Just as He Said

Sunrise Service 16 April 2017

“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.”  Matthew 28:5-6.

As a man – Jesus was a man of His word.  When he said something, his word could be counted upon.  As a third of the Trinity, Jesus IS the Word.  (John 1:1)

What makes you believe what a person says?  A man I met in a gas station in Michigan many years ago told me “Never take advice from a person who hasn’t put it into practice themselves.”  This statement would seem to indicate we could take advice from Bill Gates about how to start a computer company.  But who could we take advice from about how to get to heaven?  I say there would be no one better than Jesus.  But many of us are cynical, or more specifically, skeptical no matter how much verifiable evidence we are presented with.  There are also some who are so gullible, they believe anything they’re told regardless of the evidence to the contrary.  It is true that the devil roams the earth seeking who he might devour.

So this leaves us with a question that we must grapple with; was Jesus who He said he was?  If the answer is yes, that poses a much more pressing, contemporary and personal question; is Jesus who he has told YOU he is?  Is he the Savior who died as a sacrificial payment for your sins?  Romans 4:25 says He is “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

Why would Jesus die for your sins?  Because sin separates us from those who love us; that includes separation from God.  Not because God stops loving us, but because sin cannot be present in the presence of perfect righteousness.  For us to be with God in Heaven for eternity we must be perfectly righteous like Him.  However, with unreconciled sin, and we ALL have sin in our lives, we cannot be righteous enough.  This is why Jesus came to Earth.  You have all probably heard the scripture verse John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life.”  Jesus has “become our righteousness, our holiness and our redemption” 1 Corinthians 1:30.

This is why Jesus couldn’t just stay dead after His crucifixion.  That would have made him the same as all the sacrifices that went before Him.  His offering would have been limited for a specific time.  Future sins would require further sacrifices.  The prophesies concerning the resurrection of the true Messiah would have remained unfulfilled.  Those who died even in faith would remain among the dead.

But Jesus DID come back to life because God His Father accepted Jesus’ sacrifice as perfect which gave that sacrifice eternal power – power for eternal life for those who would acknowledge their sins, ask for forgiveness and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior as Romans 10:9 says “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

God didn’t promise an easy life once a person accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior.  All our troubles don’t magically vanish.  Jesus himself told us  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33

Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  I noticed the scripture doesn’t tell me I can do all things “easily”.  I also noticed the scripture says Christ will “strengthen me” which infers I cannot “do all things” in my own strength.  Therefore – I certainly cannot save myself from an eternity in Hell – a result of the penalty of eternal separation from sinless God because of my sinful life.

This is our human condition as stated in the book of Romans So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:21-25.

Jesus had many opportunities to turn away from the cross, but that would have left us lost without hope of salvation and that would have gone against the will of God His Father as stated in John 6:39 “And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given me, but raise them up at the last day.”

No; Jesus didn’t walk away.  Instead “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8.

And we can trust this resurrected Christ to be our Savior who helps us in all our struggles and delivers us blameless on the day of our salvation because after dying on the cross for our sins, he defeated death and rose again to life – just as he said.  If you are my brother or sister saved in Christ, I rejoice with you in the promise we have – a promise of an eventual end of the struggles of this world and then deliverance into eternity together.  If you have not accepted Jesus Christ’s work on the cross for your salvation and asked Him into your heart as Lord and Savior, let today be your Resurrection Sunday for this is the day of salvation!

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