Monday, April 21, 2014

Sunday & the empty tomb


…Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?  He isn’t here!  He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee,

Friday was one of the most difficult days for those who followed Jesus.  I refer to the day we call “Good Friday” which didn’t seem very good from the outside looking in.  It was the day that Jesus died.  Yet without Friday we wouldn’t have Sunday.

The verses above came up on Sunday morning.  Women had gone to the grave to finish preparing Jesus’ body for burial, but as they arrived Jesus’ body wasn’t these.  An angel from God appeared to them and shared the dialogue we read in that verse.  Think about if you would had been there and how shocked and out of breath you would be.

Without Jesus’ death and resurrection we would not have the salvation that God offers to those who will accept it.  Passion of the Cross and the empty tomb signify for us the love of God sealed for us making our salvation real.

The Easter story is one of a love story between the creator and the people He created, between God and man, between hope and the hopeless, between Him and me, you and Him.  I pray that you will be so overcome with His love that you have to share it with others today and along your way.

Jesus’ life and death sealed for us what God did for us.  Here is a verse that stuck out to me in preparing for yesterday’s sermon:

But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. 
He was beaten so we could be whole.  He was whipped so we could be healed.

He made us whole.  He completed us by His taking our sins on Him.  That was God’s plan from the start and continues to be God’s plan for changing lives today.

I ask that you spend some time reading through the following verses and contemplated what Jesus did and how God’s love completed us. 

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.  Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.  Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human, being.
 When he appeared in human form 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised from the dead to make us right with God.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Jesus set aside His divinity to become human so He could take away our sin. 

He did not retaliate when he was insulted.  When he suffered, he did not threaten to get even. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.  He personally carried away our sins in his own body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. You have been healed by his wounds!

Pull apart those truths.  Each of those verses is laced with the love of God that completes us.  It takes us from death to life, from condemnation to forgiveness.  That is how big God’s love is and how sweet the truth of our Easter holiday is.  May we be so touched by His love that we cannot stay the same!

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

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