04/14/17

Only Through The Cross: A Completed Work

Read Matthew 27: 1-66

 

We are observing Easter of 2017.  What does Easter mean to us this year, or any year?

 

 

Is Easter now a not so major holiday? Are we focusing on the true meaning of Easter?  Mostly I see people hurrying around filling Easter baskets and creating Easter displays. Each year it seems as if the merchant’s displays are being put up earlier and earlier.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we would think to start studying the import of Christ’s sacrifice at this time?

 

 

I remember as a child participating in Easter egg hunts and looking forward to the Easter basket filled with chocolate bunnies and yellow chicks–not to mention jellybeans. I still love chocolate and jellybeans–but they take a certain back seat to the true meaning behind Easter and The Cross of Christ.

 

Our Savior sacrificed his entire being for us on Calvary’s cross. There has never been or ever will be another sacrifice to match it.  That is because as Jesus said, “It is finished”.

 

He performed a completed work so that you and I could be alive this day to live in Him and to partake in Communion with Him. He performed a completed work so that we could have a right to reign with Him for eternity and the glorious indwelling of The Holy Spirit to guide us in this life. He performed a completed work so that the entire world could be ministered to and the Great Commission performed in His Name.

 

 

As it states in Matthew 27: 35-37 NKJV : “Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:

‘They divided my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.”

 

 

‘Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him:  THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

 

 

They did this to make fun of our Savior, but they inadvertently furthered the plans of the Kingdom of GOD.  It is because of Jesus’ sacrifice that we can stand firm and declare that the Kingdom of  GOD is here. It is our duty and our desire to see those who need the King of Kings gather at the Easter Banquet table.  

 

Charlene

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11/14/13

Where is Jesus? Rev. Billy Graham via Devotions Daily

 

Where Is Jesus  by Billy Graham, from The Reason for My Hope

 

Editor’s Note: In what could be his final book, Billy Graham presents in The Reason for My Hope the core message that has guided his life and calling for more than 70 years. Filled with new stories and timeless truth, Dr. Graham once again calls the world back to its spiritual priority as only he can. 

* * *

 

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. — Acts 4:12

 

 What is the ultimate victory of the cross? That it could not hold the Savior of the world, who triumphed over sin and death, winning salvation for mankind. The resurrection story of Jesus Christ is what gives meaning and power to the cross. What a failure Christianity would be if it could not carry our hopes beyond the coldness and depths of the grave. You see, the resurrection means the salvation of our souls.

 

What does the resurrection mean to you? Many have never thought about it. Some believe that Jesus died leaving a legacy of “Do good to your neighbor,” never believing that He was raised from the dead. Others think the resurrection was a hoax. There are those who question whether Jesus even existed.

 

True believers in Jesus Christ have no doubt that He lived among us, died for our sins, and after three days was resurrected to life, conquering the sting of death, offering the human race the greatest gift— His sacrificial love.

 

Several months ago an entertainment network carried a story on the Billy Graham Library, highlighting it as a point of interest in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. The show’s cohost, Kristy Villa, arrived on the property along with her crew and was met by a colleague who explained what visitors might experience while there. She drew the journalist’s attention to the many crosses displayed, including the forty-foot glass cross through which visitors enter the building.

 

Halfway through the presentation Villa said with a sense of awe, “I see all the crosses, but where is Jesus?” The colleague smiled and said, “He’s in Heaven, and He is also present in the lives of those who believe in Him and follow Him as their personal Lord and Savior.”

 

The journalist threw her hands around her face and exclaimed, “Oh, that’s right! Some worship a crucifix, but Christians worship a risen Christ.” After a moment Villa said, “I have been in church my whole life, but I have never heard the emphasis put on an empty cross.”

 

She may not have realized it, but she had just proclaimed the heart of the Gospel, as I have done for more than seventy years, and later told her viewers, “This destination [the Library] is a place you must come and see!” When I heard this marvelous report, it made my heart leap, and I thought about the words of the psalmist: “Come and see what God has done . . . for mankind!” (Psalm 66:5 NIV).

 


The question we must all answer is, “What does Jesus’ work on the cross and His resurrection mean to us, and what does it mean to be saved?”

