There is a purpose for which Christ rose from the dead, and there is a power made available to us through His resurrection. Just when power seemingly prevails, its defeat is at hand. The basic meaning of the word is very straightforward and in relation to the death of Jesus is extremely important. All rights reserved. Answer: The resurrection of Jesus is important for several reasons. His resurrection is for US, not just for Himself: He rises to new life in order to be with us always, to the end of time (Mt. Before Jesus died his deity had been ‘veiled' by his humanity, so that, in spite of his character, his teaching, and his miracles, he was in many ways no different from others. The Power of the Cross. In the temple in Jerusalem, the focal point of the nation's worship, a richly-embroidered veil or curtain separated the "Holy Place" from the "Most Holy Place," the inner sanctuary that represented God's presence. It showed him to be everything he claimed to be. This is easier to understand, as to "atone" means to deal with an offense so that the offender and the person offended can be "at one." But there is real dependence also. Whatever your age or state of health, at this moment you are twenty-four hours nearer your death than you were at this time yesterday. This miracle was a sign that, whereas under the old religious system the high priest alone could enter the symbolic presence of God, and then only once a year, the death of Jesus had removed the sin barrier between God and man. (I Can't Tell Sometimes), Tapping into God's Strength by Waiting on Him. THE PURPOSE AND POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION. • Jesus on the cross, bearing our sins, gives us power to die to sins. He makes the same invitation today. Jesus was more than an example; he was a substitute, taking the place of those whose sin leaves them spiritually bankrupt and exposed to God's righteous anger. The crucifixion and resurrection powerfully demonstrate God’s mercy and justice. It is a force that repudiates and virtually makes a joke of the crucifying powers in the world. April 20, 2003. By nature and choice, we are all separated from God because of our self-centered rebellion against his authority and our deter­min­ation to go our own way. He alone can give you spiritual life and then sustain you day by day as you seek to live for him. This is what it means to live the crucified life. Let me spell it out as you come towards the end. As Jesus put it, "The light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19). He has met, fought and beaten the King of Death. You may receive many invitations of one kind of another. When I turn on this switch power in the form of electricity flows through the switch and into the lightbulb, thus giving us light. We need to know both the purpose and the power for us to enjoy maximally our relationship with God with the accompanying benefits in this world and in the world to come. First, the resurrection witnesses to the immense power of God Himself. III. Christians often have a joyful sense of God's presence as they die, yet for Jesus, exactly the opposite was true because at that moment he was experiencing not merely physical death but spiritual death. If you returned and saw your guarantor walking the street as a free man you would know that the debt you had incurred had been paid in full on your behalf. (2) He has reigned since in power above. In the most amazing act of love ever known, Jesus endured sin's ultimate penalty in the place of even the worst of his enemies. Study Texts: 1 Corinthians 15:17-19, Philippians 3, 4-11. Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy. Services and sacraments, rites and rituals can never bridge the gap that sin has created. What is more, sinners are not merely the captives of a sinful principle, but they are in "the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will" (2 Timothy 2:26). Jesus was under no such curse, yet in order to satisfy the demands of divine justice, he bore the curse of the law in full. God's invitations and commands are very different because left to yourself you are in clear and present danger. Go to the cross and remain there. These seven big words reveal the most amazing promises, but how can we know that they are true and relevant to us today? As you do, you will truly understand the answer to the question, "Why the cross? The Pope writes of this in that same encyclical, section 8: (This series continues next week on the subject: Divine Mercy in the New Testament), Marian.orgTheDivineMercy.orgAllHeartsAfire.orgDivineMercyArt.orgShopMercy.orgMarianPlus.org, Send us an email1-800-462-7426FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube, Official promoters of the authentic Divine Mercy message since 1941. that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death; The "trust" that Jesus asks for in the Image is not a passive thing. When Jesus cried that he had been forsaken by God the Father, it did not mean that the Father was not there (as God is always everywhere), but that he was not there to strengthen, comfort and bless him. It meant "mission accomplished," not "mission abandoned." Darby Bible Translation. The message of the cross is the power of God because God acts powerfully through the cross of Jesus Christ. Theories that he was buried while still alive and somehow recovered full health and strength again are absurd. Some can be thrown away immediately, while deciding what to do about others is just a matter of