Tag Archives: easter

Easter Why is the Resurrection so Important?

Why is the Resurrection so Important?

Written by Dan Lee on 11/04/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Jesus, Resurrection, Heaven, Salvation
My friends, I want you to remember the message that I preached and that you believed and trusted. You will be saved by this message, if you hold firmly to it. But if you don’t, your faith was all for nothing. I told you the most important part of the message exactly as it was told to me. That part is: Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say. He was buried, and three days later he was raised to life, as the Scriptures say.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4
What makes Easter the most important day in the Christian calendar – bigger even than Christmas? Here are three simple reasons:

1. The Resurrection is a Historical Fact
Just days earlier, Jesus had been betrayed and arrested. He was beaten, mocked, tortured and executed. His disciples had scattered, His closest followers denying that they even knew Him. It seemed like total failure.

But on Sunday morning, the women who had come to anoint Him found, not a body, but an empty tomb. The Jewish leaders chose to spread the story that someone had stolen the body (Matthew 28:13).

Then, as it says in 1 Corinthians 15:5-6, “Christ appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After this, He appeared to more than five hundred other followers. Most of them are still alive, but some have died.” To back up his statement, Paul says, in effect, “You don’t believe me? Go ask the people who were there!”

2. The Resurrection is Central to Our Faith
The resurrection is more than a nice afternote at the end of the story.

Again, read what the Apostle Paul says: “You will be saved by this message (of the resurrection), if you hold firmly to it. But if you don’t, your faith was all for nothing” (1 Corinthians 15:2b).

If Jesus’ story ended at the cross, His claims of divinity and of the power to forgive sin, would be empty. Christianity would be just another philosophy for living, another list of “what to do” and “what not to do” – and eternal life, only a wish.

But because Jesus rose from the dead, his claims were confirmed and His authority validated. He truly is Lord and Savior to those who put their trust in Him. And those who do not follow Him are deserving of judgment: “No one who has faith in God’s Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn’t have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God’s only Son” (John 3:18).

3. His Resurrection Guarantees Our Resurrection
“If our hope in Christ is good only for this life, we are worse off than anyone else. But Christ has been raised to life! And he makes us certain that others will also be raised to life” (1 Corinthians 15:19-20).

Have you ever observed a baptism? As the person was dipped into the water and then lifted out, the minister probably said something like this: “Buried with Christ; raised to walk in newness of life.” This is almost a direct quote of Romans 6:5, “If we shared in Jesus' death by being baptized, we will be raised to life with him.” And Paul goes on to say, “As surely as we died with Christ, we believe we will also live with him” (Romans 6:8).

This shows that we are completely connected – that is, united – with Jesus, in His death and resurrection (Romans 6:1-11). Our sins were crucified on the cross with Jesus (Colossians 2:14), as was our old human nature’s power over us (Galatians 2:20).

And some day, the Lord will return for His people. Believers who have died will be resurrected first (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), and all of us will receive amazing glorified bodies.

So this Easter, think about all that the resurrection means for us, and give praise to our great God for His glorious and wonderful plan for His children.

Pray this week:

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that You did not stay in the grave, but You are alive today. Thank You that everyone will see You and bow down to You when You return. Thank You that because You rose from the grave, we also will rise and reign with you in Heaven. Give me the faith to believe and to live for eternal things.

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An Easter Gift for You

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the key to the Christian faith

Written by Joy on 05/04/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Crucifixion, Easter, Jesus, Life, Resurrection
“Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live, ” John 11:25

During Easter we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This event is the key to understanding the Christian faith. Without Easter morning, what Jesus taught and modeled would only bring us condemnation. “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” I Corinthians 15:17 Let’s learn more about the special Easter gift God has for you.

Love
At the time of Jesus’ coming, the Bible already had many detailed predictions about Jesus’ death on the cross. His own words in Matthew 12:40, Mark 8:31 and John 2:19-21 show He knowingly and willingly went to the cross. “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily…” (John 10:18). His death was not by accident. It was not for His own glory. He died to rescue us from our sins. “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8)

Life
Easter is not just about the death of Jesus. His resurrection was a victory! Because He conquered death, we can be sure of the resurrection He promises for those who believe in Him. “‘Death is swallowed up in victory’…But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:54,57). Jesus’ triumph over death keeps us from spending eternity separated from God.

