JESUS LIVES! AN EVENT THAT TOUCHES EVERYONE EVERY DAY!

Yes, this historic fact that Jesus lives is the single hinge of history. It touches the life of every single human being in some way. Let us experience the empty tomb as described in St Matthew 28: 1-10, 16-20

At 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 sepulcher.

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 guards shook and became as dead men.

Empty tomb.2

And the angel answered and said unto the women, “Fear ye not, for I know that ye seek Jesus, who 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 sepulcher with fear and great joy, and ran 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 worshiped Him. Then said Jesus unto them,

“Be not afraid. Go tell My brethren to go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me.”

….

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee onto a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying,

“All power is given unto Me in Heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Amen.

Every Christian is changed because He lives so shall we live with Him eternally in Heaven. But, what about non-Christians? I did say above, His resurrection “touches the life of every single human being in some way.” Here are just two examples: time and women.

The world operates on time measured according to the birth of Christ. We measure the years and days after His birth or Anno Domini—AD. It was common until this modern era to date a document “in the year of our Lord.” Article VII of the U.S. Constitution precedes the signing with this, Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the twelfth…. Today there are efforts to disguise the fact that Jesus is the hinge of time. Liberals in the west—Wikipedia is an example—will use the letters CE and BCE

Events and history before His birth are measured in years Before Christ—BC. (Some nations or cultures use different calendars internally. Israel is an example.)

From the time humanity fell into sin (Genesis 3:1-7) women have not been treated equally. They were, of course, created equally with men. Jesus life on earth was the only break women really ever had. Jesus’ life and recorded ministry was the example of equal treatment of “male and female” created different but equal in His image.

Women are to this day not treated equal. Most women and girls within Islam are slaves with no rights. But in the rest of the world, Christian and heathen, women are treated better. Men, who have never heard of Christ, know women should be accorded at least respect and kindness. In the West, especially the United States, women led the effort for equality in the 19th Century. The notable leader was a Quaker, Susan B. Anthony. It seems clear that without Christ women all over the world would be living in the darkness that is the life of Muslim women.

The change began to manifest at Pentecost. The Acts of the Apostles began the spread of Truth and light in this world that continues to this day. Today NBC opens a thirteen episode series called AD The Bible Continues. If, like most of us, you have plans, DVR it! Here is the trailer:

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YES! I WAS THERE WHEN THEY CRUCIFIED MY LORD

—If you are a sinner, so were you

This Jesus, the Christ, Son of Man and Son of God is the lamb God promised us through Abraham. This blood of Christ is the blood of the Passover. The shed blood and suffering of the perfect One on the cross is the gift of life with God forever. Let us say it this way, “On that cross on that hill He bore pain for every sin of every sinner who had ever lived or ever would live and shed His perfect blood to cover in redemption everyone who accepts His gift of life.”

Here’s how St. Matthew describes the crucifixion in chapter 27, verses 35-54:

And they crucified Him and parted His garments, casting lots that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They parted My garments among them, and upon My vesture did they cast lots.” And sitting down, they watched Him there, and set up over His head His accusation, written: This Is Jesus The King Of The Jews.

King of Jews.POC

Then were there two thieves crucified with Him, one on the right hand and another on the left. And those who passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Thou that destroyest the temple and buildest it in three days, save thyself! If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross!” Likewise also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes and elders said, “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver him now, if He will have him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” The thieves also, who were crucified with Him, cast the same in His teeth.

Jesus died

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying,

“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”

that is to say, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This man calleth for Elijah.” And straightway one of them ran and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed and gave Him to drink. The rest said, “Let be; let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” Jesus, when He had cried out again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom, and the earth quaked and the rocks rent. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the Holy City and appeared unto many.

Now when the centurion, and those who were with him watching Jesus, saw the earthquake and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly, this was the Son of God!”

You may weep tears of gratitude. I promise; you will not weep alone.

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THE BODY AND BLOOD OF THE LAMB OF GOD IN AN UPPER ROOM

Tomorrow we observe greatest act of love in creation. It is known throughout Christendom as Good Friday. Some would say killing anyone on a cross, let alone One who is perfectly innocent, is the opposite of good. These selections of scripture help me explain it. Perhaps they will help you as well.

God will provide Himself a lamb

Let’s start with Abraham, who had been commanded by God as a demonstration of his faith to sacrifice his son Isaac on the holy place, Mariah, in Genesis 22:7-13.

