Happy Easter or Happy Resurrection Day! However you choose to refer to this day, this is the day that Christians the world over celebrate the most important day in our faith! Today we celebrate that while death is a powerful foe indeed, the power of death could not and cannot compare to the indestructible power of the Lord Jesus Christ! HE IS RISEN! We no longer have to live in sin, be ruled by destructive habits and or addictions or walk through this earth alone! We have a savior and a friend in Jesus Christ! Like the Baptists, I’ve got a reason to shout! Like the Pentecostals, I’ve got a reason to get my dance on! Like the Methodists, I’ve got a reason to be in silent awe! And then do it all over again! JESUS! JESUS! JESUS! Please find yourself in somebody’s church today because the Lord has a blessing for you, and you don’t want to miss it!
And speaking of blessings, I was reading the resurrection story in Matthew 27, and I read some verses that I don’t recall reading before…Do you know that Jesus was not the only one that God rose from the dead? According to Matthew 27:51-53, “51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” Many theologians have differing opinions of what this miraculous occurrence meant, and it is not mentioned if these people remained on Earth or ascended with Jesus back to heaven.
As a lay person or a regular ole Christian or maybe even as a writer, these verses are further evidence that the death and resurrection of Jesus is not just about spiritual good that is just good for Heaven, it is also a good that makes sense right here on Earth! What do I mean? Using my sanctified storyteller imagination, I imagine that one of the dead was a mother who had passed away while giving birth to a son who had never known his mother except through the stories of family and friends. On the day that Jesus rose, this child was able to meet his mother for the first time! I can also imagine that one of those dead was a beloved husband of an elderly widow that had not seen him in decades unless she dreamed about him at night. Can you imagine how elated she was when he came to her during the day? Or what about the young woman that died suddenly after a brief and mysterious illness leaving her family and friends to question why God allowed this tragedy to happen? I imagined that they wept after she confirmed that even death could not keep her from the ones she loved! I’m sure this day of resurrection was a day of overflowing joy!
So what does this mean for us today? First of all and most importantly, we have a risen savior that promises to give us eternal life with Him in heaven. And while we are here on Earth, Jesus can break the chains of sin, addiction and destructive habits and give us joy and peace that sustains us through everything! AND he can bring back to life what we thought was dead…Maybe you dreamed of launching a business but you no longer have the financial backing to get it going. Don’t worry. Just pray! He can bring this dream back to life. Maybe you’ve been set back by setback after setback. God can restore your life! Maybe you are still grieving the death of a loved one years later and have been unable to really move on, God can show you how to live and not die!
What you thought was dead can now come back to life…Ponder on these verses…God will show you exactly what they mean to you…
Praise Him Even During This Pandemic!!!
If this is true, Charlotte Pastor Brian Carn must be allegedly trying to tempt God…According to the WSOC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina, there is an audio recording in which Pastor Carn of Kingdom City Church in Charlotte, North Carolina allegedly admitted to having the shakes, coughing and body pain…And on top of that, Pastor Carn allegedly told his church members to not reveal where they went to church if they got sick and had to go to the doctor! Check out an excerpt of the shocking story by Glenn Counts below…
“A Charlotte preacher claims he had COVID-19 symptoms and still held services packed with people.
Pastor Brian Carn allegedly conducted service at Kingdom City Church on Dr. Carver Drive on Easter Sunday, and it’s raising eyebrows.
“Does the devil fight my body?” Carn could be heard saying in an audio recording. “Of course. Just like he fights your body. Did I get the shakes? Yup. Did I cough? Yup. Did I feel pain in my body? Whatever.”
Carn allegedly was talking about being infected with the virus.
Channel 9 learned Thursday that Carn has now agreed not to hold any more in-person services after he was contacted by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.”
Happy Easter! He Is Risen! We Are Saved! As a Bible Gateway blogger grid member, I was offered the opportunity to review The Path to the Cross Online Bible Study with Ray Vander Laan, a web-based video course filmed on location in Qumran, Machaerus, En Gedi, Jerusalem, and Gethsemane!
By witnessing each historical site, the five-video study helps shape a picture of Jesus and His world in the context of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. It examines Jesus’ temptation in the desert where He, like Israel, was tested and prepared for His mission to the world. It considers the events of the Last Supper against the backdrop of the exodus experience. And along with Israel’s history of sacrifice, it explores the atoning act of Jesus on the cross.
I must say as an American, I’m a comfortable Christian. I live in a temperature-controlled home in a reasonably safe suburb off of a street that has at least four churches. However, I choose to drive to my home church which is about a thirty-minute trip. I’m pointing out these parameters to demonstrate that living as a Christian in America doesn’t require that much sacrifice or discomfort. However, when you watch these videos filmed in the locations where Jesus and the disciples and the people of that time period lived, you see that those who followed Jesus Christ at that time had to sacrifice and were uncomfortable.
I need that reminder because although the Bible is very descriptive, the additional aid of seeing the Holy Land provides another perspective. (I so hope to travel there some day!) To be a Christian is and should be costly. It should require sacrifice. And serving God is not always comfortable.
Below is information about each video as well as a way to buy this study which works well individually, for small groups and for churches of varied sizes.
Path to the Cross, Session 1, The Way of the Essenes
In Session 1, The Way of the Essenes, you will learn what was most important to the Essenes and how they chose to live, as well as what you can take from their way of life to help you center yourself on God.
Path to the Cross, Session 2, The Way of John the Baptist
In Session 2, The Way of John the Baptist, you will learn how God set apart John the Baptist to strengthen him in spirit to deliver His message and announce Jesus.
Path to the Cross, Session 3, Into the Desert to be Tested
In Session 3, Into the Desert to be Tested, you will learn that just as God tested Jesus in the desert, Jesus tested His disciples, and He will test you.
Path to the Cross, Session 4, The Last Passover
In Session 4, The Last Passover, you will discover the significance of the last supper, the details of the dinner, and what Jesus was revealing to His followers through it.
Path to the Cross, Session 5, The Fifth Cup: Our Way of Hope
In Session 5, The Fifth Cup: Our Way of Hope, you will discover the bitter cup of God’s wrath that Jesus took on your behalf and the true sacrifice it was.
Using research of top scholars in the fields of archaeology, history, and biblical study, historian and bestselling author Ray Vander Laan has guided more than 10,000 people on in-depth study tours of the Holy Land. His teaching ministry is focused on understanding the Bible keeping in mind the historical and cultural context in which God placed it.
For more about about The Path to the Cross Online Bible Study with Ray Vander Laan, go to studygateway.com.