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Archive for the ‘Easter’ Category

As we turn our thoughts towards the cross in these final 30 days before Resurrection Sunday (Easter), I invite you to check out some of our posts from years past.  Just click on the links below.

May God prepare your heart to celebrate the incredible truth of the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Finding Easter

When All Appears Lost – Easter

Easter – What are We Really Celebrating

To Save a Thief

Why Crucifixion

Waiting in the wake of the cross

Redemption?

Easter Part 2 – Who is Jesus?

Easter Part 3

Final Week of Jesus ministry – Vocabulary

 

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Do you ever struggle with waiting? Maybe God has promised you something–something amazing, and yet it does not happen as swiftly as you expected. Instead, God calls you to wait.

The Bible teaches this waiting. Psalm 27:14 exhorts us to “wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!” Psalm 62:5 adds a prayer of the psalmist, “my soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.”

But the waiting is hard. This passion weekend, I was reminded of the disciples waiting–they didn’t seem to believe that Jesus would rise from the dead from what we read in the gospels. They were, however, waiting–huddled together in the upper room, trying to make sense of the chaos and horror they witnessed–their teacher and beloved friend was tried, convicted and sentenced to death on the cross. They watched from afar off as He hung on the brutal torture rack of the Roman cross–dying a slow death of suffocation.

They had believed He was the Messiah–the one who would save them from the Roman oppression, and there He hung–a victim of that very oppression–innocen. What a horror it must have been for them! Their circumstances were over-whelming the promises they had been given. They couldn’t even hold them in focus. Fear ruled their hearts.

So it might be for you. God made a promise, but He is asking you to wait. The circumstances keep getting darker. But still He says, “wait.”

Fear not, Sunday’s coming and He will burst forth in glorious light from the darkness of the tomb–having conquered death and all that oppresses you. He is a risen Savior! He lives!

Wait a little longer . . .

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It is sometimes said that Resurrection Sunday (Easter) is the most important of all Christian holidays. Why might that be the case?

The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus is really a celebration of the events of several days, namely the last supper, the arrest of Jesus, the trials (3) of Jesus, the torture and crucifixion of Jesus, His death, His burial and finally and most gloriously, His resurrection from the death.

Before we consider the arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus, let us consider some of the vocabulary central to the discussion of Jesus’ death.

Look up the following words in a Bible dictionary or regular dictionary (or on http://www.dictionary.com) and record the meanin. After you record the dictionary definition, look up the key scriptures using the term to see what, if anything, new you learn.

1. Atonement
 Dictionary definition:

 Leviticus 17:11

2. Redemption
 Dictionary definition:

 Psalm 49:8, 15

 Lamentations 3:58

 Galatians 3:13

 Titus 2:14

 Hebrews 9:12

 Revelation 5:9

3. Sin
 Dictionary definition:

 Psalm 32:1

 John 1:29

 John 8:34

 Romans 3:20

 James 1:15

 1 John 1:8

4. Propitiation
 Dictionary definition:

 Romans 3:25

 1 John 2:2

5. Holy
 Dictionary definition:

 Romans 7:12

6. Sacrifice
 Dictionary definition:

 Hebrews 10:4-10

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The Lamb

At the cross, I was bought and sold,
there my redemption paid.

The currency was blood
a debt I couldn’t pay.

and “Why,” you ask, “Would God
who made the universe agree
to shed one drop of royal blood
to save a wreck like me?

He saw not what I was
awash in sin and death
the mud caked in my coat
the stench of death, my breath

My Savior came
God’s plan to bring
He saw me as I’d be
just as if I’d never sinned
without blame before my King

Gifts He gives, both great and small
the blood is still the best
my Savior’s blood my soul redeemed
from Satan’s bony grasp

You may wonder why choose me
the beauty of God’s plan
is not just this lost sheep t’was saved
but all that come–each man

The door’s wide open, my sweet friend
eternity to gain
He’s the One who bears the marks
He’s the lamb t’was slain

(2003, revised 2016)

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Some biblical concepts are easier to understand than others. Redemption may be one of the easier ones. To redeem something means to buy it back.

