10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death — Phil 3:10 NLT Phil. 3:7-11 NLT
Can you imagine the power that was manifested when Jesus was resurrected from the grave? There must have been tremendous spiritual warfare occurring around that location and that time in history. We have that same power available to us to use for God’s glory today. Our mortal bodies are rotting away, but our Spirits should be getting stronger each day as we allow God to renew them. Paul says the problems we have today are trivial and temporary compared to the glory they will produce. When we endure small problems here, they produce a greater glory that will last an eternity. So, each day we should be focusing on Jesus and looking forward to the things that we cannot see now, but God says when they are manifested in the future, they will last forever. So, when troubles seem many and satan is trying to defeat you at every turn, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” We need to learn to walk in that glory and grace and experience that power.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Resurrection morning! Ain’t no grave could hold Him down!! The cross is a necessary step for Jesus to get back to His glory. He carried His cross, died to Himself for us and now He is alive forevermore! Do you see the example here? The cross Jesus asks us to bear is a necessary step for us to get to glory. We carry the cross, we die to ourselves for Jesus and we have life everlasting!! As Paul tells us we must be willing to share in the sufferings of Jesus. But wait, read the next verse. There is good news! 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.–2 Cor. 4:16-18 (NIV) When we die to ourselves and bury the flesh, we can sing along with Jesus, “Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold Me Down”!!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
It was decided before the foundations of the earth were laid and before man was ever created. The Godhead knew that the creature they would create would fall and need a redeemer. What kind of love causes a Creator to create a creature that the Creator knows will fall and He, Himself, will have to die to redeem the creature? This could only be conceived in the mind of a loving, compassionate Creator. A Creator who was willing to give up His position in Heaven and become as one of his creatures. From a throne to a manger. From a manger to a cruel death on a cross. From a cross to a grave. From a grave to the throne room of the Creator. It is the birth of that Creator that we celebrate in this season. Truly, He, and He alone is worthy of all praise, blessing, honor, and glory. Fill each day with hymns, psalms, and shouts of praise and give Him glory. Let the whole world know that God alone is worthy and eternal.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
When I read this verse, I often think, “How could these people be face to face with Jesus and refuse to believe?”. But, then, I am reminded of how many times I was called by the Holy Spirit and refused to believe. It is easy for us to assume that we would have acted differently than those people did then. We let oursleves off easy thinking that we would have surely believed Jesus in this situation. But, just as Abraham told the rich man who requested that he send Lazarus back to his home town to speak to his brothers, if they won’t believe Moses and the prophets, they won’t believe even if they saw someone return from the dead.
On the day that Jesus was crucified, there were prophets and holy people of old whose bodies were released from the grave and they walked the streets of Jerusalem, but not all of Jerusalem was saved.
The point is this, people that have lived since the Holy Spirit was sent to call us, lead us and comfort us, have more reasons to believe than most of those people back then. We can look back over history and see more of God’s promises fullfilled than they could and yet, there are many that still refuse to believe. We will hear the story multiple more times than most of them heard it, but not all will believe Every person will hear the story and have the opporitunity to receive Jesus as their Savior, yet not all will do so. As time goes by, hearts grow harder and harder. A few years ago, it was reported that we had to hear the story seven times before we accepted Jesus. Now, that number is reported to have risen to fourteen. Our work is to keep telling the story and we must keep telling it more and more, so those around us will have more opportunities. But the results of our telling the story are in God’s hands. Our work is to tell, His work is to confirm it in the hearts of those He has chosen.
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.” 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord,and that He had spoken these things to her.–John 20:16-18 (NIV) (you need to read all of John, Chapter 20)
Resurrection morning! Ain’t no grave could hold Him down!! The cross is a necessary step for Jesus to get back to His glory. He carried His cross, died to Himself for us and now He is alive forevermore! Do you see the example here? The cross Jesus asks us to bear is a necessary step for us to get to glory. We carry the cross, we die to ourselves for Jesus and we have life everlasting!! As Paul tells us we must be willing to share in the sufferings of Jesus. But wait, read the next verse. There is good news! 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.–2 Cor. 4:16-18 (NIV)
When we die to ourselves and bury the flesh, we can sing along with Jesus, “Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold Me Down”!!
44 By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 45 The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. 46 Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.–Luke 23:44-46 (NLT)
Can you imagine what all those people were thinking at this time? Both the light from the sun and from the Son were gone. There was total, complete darkness for a space of 3 hours. The veil (curtain) in the temple was torn from top to bottom. Then Jesus spoke with words from Psalm 31. If we read that quote in context, we find that it points backward to David’s suffering and deliverance and forward to the Resurrection. What a miserable place the world must have been while Jesus was in the grave. Now, we fast forward to Sunday morning. “Then came the morning” and the tomb was empty!. Victory for Jesus and for all of us who believe in Him. Hallelujah, what a Savior! Rejoice! and again, I say rejoice! We must go tell somebody the Good News! Christ is Risen!
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.–1 Cor. 15:54-58 (NLT)
In today’s society, we are confronted almost daily with alternate belief systems. There are religions with all kinds of tenets and creeds. But none of them claim to serve a risen Savior. Christianity is the only one that makes that claim. Our God is a living, loving God. He sent Jesus to overcome death, hell, and the grave. For that reason, we must stand strong and immovable. For us, there can be no alternative to Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life. His death and resurrection guarantees us eternal life. So, our work that we must do enthusiastically for Him is to “win” others to Christ. “Win” is the correct word because we are in a spiritual war every day and we must be overcomers. We overcome satan by the blood of Jesus, our testimony and because we love Jesus more than life itself. Religious work is useless, but the work that we do for Christ is eternal.