Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

More thoughts on Easter--We Were The Reason, Part II

In Matthew's Gospel, 139 verses are devoted to the events leading up to Jesus' Crucifixion, and the Crucifixion itself.
However, only 20 verses are devoted to His resurrection. I was thinking about that this Easter morning, and wondering why--after all, every preacher (me included) calls the resurrection the single most important event in human history. Paul tells us that without the Resurrection, the Crucifixion means nothing: "If Christ is not risen, you are still in your sins;" in other words, without the resurrection, the death of Christ is ineffective. Can't help you. No benefit. No proof of Jesus' Divine nature. No power from God that conquers death.
However, Jesus DID rise. He rose physically, spiritually, and permanently. He still bears the scars of His death, but He lives, as one Bible writer says, "By the power of an indestructible life;" in that life is bound up every hope and dream of humanity:
Everlasting life with God.
Utopia--A New Heaven and New Earth, where you will live forever.
No Separation from God, from those you love.
No suffering.
No death.
No pain.
No tears.
No more loss.
Every evil thing is gone from human existence. Replaced. Everything is new.
All this is guaranteed by Christ's resurrection. All of it. If He didn't rise, none of it is true.
So it's important. Very. More important than anything else.
So...Why only 20 verses devoted to it? After all, His death, which preceded the resurrection, receives a great amount of attention in the Gospels, so much so that it's clear that the point of the Gospels is to communicate not only Jesus' wonderful life, but His death.  What's more, it's not accidental. It's intentional.  This disparity occurs in all the Gospels, with much more attention devoted to His death than to His resurrection.
I think that one of the main reasons is that the resurrection is a living event. What I mean by that is that the resurrection is in part Christ living with and within us.
It is more than His physical resurrection. It's Him, present with and within.
He puts it this way: "I am the Resurrection and the Life...He who believes in me, though he was dead, yet he shall live--and he who lives and believes in Me shall never die."
Paul says, "your life is hid with Christ in God."
In other words, when Jesus rose, He rose for YOU, just as much as He died for you.
Every true Christian knows this instinctively. He feels the presence of God in his life, and that presence is not only the Father, but also the Son (John 14:22-23), and comes through the Son.
So you are not only the reason He suffered and died. You are the reason He lives, and you are infused with the indestructible life of the Son of God, if you belong to Him, and you cannot die. Yes, your body can, and probably will die. But YOU cannot. The presence of God is there. With you.  And if you're a genuine Christian, you know this. It's as real to you as your own consciousness.  As John says, "He who believes in the Son has the witness [that he has eternal life] within himself."
What's more, every Christian, from the first days of the Church, has experienced this same thing.
Why only a few verses?
Simple. God is still writing the book about Jesus. YOU are that book, IF you belong to Him.
And you can. He is seeking YOU. Individually. He's interested in YOU.
In the greatest sense of the term, YOU are the reason. The reason for Him to come to earth. The reason for Him to take on humanity, and become a Man. The reason for Him to minister. The reason for Him to die. The reason for Him to rise. And the reason he invites you to become His.
All you have to do is want to. And tell Him so. He does the rest.

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