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Archive for the ‘Easter-Resurrection Sunday’ Category

The Christian faith is not a mere collection of doctrines — a bag of truths. Christianity is a comprehensive truth claim that encompasses every aspect of revealed doctrine, but is centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, as the apostolic preaching makes clear, the gospel is the priority.

As Christians around the world prepare to celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ we are reminded of the priority of the gospel.  In his most recent article, “Of First Importance: The Cross and Resurrection at the Center,” Dr. Albert Mohler Jr., recalls what the Apostle Paul considered, “of first importance.”  Dr. Mohler reminds Christians that among all the glorious revealed truths of the Christian faith it is the death and resurrection of Christ that are of first priority.

You can read Dr. Mohler’s entire article here

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Michael Patton:

Considering the internal and external arguments for the resurrection of Christ, I don’t ask anyone to look to one of these lines of evidence alone, but to consider the cumulative case. It is very impressive. If the resurrection indeed occurred, it would be hard to expect more evidence. In fact, what we would expect is exactly what we have.

Of course, alternatives to each one of these could be and have been offered. Alternatives to many well established historical events have been offered as well, including the Holocaust, the landing on the moon, and the death of Elvis. However, in most cases the alternatives go against the obvious. In the end, all alternatives explanations for the resurrection, while possible, are not probable and take a greater leap of faith than believing that Christ rose from the grave. The simplest explanation is always the best. The simplest explanation to the historic data here is that Christ did rise from the grave. Those who deny the resurrection do so not on the basis of the evidence, but because they have other presuppositions that won’t allow them to believe. The historical evidence is simply too strong.

I believe that any objective historian must look to the evidence for the resurrection of Christ and concluded that he is indeed risen.

Read the rest.

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In the first place, the Easter gospel is good news because it proclaims that Jesus is alive. The tomb was empty! The Lord appeared to Peter and the other disciples! Jesus Christ is the same — yesterday, today and for ever!

In the second place, the Easter gospel is good news because it proclaims a risen Saviour. Our sins have been forgiven! God has set his seal of approval on the crucified! Jesus was raised to life for our justification!

In the third place, the Easter gospel is good news because it proclaims a glorious hope. Death has been swallowed up in victory! We shall be with the Lord for ever! Jesus has brought life and immortality to light!

In the fourth place, and of no less importance, the Easter gospel is good news because it proclaims a present power. The risen Lord Jesus is present with his people today! Already in the here and now we may begin to share in the risen life of Jesus! Even in our present moments of weakness we may experience the transforming power of his resurrection! Here is good news indeed. The resurrection is more than a past event and a future prospect; it is a presentreality.

— Paul Beasley-Murray, The Message of the Resurrection (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2000), 17  from FI

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He was raised between the heaven and the earth, as though both rejected Him, despised by men and refused by God.

And as though abuse were not vile enough, they covered Him with spittle.

And as though spittle were not contemptuous enough, they plucked out His beard.

And as though plucking out his beard was not brutal enough, they drove in great nails.

And as though the nails did not pierce deeply enough, He was crowned with thorns.

And as though the thorns were not agonizing enough, He was pierced through with a Roman spear.

It was earth’s saddest hour, and it was humanity’s deepest, darkest day.

At three o’clock in the afternoon it was all over.  The Lord of life bowed His head and the light of the world flickered out.

Tread softly around the cross, for Jesus is dead.  Repeat the refrain in hushed and softened tones: the Lord of life is dead.

The lips that spoke forth Lazarus from the grave are now stilled in the silence of death, and the head that was anointed by Mary of Bethany is bowed with its crown of thorns.

The eyes that wept over Jerusalem are glazed in death, and the hands that blessed little children are nailed to a tree.

And the feet that walked on the waters of blue Galilee are fastened to a cross, and the heart that went out in compassionate love and sympathy for the poor and the lost of the world is now broken; He is dead.

The infuriated mob that cried for His crucifixion gradually disperses; He is dead.

And the passersby who stop just to see Him go on their way; He is dead.

The Pharisees, rubbing their hands in self-congratulation, go back to the city; He is dead. 

And the Sadducees, breathing sighs of relief, return to their coffers in the temple; He is dead.

The centurion assigned the task of executing Him, makes his official report to the Roman procurator, “He is dead.” 

And the four, the quaternion of soldiers sent to dispatch the victims, seeing the Man on the center cross was certainly dead, brake not His bones, but pierced Him through with a spear; He is dead.

And Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus of the Sanhedrin go personally to Pontius Pilate and beg of the Roman governor His body, because He is dead. 

Mary His mother and the women with her are bowed in sobs and in tears; He is dead.  

And the eleven apostles, like frightened sheep, crawl into eleven shadows to hide from the pointing finger of Jerusalem and they cry, “He is dead!” 

Wherever His disciples met, in an upper room, or on a lonely road, or behind closed doors, or in hiding places, the same refrain is sadly heard, “He is dead. He is in a tomb, they have sealed the grave and set a guard; He is dead.”

It would be almost impossible for us to enter into the depths of despair that gripped their hearts.

Simon Peter, the rock, is a rock no longer.

And James and John, the sons of Boanerges, are sons of thunder no longer.

And Simon the Zealot is a zealot no longer.

He is dead, and the hope of the world has perished with Him.

Then, then, then…

– W. A. Criswell  (HT: Kingdom People)

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Yesterday I concluded with six results of the resurrection: namely what this truth means for us.  John Piper comes up with ten and you can even download a colorful poster that reminds you of these!  Good deal!  A good way to keep the resurrection in front of you every day!

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The following reflection is taken from an article by Nancy Pearcey  titled “Easter and Other Four-Letter Words”:

For millions of people, the entrance of God into verifiable history in human form is cause for celebration. It began with that birth in Bethlehem, and it culminated with an empirically verifiable resurrection in space and time in Jerusalem. Here was an individual observably alive at point A, dead at point B, but then alive again at point C. Thus we have Easter, a rock upon which to build a house, a life, a city on a hill, and even an entire civilization, once the profoundly pro-human implications of the Judeo-Christian worldview begin to be understood and applied across the whole of thought and culture.

No one should be surprised that the consequences of factual events so amazing should cascade like fresh mountain waters over the centuries into new years and into new lives every year. Christmas becomes a time of joy and celebration. Easter becomes a time of doubt followed by certainty and then amazement. But for others it’s a different story.

Keep reading. . . .

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‘So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ (1 Cor. 15:54-55). David Murray commenting on this verse reminds us that Christ, with his resurrection, has broken our fear of death!

But we need not wait until then to see foreshadows of this victory. Every time a Christian defeats the fear of death and its soul-paralyzing power by trusting in Christ to save his body and soul from death, the victory shout is heard, ‘O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction.’

Every time a Christian faces terminal illness and death with faith and confidence in Christ, death is plagued and the grave’s power is destroyed.

Every time a persecuted Christian faces the firing squad an looks heavenward with peace and confidence, all heaven celebrates the victory, ‘O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction.’

As you face your own end in this world, may this great divine ‘I will’ make death and the grave weaken and wither before you. May you look forward to the day of full and final victory when ‘[w]e shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed’ (I Cor. 15:51-52).” – David Murray in Milk and Honey

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