Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Truths

Some things to meditate on this Easter Season - 9 Things You Need to Know About the Resurrection by Joe Carter
This week news broke that a quarter of self-proclaiming Christians in Great Britain do not believe in the Resurrection according to a study by the BBC. For those of you who will celebrate the Resurrection this Easter Sunday, that figure may be shocking. For every reader of this blog, there are 9 things you need to know about the Resurrection.
1. Belief in the Resurrection is the core doctrine of the Christians faith. If you do not believe in the Resurrection, then you do not have a relationship with God in and through Jesus Christ.
“…If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Rom 10:9).
“And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins!” (1 Cor 15:17).
2. The Resurrection gives everyone else who dies hope for eternal life. The Bible teaches that since Jesus lives as a result of the Resurrection, all those who have a relationship with Him have hope that they too will live with Him in eternity.
“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” 1 Cor 15:20-22).
Jesus said, “…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 to Myself: that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3).
3. The disciples who became apostles did not understand it initially. As followers of Jesus on earth, Jesus taught the disciples about the Resurrection but they did not understand him until after the actual Resurrection.
“Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of man had risen from the dead. So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant” (Mark 9:9-10).
“Then some of His disciples said among themselves, ‘What is this that He says to us…’” (John 16:17).
4. The religious leaders of the Jews were afraid of the Resurrection. The religious leaders did not appreciate Jesus’ message that threatened their power and upset their system of religion. They were afraid of a risen Messiah or Savior.
“…So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard” (Matthew 27:62-66).
5. The Resurrection provided the disciples joy and a foundation for belief. When teaching the disciples about the Resurrection, Jesus said that their sorrow of His death would be turned into joy – joy that no one can take from you. John recalled these words as He encouraged people to believe in Jesus.
Jesus said, “Most assuredly I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. … Therefore you now have sorrow, but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you” (John 16:20-22).
6. The Resurrection was attested by eyewitnesses. Paul lists many of those who saw the resurrected Jesus.
“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time” (1 Cor 15:1-8).
7. The Resurrection demonstrated Jesus is the Son of God. Paul saw the Resurrection as proof-positive that Jesus was the Son of God.
“…concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom 1:3-4).
8. The Resurrection provides the basis for our salvation. Jesus went to the cross because of our sins and a wrath-bearing sacrifice was necessary. He was raised from the dead to provide for our justification or salvation.
“…It will be counted to us who believe in Him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Rom 4:24-25, ESV).
9. The Resurrection provides you the power to live a God-honoring life. The power of the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead as demonstrated by the Resurrection is the same power that abides in you and gives you hope for true life change, which is living a life that honors God.
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom 8:11).
“…and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly place…” (Eph 1:19-23; cf. Eph 3:20-21)).
“…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection…” (Phil 3:10).