• His disciples, numb and stunned with the events of the past few hours, said, “The Master is dead.” No doubt Satan began saying these things:
• “Back, Mary Magdalene, and all you other women from Galilee, to your household duties; Jesus is dead.” • “Back, you disappointed fishermen, to your fishing nets; Jesus is dead.”
• “Back to your tax-collecting, Matthew; your friends warned you that you shouldn’t leave that good income to follow Jesus.” • “Back, Mary, mother of Jesus, to your home and your grief; your son is dead.”
• “Back, Lazarus, to your home in Bethany, where everything you see will remind you of Him; now He is dead.” • “Back, Pilate, to your judgment hall; the innocent One is
• “Back, you Roman sol- diers, to your quarters; the One who prayed for you while He was dying is dead.” Everybody had written Jesus off as gone forever. They never expected to see Him or hear His voice again.
Jesus Was Lifted Up From the Grave
On the third day, Jesus rose from the dead. He lives! Had He not risen from the dead, our hope of eternal life would be in vain.
Unfortunately, many are still trying to keep Jesus bur-
ied. Our secular culture tries to keep Him buried in the church while many churches keep Him buried in traditions and rituals. Many churchgoers try to keep Him buried until Sunday as many church leaders keep Him buried in their endless programs. Intel- lectuals seek to keep Him buried in debate and agnostics try to keep Him buried in unbelief.
But we proclaim the tomb is empty! Jesus was raised from the dead to a position of authority. He was raised to sit at the right hand of God. He is our Savior, our Healer, our Intercessor, our Deliverer, our Provider, our Sanctifier, our Holy Spirit Baptizer, and our soon-coming King!
Jesus’ death and resurrection dramatically demonstrate several
great truths. First, we can clearly see God’s love manifested. “For God
so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that who- soever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). While nature speaks of God’s power and glory (Psalm 19:1), it’s the Cross that speaks of His love. It wasn’t the nails that held Him on the cross, but His love.
Second, the demands of the Law were satisfied at Calvary. Jesus
bore our condemnation. We should have been crucified, but
Jesus’ sacrifice satisfied God’s justice. The prophet Isaiah looked forward to Christ’s passion when he wrote, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chas- tisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (53:5 NKJV).
Third, Jesus secured our liberty. He died that we could go free, delivered from the guilt, penalty, and reign of sin. Jesus declared, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Jesus breaks every chain. We are free from our past— free from guilt and bondage.
Fourth, Jesus’ death and resurrection make life worth living. Paul
said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Jesus Was Lifted Up to Heaven
Hebrews 9:24 asserts, “Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Jesus is now gloriously seat- ed at the right hand of the Father in heaven, signifying His position of power and authority. He is God, He is Lord, He is Master, and He is our Intercessor.
Philippians 2:9-11 de-
scribes Christ’s exaltation: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” One day very soon, every human being, every demon, every power of darkness, every living soul, every angel of heaven, and even heaven itself will bow before the Lord Jesus Christ in recognition of His power and majesty as very God. Every tongue will confess, “Jesus is Lord.”
Jesus Is Now to Be Lifted Up by His Followers
This is the task of the Great Commission. Between Christ’s res- urrection and ascension, He made clear what the Church was to do. The supreme task of the Church was and continues to be the evangelization of the world. I am convinced that God is calling His people to be a missionary people and His church a missionary church. We can fulfill our purpose by a great commitment to the Great Commission.
EVANGEL • APR 2010 7
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20
| Page 21
| Page 22
| Page 23
| Page 24
| Page 25
| Page 26
| Page 27
| Page 28
| Page 29
| Page 30
| Page 31
| Page 32