The Message of Easter!

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Based on God’s unconditional love for us and by His authority, He has done something that no human could do or even hope to understand (except through faith). The world witnessed God’s mighty power in the most important truth in the history – the death of Jesus and His resurrection. Surely it was God’s perfect plan, just as He planned Jesus’ miraculous birth (another event that’s beyond human understanding).  

His resurrection has enormous relevance and impact to the lives of all of humanity.

This event was not only predicted by Jesus himself (that He would die and rise again after three days – the description is in Mark chapter 8), but also foretold in ancient times by the Old Testament prophets. Why would God hand His perfect and sinless Son over to religious but blindly misguided people who would harm and kill him?

God’s love and mercy are great, even to the point of His willingness to send His own Son to die on the cross of Calvary to pay the penalty of sinful mankind. He did this so that He, in complete justice, could forgive those who are willing to turn away from self-dependence and sin and turn to reliance upon Christ and His finished work.

As it is clearly stated (in Romans 6), with the death of Christ, our sins become powerless to rule over us. Without the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ as the lamb of God (who was perfect, without any blemishes), we would still be in our sins, unforgiven, unsaved, and unloved. The cross erases our old lives. So the cross is not just a symbol, it is the mark of our salvation.

The story of Christ did not end with his death.  His resurrection is equally vital to the message of the gospel. He rose from death just as He told His disciples he would (in Matthew 16:21).  If He is not risen from the dead, then we would still reside in darkness with no hope.

Because of His resurrection, his promise holds true. He said (in John 14:19), “Because I live, you also will live”. Our great enemy, death, will be defeated.  It is impossible to separate the death of Christ from His resurrection. You can’t believe in one and not believe the other, as that would be a false teaching of the gospel. We are forgiven of our old sins by His blood on the cross and receive our new lives by His resurrection. Now we as believers and followers of Christ are no longer under the power of sin. And that is why we celebrate Easter. Our Lord is risen! Nothing can separate us from the love of God.  Amen!

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”[1John 4:10]

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Rest Your Soul at the Foot of the Cross!

If you believe that Christ is the anointed one [the Messiah], what’s keeping you from trusting him for who he is? If you believe he is born of God’s Spirit, he must be all powerful. Don’t you think he can save you from the despair of this world?

 These questions bring us to the Cross and the second coming of Christ.

The second coming is a Christian and Islamic belief. It represents the literal return of Christ Jesus to the earth, to rule over the world in power and glory. We need to ask ourselves, “Am I prepared for such a day?”  Do we even know what it means to be saved and ready?

 Some may ask, “Saved from what, and how can one be prepared?”

The answer is, we need to be saved from our sin. Sin is falling short of God’s righteousness.

Billy Graham has said in one of his messages, “We don’t realize what sin is in the sight of God — how deeply it offends Him and how it separates us from Him. He cannot look upon sin.“  Then he went on and gave an example; “A diamond may be perfect to the natural eye. But if you take it to a specialist and he looks at it through a glass, he sees a defect in it. And God looks at us that way.”

In order for us to be acceptable to the eyes of God, someone had to sacrificially pay the price for our transgressions. In Old Testament times [before Christ], animals were sacrificed for forgiveness of sin. This practice foreshadowed the eventual sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. The cross shows us the depth of our sins. God’s word repeatedly tells us that we can only be saved by the blood of Christ, not by the blood of animals.

The Bible says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” [John 15:13] And in [Romans 5:8] Paul echoes God’s love; “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”

 What matters most is to know that the Cross is a symbol of abundant life, a gift of love to us — where Jesus took the death, hate, violence, accusations, sin, and brokenness of the whole world upon himself. In return he offered life, love, peace, forgiveness, purity, and wholeness to all of us. The cross is a place where all was lost yet everything was gained.

 I see the victories of the Cross — His suffering made a way for my salvation. What about you? You may be a good person, a moral person, a forgiving person, a generous person, but have you ever been before the cross, offering your heart and asking Christ Jesus to be your Lord and Savior?  Have you received the abundant life that God has offered you?

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