And Isaac spoke unto Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” And he said, “Behold the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.”  So they went both of them together.

And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” And He said, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him; for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from Me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked; and behold, behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

The Passover: . . . when He seeth the blood upon the lintel and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over . . .

The children of Israel, following God’s command, are spared from the visit to Egypt from the Angel of death to be delivered from Egypt. This is the account from Exodus 12:5-7, 21-32.

Your lamb shall be without blemish . . . and shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses . . .

Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said unto them, “Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the Passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out from the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He seeth the blood upon the lintel and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. And ye shall observe this thing as an ordinance to thee and to thy sons forever. And it shall come to pass, when ye come to the land which the Lord will give you, according as He hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, ‘What mean ye by this service?’ that ye shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians and delivered our houses.’” And the people bowed their heads and worshiped.

And the children of Israel went away, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron; so did they.Blood on doorpost

And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne, unto the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead. And he called for Moses and Aaron by night and said, “Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel! And go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said; and be gone, and bless me also.”

A new testament of new Passover Blood

We are about to observe a remembrance of the blood of the Lamb of God shed for you and for many. “This is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Jesus Christ— Matthew 26:17-30

Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, “Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the Passover?”

And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say unto him, The Master saith, ‘My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at thy house with My disciples.’”

And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them, and they made ready the Passover.

Now when the evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. . .

Last Supper.2

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And He took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink ye all of it; for this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 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.”

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THE OLIVET DISCOURSE—LET’S GET SERIOUS

A feast for “We are in the end times” prophesiers and time line enthusiasts

St Matthew, Chapter 24 and 25 are known as the Olivet Discourse where Jesus went from the Temple to the Mount of Olives Wednesday and prophesied. He disclosed certain signs of the end times and, in verses 24:29-31 He revealed His second coming:

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and with great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

Get your mind around that!

Jesus does not say what the sign of the Son of man is but I have never heard anyone dispute that it is the cross. I believe all on earth will see that sign. It is hard to imagine the image He vividly paints. How can we see the glory of “the clouds of heaven.” Notice this Twenty First Century King James version (which I use) capitalizes Heaven whenever the context is that realm where we will dwell forever with God. The context, in these verses, for heaven, is created universes, galaxies, and this solar system.

Somehow we simply lack the power of mind see His great Glory. What do we make of “[S]ent angels with a great sound of a trumpet?” It seems there are to be uncountable angels available everywhere. He doesn’t say they are all blowing trumpets. He simply says, “[W]ith a great sound of a trumpet.” It is clear we (all His elect) shall hear the trumpet and shall be “gathered” by angels from the “four winds.”

Perhaps you are not certain you are His elect. Clear that up now. In prayer receive His forgiveness for your sin and confess Him as your savior.

Are you like me? I can’t imagine that level of glory. No one seems to have created an adequate image for us. While these images are totally inadequate, I have found none better:

Second Coming Glory.1

Jesus Second Coming.2

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JESUS TEACHES HOW TO DEAL WITH SECULAR HUMANIST PROGRESSIVES (SADDUCEES)

Sadducees were the educated idiots of Roman occupied Israel. They were described as not believing in the resurrection. In other words, we have no spirit that lives beyond the physical death. These days they are called secularists or humanists. The term Secular Humanist indicates they have made a religion for themselves with a creed. America is filled with them today. They occupy seats of power in every facet of our culture. They ridicule Christians and, like the Sadducees, try to put believers on the spot.

Indiana just joined more than 20 other states and the federal government explicitly giving people the right to practice their faith. Indiana and Christians are being attacked across the country and in every form of media as bigots and “homophobes” by the Sadducees our time.

Let’s see how the Sadducees approached Jesus, presumable still in the Temple where he had gone Tuesday morning, and how he dispensed with them in St. Matthew 22:23-32:

Explains Resurrection to Sadducees

The same day [Tuesday] the Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection, came to Him [presumably still in the Temple] and asked Him, saying, “Master, Moses said, ‘If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up seed unto his brother.’ Now there were with us seven brethren. And the first, when he had married a wife, died; and having no issue, he left his wife unto his brother. Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all, the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection, whose wife shall she be of the seven? For they all had her.” Jesus answered and said unto them:

 “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in Heaven. But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

Sadducees of today take heed:

