Easter Message


In Luke chapter 23 we read of the trials and crucifixion of Jesus. If youíre familiar with the story, youíll notice that as long as the Lord Jesus was standing in the sinnerís stead, God allowed every kind of indignity man could think of to be heaped on His blessed Son. They spit in His face, they played a game of ďguess who struck you with their hand.Ē The scripture tells us they flogged Him until His back looked like a plowed field. Blood flowed out of all these wounds. They made a crown of thorns and jammed it on His head. They put a beautiful purple king's robe on Him and knelt before Him in mockery. They said, ďHail, king of the Jews.Ē

He suffered more pain and indignity when He carried the cross out to Golgotha and was nailed, naked and bleeding, to the cross. The final act of indignity that God allowed sinful man to inflict on His Son was to permit one of the soldiers to pierce His side with a spear. The spear that pierced His side drew forth the blood that can save us from the penalty of our sins.

After that act, I think God just said, ďI gave My Son into your hands and you have shown all the hatred and bitterness that's in the human heart. From now on, no unclean hand will touch Him.Ē You know, from that time on, only hands of believers are recorded as touching Him.

Luke 23:50-56. (Read the Scripture)

They turned sadly away, intending to return after the Sabbath, to embalm the body of Jesus. They prepared spices and ointments, and rested the Sabbath, in obedience to the commandment.

This is significant. Jesus was born under the Law, the Ten Commandments and all the Law. He died under the Law, and keeping the Sabbath was a part of the Law required by God. The greater significance here is that in the first verse of chapter 24, the Day of Grace begins. This ends the time when man was judged by God on the basis of keeping the commandments and it begins the time that man is judged by faith in God's Son.

This is why the resurrection is the greatest event in the history of mankind. This Christ, who was born of a virgin, who had healed the sick and lame, gave sight to the blind, raised people from the dead, and proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom had died on the cross for sinners. His body was in the tomb and no one on earth knew for sure if our redemption was an accomplished fact or not.

LUKE 24:1-6. (Read the Scripture)

If Jesus hadnít come forth from that tomb there would have been no evidence that the sin question had been settled. But, in His resurrected body, that was seen by hundreds of people, was proof that God had accepted that sacrifice for the sin of all mankind.

Now, Heb.7:25 tells us this: He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them.

Heís not on the cross as He is sometimes shown. He canít save you from there. Heís not in the tomb, either. He's not here on earth limited in a physical body. He is not here, He is risen! He's ascended. He's in heaven, seated at the right hand of God, still interceding for the believer. "He is risen!" the angel said. The greatest words this saved sinner standing before you has ever heard! God has accepted His death and shed blood to pay for my sins!

I have some questions to look into about this all important resurrection of God's Son.

WHY IS THE RESURRECTION SO IMPORTANT?

Sin and death had come into the world by man. God has always demanded a blood sacrifice for sin. His death and resurrection was God's way to redeem fallen man back to Himself.

WHY DID DEATH COME INTO THE WORLD?

The first man God created had disobeyed Him. He had sinned and by doing so earned the wages of sin, which the Bible says is death.

Gen. 3:17-19; "And unto Adam He said, Because you have listened to the voice of thy wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shalt you eat of it all the days of your life; 18: Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field; 19: In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return unto the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you art, and to dust you shall return."

The sentence of death for sin had been passed on man. Man sinned, and God can't accept sin into His presence. God told Adam that because he listened to his wife and ate of the fruit that God had forbidden, the ground would be cursed and thorns and thistles would grow. Adam was to scratch a living from it, and would sweat and toil all his life, and then he would die. God made him out of the dust and he would return to dust.

Romans 5:12-14: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13: For until the law, sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14: Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come."

When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adamís sin brought death, so sin spread to everyone, because we all have sinned.

People sinned even before the Law was given. Before the Law was given, there was no law to break, since it hadn't yet been given. But, because of sin, they all died anyway - even though they didnít disobey an explicit commandment of God as Adam did. What a contrast between Adam and Christ, who was yet to come!

WHY WAS THE RESURRECTION NECESSARY?

Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 6:23: The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. God has shown us a different way of being right in His sight, not by obeying the Law but by a way promised in the Scriptures a long time ago.

We're made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. Each of us can be saved in this way, no matter who we are or what we have done. When God says all, He means all. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, God in His kindness and mercy declares us not guilty. It's through the shed blood of His Son that our sin debt was paid, and the fact that God resurrected His Son from the dead is the proof of that. That's why the resurrection, which we celebrate on Easter, is so important.

HOW WAS ETERNAL LIFE MADE AVAILABLE TO MAN?

ROMANS 5:15-21: "But the gift is not like the trespass [sin]. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16: Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17: For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. [18] Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. [19] For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. [20] The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, [21] so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

What a difference there is between our sin and Godís generous gift of forgiveness.

This one man, Adam, brought death to all mankind through his sin. But this other Man, Jesus Christ, brought forgiveness that is available to all through Godís gift. The result of Godís very gracious gift is different from the result of one manís sin. Adamís sin led to condemnation, but we have this free gift of being accepted by God, even though we're guilty of many sins. The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to come to every one of us, but all who will receive Godís wonderful gift of righteousness will live eternally in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. Adamís one sin brought condemnation on everyone, but Christís one act of righteousness can make you right in Godís sight and give you eternal life. Because one person disobeyed God, and we all are descended from that one man, we all are born sinners. But because one other Person [Jesus] obeyed God, those that believe God's Word will be made righteous in His sight. Godís law was given so that we all could see how sinful we are. Just as sin rules over us all and brings death to us, now Godís wonderful kindness rules instead, giving us a right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

WHAT WILL ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN BE LIKE?

Rev. 21:3-4: "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. [4] He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Rev. 21:22-27. "I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. [23] The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. [24] The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. [25] On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. [26] The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. [27] Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." Rev. 22:3-5: "No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. [Remember what the curse was from Gen. 3? Work, sweat, eat, die, dust] [4] They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. [5] There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever."

HOW DO I GET THIS ETERNAL LIFE?

If you or I could do one thing, or perform one act, no matter how large or small, that could be a part of our salvation, then Christ's death on the cross was useless. Salvation is by faith alone. Eph. 2:8-9: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- [9] not by works, so that no one can boast."

God saved you by His special favor when you believed. You and I canít take credit for this; it's a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we've done, so none of us can boast about it. Romans 10:9-10: "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

God wants us to own up to the fact that we are sinners without a thing to offer Him that can make us right in His eyes. Being a good person is a wonderful attribute, but it absolutely won't get you to heaven. All our giving and doing and church going has no merit at all in our quest for salvation.

The Bible tells us that when we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. God will only accept one thing. That one thing is the admission of our guilt as sinners, and our belief that Christ died for those sins. It's personal. It's one on One. It's between you and God. It's not by anything we can do. It's by faith alone. If you are outside of Christ today, or if you're just not sure, I ask you to please accept His offer of salvation right now.

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