Sunday, April 04, 2010

Passion Week - The Resurrection

Passion Week

Day Eight - Resurrection Sunday
Scripture Passage – Matthew 28:1-10
Parallel Passages in other Gospels for further reading: Mark 116:1-8, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-10

The Resurrection

“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you." So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

Thoughts from Rob Wetzel:

I can’t imagine what the Mary’s were thinking and feeling when they saw with their own eyes that Jesus was not laying dead in a tomb, but rather standing alive. Sure, Jesus said He would rise again, but do you think they really believed it? Or yet, do you think they even understood the reasons why? It says in Matthew that “They hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy”. They were probably in a state of shock and awe to see His body gone and to receive instructions from a bolt of lightning. Then while in a dead sprint to tell the others what had happened, Jesus pops out from behind a rock. Wow! Their anxiety was immediately turned to joy and worship when they saw the one they loved, now alive again.

The resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. If Jesus had not risen from the dead, then His life and death would have been in vain. It is the resurrection that sets Him a part from all other people, prophets, and religious leaders. It is the resurrection that proved everything ever said about Him in the bible and by Him on earth to be true. It is the resurrection that gave Him victory over sin, death, and the grave. It is because of the resurrection of Jesus, that we can know He “is” God and know that we will experience the same resurrection.

When someone puts their faith in Jesus as the Son of God and the Savior from sin and eternal death, they are born again and receive the Holy Spirit of God. It was by the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus was raised from death and brought back to life. Anyone who has the Spirit has life and has the hope of a future resurrection.

Some questions to think about:

What do I believe about the resurrection of Jesus? What difference does the resurrection of Jesus make in my faith? How does the resurrection of Jesus give me hope? Why is the resurrection of Jesus necessary for our eternal life?

Suggested direction for prayer:

Thank you Jesus for coming to this earth to rescue me from eternal death. I believe that you are who you said you were…the Son of God. And I believe that when you rose again from the dead, you made it possible for me to rise again as well. Thank you for being the sacrifice for my sin. Jesus, help me to trust in you more and more each day. Help me to walk as you walked and to live as you lived. Jesus, I ask for you to give me hope in the midst of death. I believe that because I am Your follower, I will one day rise again with you as well.


Gary said...

Dear Baptist/evangelical brothers and sisters in Christ,

I ask you to consider these points:

1. When God said that he would preserve his Word, what did he mean? Did he mean that he would preserve the original papyrus and parchment upon which his Word was written? If so, then his Word has disappeared as none of the original manuscripts remain.

Did he mean that he would preserve his word in the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek only? He would not preserve his Word when it was translated into all the other languages of the world?

Or did God mean that he would preserve his Word…the message/the words…the Gospel: the free gift of salvation, and the true doctrines of the Christian Faith? Would God allow his Word/his message to mankind to be so polluted by translation errors that no translation, into any other language from the three original languages, continues to convey his true words?

2. There is NO translation of the Bible, from the original ancient languages, into ANY language, ANYWHERE on earth, that translates the Bible as the Baptists/evangelicals believe it should be translated.

No Bible translation on earth translates Acts 2:38 as, “Repent and believe in Jesus Christ every one of you and you will receive the Holy Ghost. Then be baptized as a public profession of your faith.”

Why would God allow EVERY English translation of the Bible throughout history to be mistranslated or use such confusing language as to suggest that God forgives sins in Baptism? And not only all English translations, ALL translations of the Bible have retained these “mistranslations or confusing wording”.

Do you honestly believe that God would allow his Word to be so polluted with translation errors that EVERY Bible in the world, if read in its simple, plain interpretation, would tell the people of the world that God forgives sins in water baptism??

3. Why is there not one single piece of evidence from the early Christians that indicates that ANYONE in the 800-1,000 years after Christ believed that: Water baptism is ONLY a public profession of faith/act of obedience; sins are NOT forgiven in water baptism? Yes, you will find statements by these early Christians that salvation is by faith, but do Baptists and evangelicals really understand how a sinner obtains saving faith? THAT IS THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION, MY FRIENDS! Does the sinner produce faith by his own free will or does God provide faith and belief as a gift, and if God does provide faith and belief as a free gift, with no strings attached, WHEN exactly does God give it?

4. Is it possible that: Baptist-like believers, at some point near or after 1,000 AD, were reading the Bible and came across verses that read “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” and “Call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved” and established their doctrine of Salvation/Justification first, based on these and similar verses alone, and then, looked at the issue of water baptism, and since the idea that God forgives sins in water baptism didn’t seem to fit with the verses just mentioned, these early Baptists re-interpreted these verses to fit with their already established doctrine, instead of believing the “baptism verses” literally?

Is it possible that BOTH groups of verses are literally correct?? If we believe God’s Word literally, he says that he saves/forgives sins when sinners believe/call AND when they are baptized? Why not believe that God can give the free gift of salvation in both situations: when a sinner hears the Gospel and believes and when a sinner is baptized?

Should we re-interpret God’s plain, simple words just because they don’t seem to make sense to us?

God bless you!

Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals