~ EASTER = RESURRECTION SUNDAY ~ Part 2 ~
EASTER = RESURRECTION SUNDAY
Jesus suffered greatly at the hands of mankind. He was falsely accused, and tried over six times by both Jewish and Roman officials. Fortunately He was never convicted of a crime that warranted being sentenced to death! No one could never honestly find fault in HM! As an innocent godly man He was beaten and flogged unmercifully, mocked and then forced to carry a heavy cross through the streets of Jerusalem to Golgotha where He was to be crucified. This was the longest route and is infamously knows as the, “Via Dolorosa or the Way of Sorrows!”
The soldiers dressed Jesus up as a king to humiliate and insult Him! Think of the worst possible treatment that one could ever endure; well His was beyond unthinkable…! They dressed Him in a purple robe and placed a crown of twisted thrones upon His head to mock Him after they had beaten, scourged and flogged Him unmercifully! They spit on Him and beat Him about His head and body. Customarily the crime that was committed by a criminal was placed on the cross. Jesus had no crime so they placed on His cross “King of the Jews!” as an insult! He walked while in excruciating pain covered with blood to the cross. Eventually Simon the Cyrene who was passing by was forced and ordered to carry Jesus’ cross and follow behind Him! Crucifixion was a very cruel way to die! They hammered and nailed long nails through His hands and His feet and lifted Him up on the cross. Jesus again thinking about others said “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing?”
Jesus was crucified between two criminals! Upon his death one of them asked for forgiveness and turned their life over to the Lord! He repented and BELIEVED! The Lord told Him right before his death, “I tell you the TRUTH, today you will be with me in Paradise!” LUKE 23. Even while dying nailed upon the cross Jesus was still thinking about others! His depth and demonstration of character and integrity are impeccably immeasurable! JESUS truly is “The King of KINGS!”
The heavens mourned and the earth shook upon Jesus’ death! He cried out, “Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani: meaning “My GOD! My GOD! Why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27. When He died hanging upon the cross, darkness hovered upon the land for three hours in the middle of the day. “It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining! And the curtain of the temple was rent in two. JESUS called out with a loud voice, “FATHER, into Your hands I commit My SPIRIT.” When He had said this He breathed His last …” LUKE 23.
Joseph of Arimathea, who was a rich man, a Jewish leader and follower of the Lord asked Pilate for the body of Jesus! Joseph then had His body wrapped in an ivory linen cloth and placed Jesus in an unused burial tomb that he personally owned. That linen cloth today is know as "The Shroud of Turin." The tomb or sepulcher was actually made of rock! Faithfully the women stayed at the cross and also followed to see where Jesus’ body was laid to rest! A huge stone was placed at the entrance to the tomb! The women went home to prepare spices and perfumes to anoint the Lord’s body! They rested on the Sabbath as required under the law, but planned to return to prepare His body after the Sabbath Day!
JESUS Rises From The Dead! EASTER = RESURRECTION DAY!
Here we see the POWER of FAITH & unwavering devotion again in action! The women still stayed after many of His disciples fled! I believe because of their devotion they were also the first to see JESUS after HIS RESURRECTION!
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered they did not find the body of the LORD JESUS! While they were wondering about this, two men in clothes that gleamed like lightening stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them. “Why look for the living among the dead! He is not here; HE HAS RISEN! Remember how He told you in Galilee: The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again. Then they remembered HIS words!” LUKE 24.
JESUS IS NOT DEAD! HE IS RISEN!
The women returned to the men and pondered all that they had witnessed! The men did not receive what they had to say, they thought it was nonsense! They did not believe them… “When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to ALL the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the Apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed like nonsense. Peter however got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.” LUKE 24.
In the Gospel of John we learn that JESUS actually appeared to Mary Magdalene as she stood outside the tomb crying! “Woman!” He said, “Why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for/” Thinking He was the gardener, she said. “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have put HIM, and I will get HIM.” JESUS said to her “Mary!” She turned toward HIM and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (Which means Teacher)? JESUS said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not ascended to My FATHER and your FATHER, to your GOD and MY GOD!” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the LORD!” And she told them that He had said these things to her!” John 20.