Hope
Many religious leaders tell of various ways to reach heaven. Yet, no others have shown proof that theirs is the true way. “Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said…After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

Jesus predicted His own death and resurrection, and then he accomplished it. He also promised to prepare a place in heaven for all who believe in Him. (John 14:1-6) He Himself is the bridge to eternal life. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Will you accept this Easter Gift for yourself? Click here to accept God’s gift of eternal life.

Pray this week:

Thank you God for the gift of love you gave me through Jesus. I accept Jesus’ death as payment for my sins and I trust in the life and hope that Jesus offers.

Jesus is different than every other religious leader in history. How did Jesus predict his own death and resurrection? Connect with a caring Christian to find out.

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Bible Terms: Easter Do we really understand all that Easter encompasses?

Do we really understand all that Easter encompasses?

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Bible, Easter
"When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the King of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride."

How often do we consider the cross to that extent today?

At least once a year we take time to reflect on what Jesus Christ has done for us. Every Easter we think of the cross, the tomb, and the resurrection. But do we really understand all that Easter encompasses? All too often we throw around religious, theological words, but we don’t stop and think about what they really mean.

Here are 12 crucial, biblical terms to ponder. As we speak these words this Easter we can appreciate anew the reason we celebrate.

SIN
Sin is choosing our own will over God’s will. This turning to self instead of God has infected every human since the Garden of Eden—separating us from our God and each other. The devastation of sin is why we so need to have an Easter.

If we look at the underlying motive that results in a “sinful” action, we’ll realize that overcoming sin is not about changing behavior; it’s about changing where we place our heart and will; it’s about changing from self-rule to God-rule. But we can’t even do that on our own power. Easter celebrates that the power of sin was broken by Jesus Christ when he died for our sins and rose from the dead. His victory is the basis for our victory (Romans 6:5-11).

REPENTANCE
Repentance is not just saying, “I’m sorry.” It’s turning away from the sin that separated us from God; reaching out, instead, to receive God’s forgiveness and the new life he offers. Repentance is necessary for salvation (Acts 3:19). We must agree with God about our sin and turn toward him. We do not need to be perfect before we come to God, and we will still sin while we’re in this human body. But too often we shrug off our sins by saying, “Well, God’s forgiven me, so I’m okay.” That is not repentance. Repentance puts action to our words. True repentance means letting the forgiveness you’ve experienced change your life.

FORGIVENESS
Throughout history, God has been merciful and forgiving to those who repent of their sin. But that doesn’t mean forgiveness is automatic. Because the penalty for sin is death, God’s law says there can be no forgiveness without the sacrifice of a life. Jesus’ death paid the ultimate price, and now our sins are wiped out, gone forever. It is true that we will still sin in this life, but God continues to forgive us when we come to him (1 John 1:9).

CLEAN
When God forgives us, he cleans us. When he cleans us, we’re clean all the way through to the depths of our being. As part of his forgiveness, God cleanses us from all our sin and declares that we are now as “white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18; Hebrews 10:22).

BLOOD
Jesus Christ gave his blood on a torturous Roman cross to pay the penalty for our sin and to give us new life through a relationship with him. Centuries before Christ’s death, as a picture of what was to come, God told the Israelites to apply splotches of lamb’s blood on the doorframes of their houses. It was a sign that they believed in God and trusted him to spare their families from the angel of death whom God sent to Egypt (Exodus 12:21-23). The blood of animals could never really forgive sins—they only anticipated the blood of Jesus Christ’s ultimate sacrifice— his perfect, sinless, loving life (Hebrews 10:4-7).

SACRIFICE
A true sacrifice involves giving up something that is cherished. Abraham showed that he loved God by his willingness to sacrifice his long-awaited son Isaac as God commanded. The Israelites showed their obedience to God, worshiped God, and received the promise of forgiveness through the giving of animal and grain sacrifices.

