At a time when Easter is meaningless to many, & celebrated in a pagan manner, I was blessed recently listening to a youtube video by Pastor Jentezen Franklin where he shared the following acronym using the letters of Easter to share the gospel.
E – mmanuel (God is with us). If we want to know what God looks like – look at Jesus… Jesus loves, forgives, restores! He is the living Word, made flesh to dwell among us & reveals life to the world.
A – tonement (At one-ment).This has to do with a restored relationship. On the cross His sacrificial blood shed for us to bring us to our Heavenly Father; He was a substitute sacrifice – taking the death penalty for us that we deserved as the consequence for sin, cleansing and forgiving us of sins as we repent, confess, and believe.. Now there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
S – onrise (Not sun but “Son”). We are called His sons and daughters called to sonship. Jesus, the Son of God is bringing many sons to glory (Hebrews 2:10). Romans 8:14 – For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
T – ruth (Word / Jesus). Jesus is the way, truth, and life (John 14:6). Numbers 23:19 – God is not a man that He should lie -– has He said and will He not do? Has He spoken, and will He not make it good? God’s Word is true!
E – ternal life (Not death) To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. We can know we have eternal life. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. We can have ETERNAL LIFE! (hoping to share more about this next week).
R – esurrection Life (Hope) Because Jesus resurrected, there is no grave too great to keep you down… Death & the grave cannot hold you because Jesus gives us RESURRECTION POWER!!
“I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE!”
We celebrate with excitement the joy of Jesus resurrection! This isn’t just once a year, but continually… every day! Resurrection truth is forever — Jesus is alive forever! Hallelujah! (Revelation 1:18)
Imagine the awe, wonder, and excitement when Mary came to the tomb and found the stone rolled away & the empty tomb! She ran to the disciples with the news, and then they ran back to check it out… There was quite a stir…!!
MATTHEW 28:5-8 – …the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for HE IS RISEN, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that HE IS RISEN from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
HE IS RISEN!
The early church would often greet one another with the following words. Resurrection truth was a foundational pillar of their faith, & primary in their thoughts & conversation. They would repeat these words back and forth to each other…
He is risen! Christ the Lord is risen indeed! (Repeat/echo)
EVENTS (Matthew 28)
On the 1st day of the week there was a great earthquake. An angel of the Lord descended from heaven. The angel came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.
Resurrection power was very important to Paul. He counted everything as nothing compared to it…
PHILIPPIANS 3:10 – …that I may know Him and the POWER of His RESURRECTION…
ROMANS 1:4 …declared to be the Son of God with POWER according to the Spirit of holiness, by the RESURRECTION from the dead.
Romans 8:11 – …if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
What does it mean to experience the POWER of the Resurrection in our lives?
New, & abundant life; Miraculous POWER; A changed life ; Boldness to witness; EMPOWERMENT to live an “overcoming life”; POWER to do God’s will and to live a righteous life; POWER to praise and give thanks; The anointing of the POWER of the Holy Spirit; …
JESUS is our resurrection POWER!
MATTHEW 28:18 – Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All POWER (authority) has been given to Me in heaven and on earth…
Is RESURRECTION more POWERFUL than death? YES!!! Absolutely!
2 TIMOTHY 1:10 – but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel…
I CORINTHIANS 15:54,57 – When this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality… “Death is swallowed up in VICTORY.”…But thanks be to God, who gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ.
JOHN 11:25 – “I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE!”
MATTHEW 22:32 – …not the God of the dead, but of the living!
Special note: All live to God (Luke 20:38). Physical death is not the final death. The 2nd death brings eternal separation from God. All will be resurrected – some to eternal reward, and some to eternal punishment…
John 5:28-29 – … the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation (damnation).
Nothing is too difficult for God! With God ALL things are possible! (Jeremiah 32:17,27; Matthew 19:26)
Jesus came after Lazarus had already been dead 4 days! (John 11:39). The stone was removed from his grave!
Jesus said to Martha “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
Special note: Jesus miraculous power shows forth His glory! (John 2:11)
John 11:43-44- …He (Jesus) cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
Special note: The resurrection of Jesus friend, Lazarus, was preliminary to his own resurrection. The stone was removed, and the dead arose and lived. It was a marvelous miracle. Many came to observe Lazarus, and see him with their own eyes (John 12:9).
Matthew 12:40 –
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Special note: Just as Jonah was delivered out of the belly of the fish, Jesus was delivered from the imprisonment of death after 3 days, and arose as our triumphant, & victorious conqueror. He overcame death & the grave, and is alive forever!
Valley full of dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1); He prophesied life (37:4-6); The bones came together, flesh and the breath of life came, & they lived! (37:7-10); They stood – a great army! (37:10).
Special note: There is coming a time when the dead will be resurrected, & dead bones will live again. When Jesus comes, the dead in Christ will rise… (I Thessalonians 4:16)
JESUS RESURRECTION PROPHESIED
It is interesting to note that Jesus prophesied of His resurrection ahead of time, not just once but 3 times…
MATTHEW 26:32 – – …after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee… (Mark 14:28)
Can we really know that Jesus rose from the dead?
The tomb was empty; There were many signs, wonders, & miracles of nature; Obstacles to escape from the tomb were overcome.
Th dramatic transformation of the disciples; The ministry of Jesus 40 days following HIs resurrection; Showing himself alive by many infallible proofs – IT WAS SURE... – THERE WAS NO POSSIBLE ERROR! Acts 1:3); The witness of doubting Thomas ( John 20:26-29); many other resurrections seen ( Matthew 27:53); There were 100’s of eyewitnesses (strongest proof in court); The very existence of the Church; It is proven in history – it is a historical fact; it is proven through the Scriptures; it is proven through our own personal experience;…
JESUS BRINGS CHANGE
This truth about Jesus resurrection can turn the world upside down, & change the world!