When Mary first saw JESUS she did not at first recognize Him. Jesus had descended into hell to set the captives free He was covered with dusty residue from the earth. Perhaps this is why He was thought to have been the gardener! But as soon as JESUS spoke her name, her spiritual eyes and ears where opened she immediately recognized the LORD! When we hear, believe and receive the “GOOD NEWS!” Of JESUS CHRIST our spiritual eyes are opened too! JESUS CHRIST is the RESURRECTION and the LIFE!
The women returned back to the men in shock as well as filled elated with joy! As they shared the news of Jesus being alive with the men some of them thought that they were possibly mad. But Peter and another disciple returned to the tomb, only to find Jesus’ linen grave clothes neatly folded. His grave clothes are today known as the Turin Shroud. Jesus was no longer there! He had risen!
JESUS Appears To The Disciples Behind Locked Doors!
“On the evening of the first day of the week, when the disciples, were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, JESUS came and stood among them and said, “PEACE be with you!” After He said this, He showed them His hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. “Again JESUS said, “PEACE be with you, as the FATHER has sent Me, I AM sending you.” And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the HOLY SPIRIT. If you forgive anyone their sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven…” JOHN 21.
JESUS gave the disciples instructions as to how to carry on their Spirit led mission! After He rose from the dead He appeared to the disciples and many others. He also shared with them what to expect in the future! He remained on the earth for another forty (40) days! He comforted them with His words and told them not to worry and that He would send them “The Comforter, His Holy Spirit!” It was on the Mount of Olives in the presence of His disciples that He ascended into the Heavens hidden amidst the clouds as they gazed upwardly! Two angels appeared and asked them, “Why are you looking for Jesus in the sky? They asked the puzzled disciples . “He’s been taken up in Heaven, and one day He will come back to earth in the same way!”
The disciples walked with Jesus in the flesh, saw Him do wonderful amazing and miraculous things! They saw Him crucified upon the cross and they witnessed His RESURRECTION! We serve a risen SAVIOR! HE lives within the hearts of believers! HE IS the HEAD OF HIS CHURCH! HE REIGNS FOREVERMORE! JESUS arose from the dead with ALL POWER!
The world at large is forever changing and moving away from the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD! We who are believers are supposed to embrace the TRUTH of HIS WORD and encourage others to do the same! To say we are a believer actually infers we "BELIEVE!" all GOD'S WORD! Everything that Jesus told and taught His disciples came true! He was the WORD wrapped in sinless flesh! He came that we might have life more abundantly! To better understand the purpose of life we must spend time in His Word! We must apply His principles to our own lives!
In the Gospel of John we learn that Jesus wrought so many miraculous amazing wonders that the world could not possibly contain all the books of how much He accomplished while here on earth, if all of them had actually been written down. The LORD has provided us with The Holy Scriptures! They are just what we need to Believe; grow in HIS Grace, Knowledge and Wisdom! His Word is Spiritual Food for our souls! It is important to regularly and consistently take time in the LORD’S WORD to become better acquainted with HIS WILL and HIS WAY!
JESUS is “The WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE!” The RESURRECTION of JESUS CHRIST from the dead is the central essential theme of HIS Plan of SALVATION! He overcame evil with GOOD! When we accept Him within our hearts, we are given the Gift of Eternal Life! His Holy Spirit then resides within us to lead, guide, direct and protect us! HIS RESURRECTION solidifies the foundation of HIS CHURCH! He has VICTORY over birth, life, sickness, sin, death and the grave! NO matter what happens in life because of His life we can ALWAYS have HOPE in the LORD when we truly BELIEVE! PRAISE GOD!
As believers as we Celebrate “Easter = Resurrection Day” it important to keep in mind all that the Lord has done for us as well as the world! Not only at this time but ALL throughout the year! “TO GOD BE THE GLORY!”