It is no accident that the Crucifixion and Resurrection occurred during Passover. As the most important sacrifice in the Old Testament, Passover paints the most vivid picture of the greatest sacrifice ever made: the one made by God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus sacrificed his place in heaven to become human; he then sacrificed his life by dying on the cross to pay the price for our sins (Philippians 2:8). Giving our total lives as a living sacrifice to him is our natural and appropriate response of worship (Romans 12:1).

SALVATION
Some people call for God to save them only when they are desperate and in immediate danger. In the Old Testament, when God’s people called out to him for salvation, they were looking for deliverance from their enemies. We may not have an army on our doorstep, but we’re all in immediate danger from the effects and consequences of sin. We can’t save ourselves from this— we need a rescue operation. Thankfully, God executed the rescue operation for salvation. He sent his Son to save the world by paying the penalty for sin and bringing us back to God (John 3:16). Our salvation is the accomplishment of the Crucifixion and Resurrection—the beautiful fruit of Easter.

REDEMPTION
Jesus Christ’s death replaced our spiritual death. He redeemed, or paid the price for, our sins to bring us back to God. Sometimes the devil tries to make us doubt that we really belong to the Lord, but our redemption is solid. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead proves that (Colossians 1:14). We know that there is nothing we can do to nullify the redemption Christ bought for us (Ephesians 1:7).

CROSS
The cross points to God’s rescue plan of the world. When we think of the cross, we should think of Jesus Christ, who was painfully stretched out and nailed to it, whose blood was shed, whose side was pierced and whose death paid the price of all sin (Isaiah 53:5). Without Jesus’ death on a cross, Christians cannot inherit God’s gift of salvation. We also associate the cross with Christ’s call on our life. He asks us to take up our own cross, in denial of ourselves and in commitment to him (Mark 8:34).

GRAVE
Jesus’ grave is empty because he came back to life after being dead three days. God had this planned from long ago. Prophets of old, given visions by the Holy Spirit, talked about Christ’s coming death and his triumph over the grave (Acts 3:21).

Christians have eternal life, but it doesn’t mean we’ll never die a physical death. We all have to leave this life sometime. But Jesus’ empty grave means we don’t have to fear death anymore. In fact, we’re told that he defeated death and Hades. His resurrection means that we can have life even after our bodies die and that one day our bodies will be raised anew (Romans 6:4). We can live in peace with the Lord forever.

RESURRECTION
The belief in Jesus Christ’s bodily resurrection defines Christianity. His victorious return from death fulfilled prophecy and proved his claims of deity. The resurrection is evidence of God’s satisfaction with the Son’s sacrifice on humanity’s behalf (1 Peter 1:3-5). The Holy Spirit brought Christ to life again. That same Holy Spirit dwells within believers; therefore, Christians can trust that we, too, will rise to eternal life after we experience physical death (Romans 6:22). All of these truths are celebrated in words of joy that ring out each Easter in many different languages: “The Lord is Risen! He is risen indeed!”

JESUS
Jesus paid the penalty for the sins of all humankind on the cross. Buried in a borrowed tomb, he rose again three days later as proof that his mission to conquer sin and death had been accomplished. Jesus appeared to his disciples and then returned to heaven 40 days later with the promise that he would return again someday. Jesus’ words and life show us how to live life, but his message was that humanity should respond to God’s love. Jesus claimed to be much more than a wise man or great teacher. He claimed to be God—a God willing to die for his creation so that their love relationship could be restored (Romans 5:10). Through his birth, life, death, and resurrection, Jesus fulfilled the hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament that foretold of a coming Messiah, a Savior not only for the nation of Israel, but for the whole world (1 Timothy 4:10). How will you respond to Jesus’ life and love?

The point and the pinnacle of Easter celebration is the worship of Jesus Christ, the one who declared, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades” (Revelation 1:17-18).

Were you surprised by any of the 12 definitions of biblical terms?

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