There are many testimonies of physical changes by Jesus; Spiritual changes; Changes in relationships; …
We have something to continually celebrate – JESUS IS THE TRUE & LIVING GOD – HE IS ALIVE!
JESUS IS ALIVE IN US!
Jesus lives in us, and gives us LIFE! It’s a NEW & LIVING WAY OF LIFE! Jesus is our hope of resurrection! Let’s not only receive Him, but help others to receive him as well (John 1:12,13)!
GALATIANS 2:20 – “… Christ LIVES in me…”
I JOHN 4:9 – “in this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might LIVE through Him”.
PHILIPPIANS 1:21 – “For me to LIVE is Christ…”
HOPE OF RESURRECTION
2 CORINTHIANS 4:14 – Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus…
Jesus is the only way… our basis of SAVING FAITH! It is the source of POWER! It is the source of VICTORY!
THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO
In England years ago, there was a famous battle – “ The Battle of Waterloo”. The British Captain, Wellington was over the armed forces that would fight Napoleon — who had never been defeated. In London, they knew that if Wellington was defeated in this critical battle they would become slaves to Napoleon. They waited anxiously for the news. A man was painting the outcome of the battle on a signboard. As the man was writing/painting on the signboard — the fog settled in.. All they could see “Wellington Defeated”… that was all they could see because of the fog. They were shocked and grieving & in great sorrow because of the news.
However, as some were still standing in the streets, the fog lifted so they could see the whole message – they saw that the message they previously saw had a missing word – “Wellington Defeated Napoleon”! The message turned from sorrow to joy that day!
At Calvary some may have thought -“Jesus Christ Defeated”. However, 3 days later at dawning of a new day… the message turned… to –
“Jesus Christ Defeated Satan, hell, the grave, & your sin & shame” Calvary was the devil’s “Waterloo” – he was defeated once and for all!
I CORINTHIANS 15:57 – O death, where is your sting? O grave (Hades), where is your victory?” … But thanks be to God, who gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let’s be THANKFUL & PRAISE THE LORD! q Let’s be HIs WITNESSES, & share the gospel! This is great news, that’s for sure!!
GOD IS ALIVE!
Let’s know and believe that GOD IS ALIVE! He is the LIVING GOD! JESUS IS ALIVE!! AMEN!!
REVELATION 1:18 (JESUS) “I am He who LIVES, and was dead, and behold, I AM ALIVE forevermore. Amen.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the TRUE & LIVING GOD!
JEREMIAH 10:10 – The LORD is the true God, He is the LIVING GOD, and an everlasting king:…
I KINGS 18:21-38 – (The story of Elijah and the servants of Baal)
Special note: When the people saw the miraculous answer to Elijah’s prayer they shouted – The Lord, He is God! The Lord He is God! (I Kings 18:39). They turned from their idolatrous practices to worship the true & living God!
I THESSALONIANS 1:9 – …how you turned to God from idols to serve the LIVING and TRUE GOD..
I JOHN 5:20 – …we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is TRUE; and we are in Him who is TRUE, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the TRUE GOD AND ETERNAL LIFE.
JOHN 14:6 – Jesus said unto him, I AM the way, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, no man comes unto the Father, but by me!
JESUS IS TRUE!
He cannot lie! (Hebrews 6:18)
TITUS 1:2 – In hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the word began…
THE LIVING GOD
People are hungry & thirsty for the LIVING GOD!
PSALM 42:2 – My soul thirsts for the LIVING GOD…
RESURRECTION TRUTH BRINGS GREAT JOY!
LUKE 24:52,53 – (after the ascension) And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.
BE A FAITHFUL WITNESS OF HIS RESURRECTION!
PSALM 107:2 – Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy…
Special note: Our lives are to be a present day testimony to our LIVING LORD AND SAVIOR!
I PETER 1:3 – … according as His abundant mercy has begotten us again unto A LIVELY (LIVING) HOPE by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
JOHN 11:25 – (Jesus) “I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE!
Special note! Although we don’t generally see Him with our physical eyes, we know that He is with us by His Spirit, even as He promised. He said, “I AM with you always…” (Matthew 28:20). He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you… so that we may boldly say, ‘the Lord is my helper, I will not fear..” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
Jesus didn’t just make appearance during Bible times.There are numerous present day accounts of His appearances as well.
Here is a story of how Jesus brought special comfort to a widow lady in her time of need, and dispelled her fears...
An elderly woman lost her husband that she had been married. to for over 50 years. She was not only grief-stricken, but very fearful! Living alone on her remote farm, sometimes she was stricken with terror when the wind blew branches scraping across her window at night. She was often tortured with fear, living there all alone. She had never lived alone before, and now alone, elderly and vulnerable, she became extremely fearful!
One night, a fearsome thunderstorm caused a brown-out power outage at her farm. She wept herself to sleep. Suddenly she awakened with a start, realizing someone was in the room with her — she was not alone. The full moon illumined her upstairs bedroom. She later reported that she saw JESUS, seated in her husbands favorite rocker, rocking slowly and smiling at her.
She was shocked! Stunned and not knowing what to say, she finally blurted out… “My husband is dead, and I am so afraid!” She said that Jesus spoke to her in warm, comforting tones that deeply comforted her… “I know, Ethel! He is with me, and I am with you! Go back to sleep, I am here!” She instantly fell back asleep, and was delivered from her fears, determining never to be afraid again, because JESUS IS ALIVE, and was with her to watch over her!