  • Marriage, which does not exist in Heaven, is clearly a God ordained covenant between a man and a woman in this life. The State of Minnesota can establish a legal contract between “two people” and call it “marriage.” It is not a covenant established by God.
  • God is the God of power. There is no limit to God’s power in this context or any other. The Sadducees of our day should quake in their boots.
  • Beware you non-believer! God is the God of the living. That would be believers and non-believers in this life and the next. Again the Sadducees of our day should quake in their boots.
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THE LION OF JUDAH CLEANS OUT THE TEMPLE

On Monday, the first day after entering Jerusalem, Jesus went to the temple. According to St. Matthew, 21:12-13, here’s how that went:

Cleaning the Temple.1

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves, and said unto them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called the house of prayer,’ but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

The Gospels reveal that Jesus’ four day agenda, before celebrating the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, was full. There was much to teach, many to heal and much to reveal. But the first thing He did was go to the temple. Let’s look carefully at His visit.

The first thing that stands out is He assumed an attitude of complete authority. He did not ask who was in charge. He simply acted. Jesus demonstrated this lesson often. Even though we study and often wrestle with His words, we must understand that, when we made that decision to follow Him, we made a commitment to act. Much is expected of some but all can, at least, “tell the love of Jesus [and] say He died for all.”

All Must Know and Understand Jesus as the Lion of Judah

Then we see He “cast out all” salespeople and apparently bankers. Is He against sales and banking? Although many tell us He was, there is no evidence in His trip to the temple, or anywhere else in scripture, that He sees these services, when conducted honestly are anything but honorable. Honesty in business is a key lesson here. The overriding lesson for the church—for every congregation—is the church is a place for healing, worship and prayer. Period. May I say it again? According to Jesus’ action, He expects the church to be reserved for healing, worship and prayer.

The third thing His action clearly demonstrated is His contempt for and determination to expose the massive corruption of the temple priesthood. The moneychangers were at the temple at the behest of the Sanhedrin because pilgrims were in Jerusalem from countries around the known world for the Passover. The Sanhedrin needed bankers on hand to exchange foreign money before they could gouge the pilgrims for the required sacrificial lambs and doves.

The Sanhedrin raised sheep and doves to sell as sacrifices in the temple. Remember the Angel announced Christ’s coming to lowly shepherds watching flocks outside Bethlehem. “And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’” (St. Luke 2:10-12) The sweet irony is those simple shepherds were hired hands. They were watching the flocks belonging to the Sanhedrin. The temple priesthood was in Christ’s sights before He was born.

Finally the buyers were also cast out. Jesus was not against a pilgrim buying a dove, but they were as accountable for their actions in the temple as the Sanhedrin sellers. This should give us clarity about what our Lord thinks of our victim class and the do-gooders who advocate for them.

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THE LAMB OF GOD ENTERS JERUSALEM TO OBSERVE PASSOVER

Jesus’ followers believed He, like thousands of pilgrims who had come from all over the Roman world, went to Jerusalem to observe Passover. He would be there for the Passover meal Thursday. It was the reenactment of the original Passover nearly 15 centuries before. (Passover begins this year at sundown Friday, March 3 to end March 11 in Israel and March 10 for the Diaspora.)

Jesus overlooking Jerusalem.1

No one could have imagined how profoundly He would change the “blood of the lamb” within a week! His purpose was not apparent as He entered Jerusalem—except to Him. He knew His time was at hand. He also knew what was ahead just two generations hence for His people and His beloved Jerusalem. Read the account from St Luke 19:41-44 with me:

And when He had come near, He beheld the city and wept over it saying, “If thou had known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which must be for thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee around, and keep thee in on every side. And they shall lay thee even with the ground and thy children within thee; and they shalt not leave in thee one stone upon another, because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

Jesus wept for Jerusalem because He knew its pain, a pain that exists until this day with a Dome of the Rock on top one of the holiest sites in creation and rockets fired at God’s people almost daily. But we should weep because of the pain He bore for us. I heard on the radio that good people get to Heaven. I guess that’s right. I have just not heard of anyone good enough. But because of Him, because of His gift of salvation in His shed blood, I, a sinner, will be in Heaven washed white as snow. Centuries ago, the Negro slaves in America sang, “you can say He died for all.” That is right. I hope you too weep this week because you have accepted His gift of life and you can say, “He died for all.”

Tomorrow: The Lion of Judah

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