purpose of God!  
Our lives are in His hands!

Every minute - every hour - every day!

In this.....on this day.... we can rejoice and be glad.  
We can experience JOY.
It is the Lord's doings.  
It is the Lord's plan and purpose!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

How Then Shall The Scriptures Be Fulfilled?


Matthew 26:53-54 King James Version (KJV)

"53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 
54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?"
These scriptures in Matthew give us an account during the time of our Lord's betrayal by Judas.  This was the time that Jesus was given into the hands of those who sought His life.
Jesus refused all resistance and help at this time.  He knew that the hour of God's will, purpose and plan had now come.  
But, at the same time Jesus emphasized the fact that He was never without help when He chose to use it.  He had a Father whom He was able to call upon.  He had a resource of power far greater than the swords of men.  SO DO YOU AND I.  
Jesus is wanting to teach us something here.....Verse 53..."Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father....?"    Friends, there is no predicament in which you or I can not pray!  The door of prayer is always open.  We have a Father that we can go to in time of need.  He loves us!  He cares about us!
We do not have to tremble and fear when we seem to be outnumbered or all the forces of this world seemingly come against us.  May we be reminded that ALL the powers of God and Heaven are greater and at our disposal through Christ and prayer.  The individual who realizes he has such resources behind him can walk into an ambush without fear.  If God be for us, who can be against us?  Romans 8:31
Jesus is not only wanting to teach us something, He is wanting to show us that there is no limit to the available resources of God that are ours through prayer.                                       A legion of angels is 6000.  12 legions of angels would be 72,000.
Jesus says here that He could pray to the Father and He would give Him....MORE THAN.  "More than" 12 legions of angels.                                                                        
Aren't you thankful we have a Father with unlimited resources and available help when we come to Him in prayer?   
Notice something else here.....Jesus, as He was taken captive said, "thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father and He would right now send thousands of angels?"
 But, He did not need to because He had already just prayed concerning this matter.  
In the Garden of Gethsemane He settled it with "not my will but thy will be done."
There is further thought here....                                                                                             Let us never employ other forces that God Himself does not order us to use!  
Many other forces may be at our disposal but if the are not the fulfillment of His Word they will only hinder His will.  
God's will....God's the best way!
Let's read these verses again, especially noticing Verse 54
" But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?"
A single prayer would have wrought our Lords deliverance from His enemies.  "But, how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled?"  Thus it must be!  
I want us to see our Lord's great respect for the Scriptures.  If the Scriptures were only the writings of man there would be no necessity that they be fulfilled.  But Jesus insisted that they be fulfilled.  Why?  He knew that they were the inspired Words of the Living God.  
He would not truffle with them or differ with them.  
He came to fulfill them.  
He believed in their infallibility.
Jesus knew the Scriptures were the will of God and the will of God must be done!  
Jesus was willing to die rather than the Scriptures be unfulfilled.  He willingly would go to the Cross rather than any one word not be carried out.  
Let me tell you something........  God stood - and still stands behind His Word!  
He did - and He will watch over His Word to perform it.
Come now to the Lord's table with this final thought....the Son of God was willing to be smitten rather than the Word of God fall to the ground.  Jesus would give His life for the Scriptures and their fulfillment.  That's how strongly He was convinced that it was the Fathers will and desired that we be redeemed and that we be healed. 
Oh, how much He loved and cared for you and I.
Jesus could have called down a body guard of thousands of angels......
"But, how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled?"  
How then would we be able to sing "There Is Power In The Blood?" 
How then would we be able to say, "By His stripes I am healed?"  
How then would we be able to "resist the devil and see him flee?"
Jesus could have escaped being taken away and bound.  He could have escaped the suffering.  
"But, how then would the scriptures be fulfilled?"  

Would you like to be sheltered, protected and kept from all affliction, all sickness, all trouble, all poverty, all sorrow, persecution, etc?  
"But, how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled?"  
How then would we prove Him to be the God of His Word?  
How then could we say, "by His stripes I am healed?" 
How then could we say, "Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ?"
Jesus declined the legions of angels
 so that you and I might claim
 the legions of God's promises.