Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter

The first question is, What is Easter all about? and the second, What practical meaning does it have for the plain Christian of today? "Jesus is not here; he has risen" (Matthew 28:6), Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

What practical significance does Easter have for us? "Much in every way!" (Romans 3:2). Jesus "through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4). Jesus "was raised to life for our justification" (Romans 4:25). That we are not obligated to live in bondage to days and times and seasons (Colossians 2:16-17; Romans 14:4-10; 2 Corinthians 3:5-18) since Christ arose from the dead on the first day, Christians all over the world have the opportunity to set the first day as the Christian's voluntary Sabbath day.

This is interesting because "The day of Pentecost" fell on the first day of the week which the Holy Spirit came in fulfillment of Christ's promise. This happened on the first day, which is Sunday, seven (7) weeks after Jesus resurrection. (See Lev. 23:16, 50 days after the Passover Ceremonies, the day after the 7th Sabbath which is 7 weeks). The primary work of Christ in redemption is to justify, sanctify and glorify. Justify means to declare righteous before God, sanctify means to make holy, and glorify means in effect to remake the entire personality after the image of Christ.

New Covenant is sealed in the blood of Jesus, Who is our Savior and Mediator, brought us together with His Grace and Mercy that we have great spiritual and eternal freedom. The Old Testament priests, sacrifices, and sanctuary are superseded by the mediation of Jesus, the crucified, risen, and reigning God-man (Heb. 1-10), in whom believers now find their identity as the seed of Abraham and the people of God (Gal. 3:29; 1 Pet. 2:4-10). Hebrews 9:15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

Easter reminds me this: During Jesus' ministry, Jesus spoke of His coming death. "Destroy this temple," Jesus said, referring to His body, "and I will raise it again in three days." Jesus also declared that the Father would raise Him up on the third day. In Romans 1 we read that the Spirit of God declared Jesus to be the Son of God with power "by his resurrection from the dead." Hebrews 9:14 tells us that Father, Son and Holy Spirit all had a part. The Father received the offering of the Son through the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ, who is God, the blameless and sinless Son, offered as the Lamb of God, without spot and without blemish. The redemptive price was paid by the Son to the Father through the Spirit. Christ through His death and resurrection, every legal hindrance has been met and satisfied. There is nothing that can keep me from assurance except my own faith. Its not about thinking our way into salvation or to reason our way into salvation. The only way to get in is to believe Him with my heart which is sealed by the Holy Spirit.

The Book of Hebrews explains that Jesus is the mediator, the executor, of The New Covenant (The New Testament). The word mediator comes from the verb "to mediate" which means a mediator is one who stands between two parties or two factions needing to be reconciled eternally.

On the first day of every week.......(First Corinthians 16:2). It was on the first day of the week that Christ arose and so the first day, Sunday, came to be designated as the Lord's Day. On that day the early Christians gathered to worship (Acts 20:7; Revelation 1:10) as do we, and in doing so we celebrate Christ's resurrection. Easter (The Resurrection) is celebrated every Sunday. The meaning of the resurrection must be rediscovered by each believing Christians till our Lord returns to earth again.

Quote from one of my favorite teachers, A.W. Tozer:
On the first day light had its birth; on the first day Christ arose; on the first day the Holy Spirit descended. Though there is much other truth to support this, for a true follower of Christ no stronger argument is needed. On the first day he will love to remember Christ's triumph; and each first day will be to him a reminder that Christ rose from depths of earth. I am thankful that I responded to the Holy Spirit's conviction and lead me to my escape of death. "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." (Romans 8:16). "Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart" (1 John 5:10). The Holy Spirit opened my heart and mind so that I can turn to Christ. In my heart, I was stirred by the Holy Spirit and knew that God has spoken to me to repent.

Happy Easter everyone and I will see you in your blogs this weekend. Probably tonight if my family do not kidnap me.

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