27 March 2016

What's Easter All About?

To believe as Paul said, that God raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:24), is the key to our salvation. Such belief does in fact run counter to the laws of nature -- as a result, those who believe it and openly confess it are then open to mockery and ridicule. But religion or politics that compromises essential truth to appease skeptics holds no hope for the present or the future.
The death and the literal resurrection of Jesus are just as essential in our redemption as His virgin birth and sinless nature. While the skeptics and critics may scoff at belief in the resurrection, there can be no victory over the grave for you and me without it. Take a few moments to read the following piece on the resurrection from Rob Schwartzwalder, Family Research Council's Senior Vice President for Policy.

He Is Risen
The resurrection of Jesus was the most decisive, glorious, and astonishing event in history. Conceived in a virgin, sinless in nature, human in body, fully God and fully man, Jesus was raised to life, His body not resuscitated but renewed and transformed.
He could appear and, just as suddenly, disappear. He could ascend from earth and pass through walls and yet prepare grilled fish and urge one of His disciples to place his fingers in the wounds in His body. Only God can do all of these things.
Why? Why does His resurrection mean so much?
Before the resurrection came the cross. On the cross, Jesus bore the punishment for sin that each of us deserves. He "Who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (Christ)" (II Corinthians 5:21), and the Father poured His rightful anger at all human sin into His Son. Jesus's physical suffering was unparalleled, but His inner suffering – experiencing the judgment of hell, the separation from the Father, on our behalf – was what purchased our redemption. Only an eternal and infinite being could experience eternal and infinite pain in time and space.
He bore the penalty for our sins so we don't have to. He is our Savior – but He wouldn't be our Savior unless He was a risen one.
Jesus's resurrection proved that once His atoning work on our behalf on the cross was finished, the sinless God-man could not be held in the grave.
His resurrection also showed that Jesus's claim to be God in human flesh was true. "The Resurrection serves as the … demonstration of the truth of His claims about Himself," writes theologian R.C. Sproul. It was "an act by which the Father universally vindicates the authenticity of His Son. In this sense, Christ is justified before the whole world by His resurrection."
Jerry Bridges served with the Navigators ministry for roughly 60 years. He went home to be with his Lord earlier this month at the age of 86. Jerry was not an imposing figure, or an eloquent preacher. He simply knew, deeply, the Risen One, and wrote classic books (The Pursuit of Holiness, "Respectable" Sins) that have helped hundreds of thousands of believers draw closer to the living Christ.
In 2008, Jerry wrote this about the resurrection:
The resurrection of Jesus assures us of our justification. Paul wrote, "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins" (I Cor. 15:17). If Christ were still in the tomb it would mean God's wrath was not satisfied, and we would still stand guilty before God. But as Paul also wrote in Romans 4:25: "[Jesus] was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification."
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a fact of history. It provides the assurance of eternal life to all who will trust in Christ alone for their forgiveness. And it offers them the confidence of knowing there is a living Savior, Lord, and Friend Who "is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25).
If there's better news than that, no one has ever heard it. And here's the most joyous thing of all: It's true!
Happy Resurrection Day to you and your family!


K said...

Happy Easter! I'm still in awe that He would send his Son to die for me...

Rev. Paul said...

Me too, K. It's humbling, and awesome.

Keads said...

Happy Easter!

Rev. Paul said...

And to you, Kelly. He is risen!

Ed Bonderenka said...

The chocolate bunny will be gone tomorrow.
Jesus will still be here :)

CottonLady said...

Easter Blessings to you and your family, Rev. Paul! He is risen indeed!!

Rev. Paul said...

Good point, Ed; He is forever. :)

And to you, CottonLady.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thanks Reverend Paul. Some of my favorite writers (Jerry Bridges and R.C. Sproul) quoted there.

Happiest of Easters. He is Risen!

Rev. Paul said...

You're welcome, TB - I'm glad you liked it. He is risen, indeed!

Sandy said...

Rev. Paul,

As usual, I'm several days behind on getting on the internet to read, and comment on posts. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter.

Rev. Paul said...

It was a wonderful day, Sandy; thanks. :)