1 Cor 15:1-6 EASTER CHANGES OUR LIVES
PRAISE THE LORD! We rejoice today because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead!
1 Cor 15:3-4 CHRISTIANITY IN ONE LINE:
3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died FOR our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...
You see a cause and effect here... the Bible revealed to us very clearly that there is a reason why the events of Good Friday & Easter happened the way it is. There is a cause...
(1)EASTER reveals the ONE BIG PROBLEM of man - SIN
"Christ died FOR our sins..." He didn’t just die... like the many who had before him. Jesus wasn’t the first person to be crucified. In Rome, many criminals were crucified - this is their way of execution. But this particular man Jesus was different - His death was very significant. The Bible revealed to us so... no wonder after >2000 years we’re still talking about it.
The Bible says, "Christ died FOR..." something, for a cause. He was not a victim of the circumstances. He was not caught up in circumstances beyond his control. In fact, it was not the Jewish people that pushed him up the cross. It wasn’t the Romans. Jesus himself took that choice. He said in John 10:17-18 "... I lay down my life... No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord...."
Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. All these happened because of man’s sin. That is the CAUSE, that is the ONE BIG PROBLEM of man.
Billy Graham had these comments about the disease running rampant in our world:
"We’re suffering from only one disease in the world. Our basic problem is not a race problem. Our basic problem is not a poverty problem. Our basic problem is not a war problem. Our basic problem is a heart problem. We need to get the heart changed, the heart transformed."
God revealed His righteous demand - the soul that sins shall die. All man has sinned against God. But Jesus came and chose to die in our place.
(2) EASTER reveals the ONE BIG BLESSING for man - NEW LIFE
"4that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures..."
God the Father raised Jesus up from the grave. By so doing, He is declaring to the world, "I’ve accepted His sacrifice for sin! Jesus has done everything for our redemption." That’s why Jesus himself cried out on the cross, "It is finished!" What is finished - the work of saving you and me.
Christ rose because He is the God of the living, not the dead. Confucius is dead. Mohammed is dead. Buddha is dead. Every leader of human religion is dead, but Jesus Christ is alive today.
The Bible says... many saw Him. He appeared to Peter, then to the Twelve, and finally to the author too - Paul. All these men are now in heaven. You have not committed a sin so great that God cannot forgive... Easter showed the deal has been done.
JESUS KNEW THAT THE WOULD BE RAISED...
Jesus told his disciples repeatedly that He would rise from the dead on the 3rd day (Matt 20:19; Mark 10:34; Luke 18:33).
"SO WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH JESUS?"(Matt 27:22). That the question Pontius Pilate, the Roman official in charge of Judea, asked. Today we must all ask the same question.
What are we going to do with this Jesus. Perhaps we are curious about this person. Wondering why the world is so caught up by a simple man. We are puzzled by Jesus’ claims - the things He said. We are shocked by the things He did. Maybe you’ve heard the story - that He came from heaven, taking upon himself human flesh, revealing to mankind the truth about our God and our true condition.
Now... what do you do with a man who claims to be God? What do you do with a man who calls himself the Saviour? What do you do with a man who knows the place and time of his death, yet goes there anyway?
You have 2 choices - you can reject him. 2000 years ago, many did. You can decide that the idea of God coming to look for us is too bizarre - and walk away. Pilate thought he could avoid making a choice. He took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man’s blood." (Matt 27:24). He climbed on the fence and sat down. But in not making a choice, Pilate made a choice.
Or you can accept Him. You can walk with Him and listen to His voice. And experience the reality of all that He claims to be.
NO GREATER LOVE
It was February 1941, Auschwitz, Poland. Maxmillan Kolba was a Franciscan priest put in the infamous death camp for helping Jews escape Nazi terrorism. Months went by and in desperation an escape took place. The camp rule was enforced. Ten people would be rounded up randomly and herded into a cell where they would die of starvation and exposure as a lesson against future escape attempts.
Names were called. A Polish Jew Frandishek Gasovnachek was called. He cried, "Wait, I have a wife and children!" Kolba stepped forward and said, "I will take his place." Kolba was marched into the cell with nine others where he managed to live until August 14.
This story was chronicled on an NBC news special several years ago. Gasovnachek, by this time 82, was shown telling this story while tears streamed down his cheeks. A mobile camera followed him around his little white house to a marble monument carefully tended with flowers.
The inscription read:
IN MEMORY OF MAXIMILLAN KOLBA.
HE DIED IN MY PLACE.
Every day Gasovnachek lived since 1941, he lived with the knowledge, "I live because someone died for me." Every year on August 14 he travels to Auschwitz in memory of Kolba.
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends." (John 15:13).
...Source: Victor Knowles, Peace on Earth Ministries. Adapted from Crossroads Family Circle.
Jesus Christ died on your behalf. Accept Him today as your personal Saviour and Lord. Receive the forgiveness of sin and new life in Christ.