Imagine you are short on funds for your rent payment. The landlord is threatening to evict you if you don’t pay by the close of business. How do you get money quick? You might consider pawning your Fender guitar – not because you want to sell it, but because it has value and the pawn shop owner might give you enough cash to make your rent. When you get paid at the end of the week, you might head back to the pawn shop to redeem – or buy back – your guitar.

  • What does this have to do with Jesus?
  • Who is being redeemed?
  • From what?
  • How?

The Bible teaches us that Jesus is the redeemer. (See Galatians 3:13; Titus 2:14, Hebrews 9:12)

We are the redeemed – some of us. The redemption is not limited to any particular group of people. The redeemed come from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. Revelation 5:9)

The redemption Jesus Christ offers is redemption from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13), from every lawless deed (Titus 2:14) and from  power of the grave (Psalm 49:15)

It is by Jesus’ own blood that He redeemed us, purchased us back from the ruler of this world (Satan). (See Hebrews 9:12, Revelations 5:9)

The best news is that this redemption Christ has accomplished for me – for you – is eternal (it has no end).

pieces of silver

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In this series of posts on the vocabulary of the resurrection and surrounding events, today we consider redemption.

Here’s your assignment:

  1. Consider the dictionary definition of the words redeem and redemption.
  2. Consider the following verses and what they add to your understanding of redemption:
  • Psalm 49:8, 15
  • Lamentations 3:58
  • Galatians 3:13
  • Titus 2:14
  • Hebrews 9:12
  • Revelation 5:9

lamb

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He’s Alive

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERADolly Parton singing He’s Alive

“He’s Alive”

The gates and doors were barred
And all the windows fastened down
I spent the night in sleeplessness
And rose at every sound
Half in hope of sorrow
And half in fear the day
Would find the soldiers breakin’ through
To drag us all away
 
And just before the sunrise
I heard something at the wall
The gate began to rattle
And a voice began to call
I hurried to the window
Looked down into the street
Expecting swords and torches
And the sound of soldiers’ feet
 
But there was no one there but Mary So I went down to let her in
John stood there beside me
As she told me where she’d been
She said they’ve moved Him in the night
And none of us know where
The stone’s been rolled away
And now His body isn’t there
We both ran towards the garden
Then John ran on ahead
We found the stone and empty tomb
Just the way that Mary said
But the winding sheet they wrapped Him in
Was just an empty shell
And how or where they’d taken Him
Was more than I could tell
Oh something strange had happened there
Just what I did not know
John believed a miracle
But I just turned to go
Circumstance and speculation
Couldn’t lift me very high
‘Cause I’d seen them crucify Him
Then I saw Him die
Back inside the house again
The guilt and anguish came
Everything I’d promised Him
Just added to my shame
When at last it came to choices
I denied I knew His name
And even if He was alive
It wouldn’t be the same
 
But suddenly the air was filled
With a strange and sweet perfume
Light that came from everywhere
Drove shadows from the room
And Jesus stood before me
With His arms held open wide
And I fell down on my knees
And I just clung to Him and cried
 
Then He raised me to my feet
And as I looked into His eyes
The love was shining out from Him
Like sunlight from the skies
Guilt in my confusion
Disappeared in sweet release
And every fear I ever had
Just melted into peace
 
He’s alive yes He’s alive
Yes He’s alive and I’m forgiven
Heaven’s gates are open wide
He’s alive yes He’s alive
Oh He’s alive and I’m forgiven
Heaven’s gates are open wide
He’s alive He’s alive
Hallelujah He’s alive
He’s alive and I’m forgiven
Heaven’s gates are open wide
He’s alive He’s alive He’s alive
I believe it He’s alive
Sweet Jesus

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