choice, with no serious consequences. His death did not conclude his life; it crowned it. What Is the Kingdom of God? He issues the same invitation today. In the original language used, Jesus' last cry, "It is finished," is just one word — tetelestai — a word that was often written across a bill when it had been paid in full. (3) He works in power today on earth through his Word and Spirit. This enables him to receive back into his favor the person who committed the offense. They are in point of time. His resurrection changed everything, and his divine power over death proved that he was exactly who he claimed to be. This clearly illustrates the overwhelming importance of these events in the story of God's merciful love that Luke is narrating. As C. S. Lewis put it: [Jesus] has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. For the Joy Set Before Us In other words, for the joy that was set before Paul, he sang in the jails and loved the jailers. ", The Bible's first answer is that Jesus "was declared to be the Son of God in power … by his resurrection from the dead" (, It showed him to be everything he claimed to be. The basic meaning of the word is very straightforward and in relation to the death of Jesus is extremely important. The Power of the Cross The cross was the greatest achievement in history and has cosmic and eternal ramifications. If God exists, and if He created the universe and has power over it, then He has power to raise the dead. Jesus undoubtedly died on the cross. God says, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die…?" Instead, in his righteous anger against sin, God the Father deserted, rejected and punished him. Immediately prior to his arrest and execution, he told his disciples, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified," and went on to say, "for this purpose I have come to this hour" (John 12:23). The cross is a Trinitarian event. (Ezekiel 33:11). The Cross and the Resurrection. As Jesus drew his last breath, "The curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom" (Matthew 27:51). This explains why, as he was dying, Jesus cried out, "It is finished" (John 19:30). (5) Since the Resurrection had been promised as the main proof of Christ’s Divine mission, it has a greater dogmatic importance than any other fact. Published in 2000, his 655-page volume Does God believe in Atheists? Why? Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. A holy life becomes an attainable goal. Although he was crucified "by the hands of lawless men," his death was "according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2:23). Introduction. God may not allow you another day, let alone another week, month or year, in which to turn to him. How do we know the price Jesus paid was accepted and the debt paid? Historically, Christians use seven major words to summarize the Bible's teaching on what happened when Jesus died. Without the pain and reality of the cross, without the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf, without the power of the Resurrection and his final victory … In his death, he achieved exactly what God the Father had sent him into the world to do (John 17:4). It is a powerful picture of the urgent need to respond to God's invitation to turn to him while you can. Religious observance can never make you right with God. Dr. John Blanchard is an internationally known Christian author, and his twenty-four books include two of the UK's most widely used evangelistic publications, Right with God and Ultimate Questions. was voted 'Best Christian Book' in the inaugural UK Christian Book Awards held in 2001. • Further, we are enabled by the power of the cross of Jesus to live for righteousness. (4) As the Divine power which raised Christ from the grave was His own power, He rose from the dead by His own power (John, ii, 19; x, 17-18). (John 20:28). Their bodies would soon be buried, but the spirits of the sinner and his Saviour would by then be in heaven. What do the cross and resurrection mean for us? (Matthew 27:46). Live Free with Resurrection Power. In our family life and in the church life, we all need to go to the cross and remain there. I often think of what various holidays are like for those serving Jesus … His resurrection did not make Jesus the Son of God, as he has always been so; it proved that he was. Not even his worst enemies denied that by Sunday morning (Jesus died and was buried on Friday) his tomb was empty. Here is a source of power. If someone had agreed to stand as a guarantor for the debtor and the debtor could not be found, the guarantor could be jailed in his place. by Dr. John Blanchard (ep books, used by permission). The Bible's answer is that in his death Jesus was bearing sin's penalty (which he did not deserve) in the place of others (who did). We can escape sin's death penalty, find favour with God, be set free from prison, escape from our self-imposed captivity, have all our sins forgiven, have spiritual peace and be right with God forever. Death did not annihilate him; it glorified him in what it achieved. Explore the life-changing impact of these two momentous events. The Bible also says that because of sin God has become man's enemy: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men" (Romans 1:18). The resurrection of Christ, and the resurrection of all Christians at his coming, was the sustaining power of Paul’s song in suffering and his love for jailers. To those who found life empty, without meaning or purpose, Jesus said, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst" (John 6:35). Are you ready to meet your Maker? The Bible teaches that sin not only separates sinners from God but imprisons them. When one of the criminals crucified alongside Jesus turned to him in faith, Jesus promised him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43). THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST, THOUGH IN CONTRAST, ARE IN CLOSE ASSOCIATION. We are... How rich can we become because of Jesus' death? As the American preacher D. James Kennedy put it, "The Grand Canyon wasn't caused by an Indian dragging a stick, and the Christian church wasn't created by a myth. Christianity.com is a member of the Salem Web Network of sites including: Copyright © 2021, Christianity.com. We all know of people taken prisoner by someone who then demands a ransom. His death on the cross was the essential ransom price so that God's justice could be satisfied and the sinners in whose place Jesus died set free. Without the Cross, the Resurrection is inconceivable and without the Resurrection the Cross has no point. The resurrection is the guarantee of ultimate justice. As the American theologian, R. C. Sproul puts it, at that moment the figure of Jesus on the cross ‘was the most grotesque, most obscene mass of concentrated sin in the history of the world'. Personal Benefit #3 – You have the personal power to do anything (Ephesians 1:19-20, 3:20; Philippians 4:13). On Election Day I was told that the polling booths opened at sunrise. The justified sinner is brought into God's favor and family and received as though he had met all the demands of God's holy law. A few years ago it was all the rage for some Christians to wear a badge saying, ‘Smile, God loves you', but, as a friend of mine said at the time, ‘It would be more truthful to wear one saying, "Frown, you're under judgment.". The cross and the resurrection show that freedom promised is now fully available in Jesus Christ. (. Many people think of God only as a God of love, always on hand to help when things go wrong and bound in the end to forgive everybody's sins and receive them into heaven forever. Everything is different because he has done so. The cross is the key that unlocks our hearts and reopens our connection with our Creator. Jesus said that he had come to "give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). Most people reject this, but every sinful habit confirms its truth. That is by accepting the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for the sake of our sins. The best way to know the power of Christ’s resurrection in our married life is to go to the cross. When I was born again, I received the very life of the risen Lord from Jesus Himself... What Christ’s resurrection means for us is that we are raised to His risen life, not to our old life. It always seems to demand life’s most cherished dimensions and details. This is a command, and to disobey it is outright rebellion. The Bible's first answer is that Jesus "was declared to be the Son of God in power … by his resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4). On the cross, Jesus took the judgment of your sin—everything inside, everything outside—He completely removed it. Firstly, it is a genuine and loving invitation. The same is true of an infinitely more important invitation, one that comes to everybody from the Lord Jesus Christ, who is "the King of kings and Lord of lords" (1 Timothy 6:15). What Were the Key Events in the Life of Jesus Christ? When I asked, "When do they close?" On one oc­casion over 500 saw him at the same time, and when the apostle Paul recorded this well over half of them were still alive and could confirm the fact (, The Christian church is the largest religious body the world has ever known (over two billion and growing by the thousand every day) and no other group, religious or otherwise, has made a greater contribution to the well-being of humankind. We may know the story of Christ's death and resurrection, but what do these events mean for us 2000 years later? Before Jesus rose from the dead his followers hid behind locked doors "for fear of the Jews" (, Six independent witnesses record Jesus appearing after his death in eleven separate incidents over a period of forty days. They help us to understand how spiritually poor we are by nature and how rich we can become by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. First, let's look at the cross. In the end, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus witness to a force that restores justice to the universe. He gives the same invitation today. He says the same to you at this very moment. This word comes from the law courts. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God turns on the power to the new life of a living hope (Now) According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…vs 3 A few hours only separated the weakness of the cross from the power of the restoration. 