Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Easter 2005

Easter March 27, 2005
John 20:1-31 (read as a Scripture lesson during song service.)

1. If you read all four accounts of the resurrection, you will find some very pointed differences. Unbelievers are satisfied that they contradict each other, and that they prove the Bible is unreliable.
2. Let me give you two things to consider.
(1) If you have a group of people look on almost any scene and then let each individual tell you what they saw, you will get the same kind of variety that appears here in these four reports.
(2) That does not point to their inaccuracy, but rather to their reality! It gives you a much fuller picture.
(3) Don’t you know that if Christians, during the 2000 plus years that have passed, thought this was a contradiction, someone would have tried to change what the Bible says?
3. No one has tried because all of us recognize the fine, exact hand of the Lord our God in what is said in these four accounts.
4. The important facts of the resurrection are:
(1) Jesus, the sinless Son of God, allowed Himself to die at the hands of sinful men.
(2) He died to make atonement for our sins so that we can be one with our Heavenly Father.
(3) He tasted death so that we would never have to face it ourselves.
(4) On the first day of the week, He arose and opened the way for every one of us to also rise! We have eternal life because He gives it to us without charge!
5. I want us to look at several things concerning the resurrection we may not have thought about, but which we certainly should think about and know!

I. Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth was to give us life.

1. Jesus told the Pharisees and His disciples; “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” That was His purpose for living among men for 33 years!
2. Let’s look back at 9:40,41 to see who He was talking to (the Pharisees).
(1) They knew they were already alive! But I believe they understood Jesus.
(2) They knew He was talking about eternity. They already had physical life, and they were aware physical life was not enough to satisfy any man, woman, or child!
3. Remember when Lazarus died, Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25,26)
4. What did He mean?
(1) He meant that Lazarus, who had been dead three days, was about to walk out of his grave alive!
(2) He meant that if Martha believed in Him, and she was alive, that she would never die!
(3) Jesus came to give life, and He gave it to believers who were already physically dead, and to believers still alive, and to believers yet to be born!
(4) Jesus was talking about both earthly life and eternal life! I hope you have both! Do you?
5. Before we are finished here today, I’ll tell you exactly what you need to do to allow Jesus to fulfill His purpose in coming to earth.
6. He wants to give you eternal life, and He will!

II. There were things Jesus had to do before He died.

1. He had to be born without sin. Many, many theologians have concluded that was the reason He had no earthly father. He would inherit original sin from a father.
2. I personally believe He had no earthly father because God wanted to be sure that that there would be absolutely no reason for anyone to doubt that Jesus was His only begotten Son!
3. Jesus had to face Satan and prove to be sinless! And He did.
4. Jesus had to give the Jews every opportunity to change their ways, to see that they had taken a wrong turn, and to give them their promised Messiah. He did that. They as a nation failed the test. John told us in 1:12 that to all those who even believed on His name, “he gave the right to become children of God.”
5. He had to share His gift of salvation with all people, not just Israelites.

III. His death took away believer’s sins. His resurrection opened the way to eternal life.

1. There are five strong arguments as to how Jesus’ death took care of all sinners’ sins. We don’t need to consider any of them right now. We just need to know that His death took care of our sins.
2. I cannot say that we receive eternal life automatically.
(1) Our part is to admit to God that we have sinned in the past, and we are presently sinners.
(2) Then we must give ourselves into the loving hands of Jesus! God does it all, but we must come to Him!
3. Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote in Ephesians 2:8-10, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
4. I Corinthians 15:20 says, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” Jesus became the first one from earth to enter heaven under the New Covenant because death could not hold the Son of God.
5. He opened the way for us!
(1) That was what the tearing in two of the veil in the temple meant. The Holy of Holies is open now to everyone who believes in Jesus and meets God’s conditions to become His child!
(2) Heaven is the next stop for every child of God who leaves this earth!
6. I promised I would tell you exactly what you need to do to allow Jesus to fulfill His purpose in your life.

Conclusion:

1. He has already done everything needed to take you to heaven.
2. Now it’s a matter of your wanting to go there enough to give you life into His keeping.
3. The process is simple:
(1) You need to realize you have sinned and are a sinner now.
(2) Next you tell Jesus you are a sinner and ask His forgiveness.
(3) Next you accept Him as the Lord of your life, and the moment you do, He will become your Savior.
4. Are you ready to do that? Jesus arose from the dead to show us the truth about life! He ascended into heaven and assumed His rightful place with His Father. From there He intercedes for us when Satan accuses us. I can picture in my mind the Lord Jesus saying, “Father, John House is a sinner, but He trusted me for His salvation, and I gave it to Him.” And I know the Father will receive me to Himself just like He has all the Christians that have gone on before me. You will have that same assurance when you give yourself to Jesus.

Pray with me...

Emmanuel, 3/27/2005

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