Summary: He counted it joy to pay for our sins and rise to give us life. The end of our road is joy with Him, who is worthy of the greater joy. (Part 4 in "The Road To Glory" Easter series)
“Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy companions.”
“Joy is the very business of Heaven”. C. S. Lewis
In the beginning, God created. As He did so, and at the end of each creation day, He declared His work to be good. Now when God says ‘good’, He means perfect. Unspotted, unblemished, untarnished, unmarred, complete and perfect in every way, for it was the work of His hand and fashioned according to His perfect will and design.
Then He created man, and in his infinite wisdom gave man a will. He placed man and woman in His pure and perfect garden and gave them only one law, and exercising his own will to usurp God’s authority over him, man broke that law and introduced sin into the world, and death through sin.
God was not taken by surprise. God did not have to back up and regroup. God did not have to make a new plan.
He who is from eternity to eternity, made His plan according to His foreknowledge of all things, and as was revealed to us by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter, God’s Anointed One, Jesus Christ, was “…delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God…”, nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put to death.
Then in Acts 2:24 Peter goes on to say, “And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.”
God has decreed that all who respond to the Holy Spirit’s calling and turn from sin to God through faith in the shed blood of Christ to save them, will be caught up in the grasp of grace and made brand new. And because He lives, they too shall be regenerated, and the same resurrection power that brought Him up from death will also give everlasting life to those who believe in Him.
The promise is given to us in Romans 10:9-11
“…that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved, for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”
It is the calling and precious duty of the preacher to tell you these things; to bring you to the cross of Christ and bid you look up and see the One who paid your debt. And then to take you past the cross to the tomb and show you that it is now empty. He is not there, for He is risen, just as He said.
We serve a living Savior, who shows us the wounds in His hands and feet and the wound in His side, and says ‘believe’. Die to self and the world and be raised to newness of life in Him. Be baptized into His death, and raised into His life.
It really is that simple. So simple that many miss it. Come with empty arms; lay down all the philosophies of men and the arguments of the so-called wise; lay down all your doubts and fears, let go of anything of this passing world that would hold you back, and just come.
Come to the cross and receive forgiveness of sins. Come to the tomb and receive resurrection life. Come to the Mount of Olives and see Him rise into the Heavens, promising to return and gather you to Himself, that where He is, there you may be also.
Because He who is coming will come. And He will come for those who love Him, and who eagerly await His return.
That is the message of Easter, and now you have heard it once more.
But today I want to take you farther. I want to take you to Heaven where He has gone and from whence He will come, and show you the glimpses He has given us of the eternal bliss and joy that awaits His bride, the church; the fellowship of believers from the beginning to the end. The joy with which He is anointed above all others.
Anointings are a common and frequent occurrence throughout the scriptures. They are God-ordained, in that they are representative of the office and work of His Son. Men were anointed with oil as a consecration to the office of priest, to the reign of king, and they were also anointed with oil for other purposes, such as to honor them as a guest, and as we discussed last week, to honor them in death as a preparation for burial.