 

Many people, including some who claim to be Christians, do not fully grasp the impact that the crucified and risen Christ makes upon the human heart. How do I know this? Because there is no change in them. Have you asked yourself, “What do I believe about the empty cross and the empty tomb?”

 

The foot of the empty cross is the ultimate destination in life. Your acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice, or your rejection of it, determines your future life. If you do not believe that Jesus died for you, then you will remain the same, being gripped by sin and dying by its penalty, with certainty of eternal judgment in Hell and banishment from God. But if you believe that Jesus rose from the grave, achieving victory over the cross of death, and you accept that He paid your penalty, you will never be the same.

 

 

The Empty Cross Is Full of Hope

 

The cross represents doom for sin and hope for sinners. It condemns sin and cleanses souls. The cross is where Jesus was crucified in our place and where Christ brings resurrection life to mankind. The bloodstained cross is gruesome to some, but the empty cross is full of hope.

 

Satan, overly eager to thwart God’s purposes, overstepped his bounds, and God turned what seemed to be life’s greatest tragedy into history’s greatest triumph. The death of Christ, perpetrated by evil men, was thought by them to be the end, but His grave became but a doorway to a larger victory.

 

The resurrection empowers faith in Jesus Christ. If I did not believe that Christ overcame death on the cross and bodily rose from the grave, I would have quit preaching years ago. I am absolutely convinced that Jesus is living at this moment at the right hand of God the Father and reigns in my heart. I believe it by faith, and I believe it by evidence found in the Scriptures.

 

 Luke, a physician and disciple of Jesus, was one of the most brilliant men of his day; he made this startling statement about the resurrection in the book of Acts: “He . . . presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).

 

These “infallible proofs” have been debated for two thousand years. Many people have come to know the truth while they tried to prove Jesus’ resurrection a lie and failed. Others ignore the facts recorded in the best-selling book of all time, the Bible.

 

 

http://www.faithgateway.com/where-is-jesus/?utm

 

 

Your Turn

 

As Billy Graham asked in this excerpt, what does Jesus’ work on the cross and His resurrection mean to you? And how has this truth transformed your life?  Share your thoughts and comment on our blog! We would love to hear from you!  ~ Devotionals Daily

 

 

 

 Credit: Devotions Daily

Charlene’s  Source: www.faithgateway.com

 

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04/3/10

Easter Greetings To All: Revisited

 Easter Revisited  for March  31, 2013

 

 

Once again, Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of our LORD and SAVIOR is here. This is the season of recognizing the sacrifice that Jesus the Christ made for each of us to have access to eternal life. Through intercession, Jesus paid the price for all of ours sins committed and not yet committed. That we are not worthy of such unconditional love has been covered by His blood shed for the remission of sins. We are all loved beyond our own comprehension.

 

 

A striking portion of scripture that epitomizes this love is found in John 21: 1-25. Jesus had prepared hot coals and was cooking fish for the disciples as they struggled for a catch. Just as when they had first met, Jesus told them to “throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some. When they did, they were unable to haul the net because of the large number of fish”. This was representative of the many “fish” or followers of Christ yet to be caught for the Kingdom of GOD.

 

As we contemplate the true meaning of Christ’s sacrifice we should focus on the “Great Commission”. First of all, Easter is for everyday and everyone. That the holy day is celebrated once a year does not detract from the fact that Easter’s message applies each day. We are as Christians to fish for others to gather them into the Body of Christ. GOD’s Holy Spirit guides our fishing methods as all are not the same. However, each method should contain the same message and yield the same result. Why make Jesus’ sacrifice and love nil? To give His act meaning is to spread the Word and the Joy of Salvation. Then we may partake of the Lord’s Supper just as Jesus shared bread and wine with His disciples before His death, and then shared bread and fish with them after His resurrection.

 

 

Easter should continue long after the calendar appointed time of its celebration. In a world and a time when men do not want to hear the Word of GOD, let us as followers of Christ continue to study, teach, preach, and spread the news of the gift above all gifts–Salvation.

 

 

                                                                          A Joyous Easter, Charlene

 

 

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