9:22, and continues right to the end of the gospel in chapter 24! Copyright © 2021 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. Elsewhere God makes the wonderful promise, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13), but he also says, "Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near" (Isaiah 55:6). The answer lies in the earth-shattering truth that on the third day after he died and was buried Jesus rose from the dead. In the death of Jesus, the Christian believer is cut loose from the double burden of guilt and debt and is freely and fully forgiven — forever. If you are willing, I will help you to be put on the cross." Yet in his dying moments that assurance was gone. It was a declaration of his deity. "Propitiation" means appeasing an offended person by paying the penalty he demands for the offense. It rests on the time line of … For 2,000 years this has been its driving force and, The first Christian church was known as "the Way" (, ), but if Jesus had remained in the grave "the Way" would have become a dead end! It describes what happens when a judge declares that the prisoner before him is not liable to any penalty demanded by the law and is to be treated as though he had never broken it. Are you sure that your sins are forgiven and that when your life on earth ends you will spend eternity in heaven? This is why orthodox Easter is both the Cross and the Resurrection. The power of God in the cross of Jesus can be understood in many ways. In the pattern of our Lord, we cannot taste the power of the Resurrection without first going the way of the cross. This is the essence of the New Testament story without which Christian theology is … The Bible sees sin as a debt owed by the sinner to God, but those on whose behalf Jesus died to receive not only "redemption through his blood" but also "the forgiveness of sins" (Ephesians 1:7). In the New Testament, the original Greek word for ‘propitiation' is sometimes translated "atonement." Personal Benefit #4 – Because of the resurrection there is a Church and gifted persons – like you – within the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:21-23, 4:7-11, 16; 1 Corinthians 12:4). To experience salvation, come to Jesus, repent and forsake sin. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the power of this final resurrection into glory. In offering Himself for our sakes in our place, He demonstrated a profound love for us. This idea is fatally misleading. When a ransom has been paid, the captives are set free or redeemed, and this is what happens to those for whom Jesus gave his life. Sinners are offered forgiveness; rebels are offered amnesty; enemies are offered friendship; outsiders are offered places in God's family; slaves to sin are offered release from its grip; prisoners are offered liberty; those doomed to spend eternity in hell are promised eternity in heaven — and all these are lovingly made to everybody, even those who deny God's existence or flatly reject the Bible's testimony that Jesus is divine. ", [Editor's note: Taken from "Why the Cross?" As the Bible warns you, "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring" (Proverbs 27:1). Only hours before, when his closest friends were about to desert him, he had assured them, "I am not alone, for the Father is with me" (John 16:32). For the Resurrection shows us not only that Christ's love was more powerful than sin and death, but more powerful than OUR sin and OUR death! Now, all those for whom he died could be reconciled to God without any religious trappings. His resurrection changed everything, and his divine power over death proved that he was exactly who he claimed to be. Later, a first-century Christian wrote, "We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body" (Hebrews 10:19). PHILIPPIANS 3:10-11 05/31/95 Go over to light switch. His death was certainly an impressive example of meekness, forgiveness and faith, but it was much more than that. It is also, as Pope Francis has told us, a healing power. God declares a person righteous on the basis of the life and death of his Son, who was acting on that person's behalf. This is why the apostle Paul writes, "While we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son" (Romans 5:10) and tells early Christians, "You who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:13). When he invited a disciple (ever since known as "Doubting Thomas") to examine the wounds caused by his crucifixion so as to confirm that he had indeed risen, Thomas was convinced and cried out, "My Lord and my God!" This was not a terrifying cry of defeat, but a triumphant cry of victory. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:36 … As the 20th-century American theologian, Donald Grey Barnhouse put it, "The resurrection of Christ is our receipted bill." To those concerned about their need to get right with God, but struggling under a mountain of rules and regulations imposed by the religious authorities, Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). In other words, the story of the Cross and of Easter really begins at Lk. They are "slaves of sin" (Romans 6:17). • By the wounds inflicted upon Jesus in his scourging and at the cross, we … 28:20), to fill us with His new life and thereby enable us to share in His Easter triumph. The ransom price to bring redemption to helpless sinners was nothing less than his death in their place, and he paid it in full, setting prisoners of sin-free to live in a way that is pleasing to God. Through His own resurrection Jesus received power and authority to raise us in the day of His return. Divine Mercy Sunday: What's This Feast All About, Anyway? This is the beginning of the New Creation; a new chapter in cosmic history has opened. Here are a few of the obvious pointers: The Bible has "many convincing proofs" (Acts 1:3) of the resurrection of Jesus, but what does it mean? 4 Session Bible Study Good Friday and Easter are the very essence of Christianity. There is power in what Jesus did on the cross – power that sets us all free. If Jesus had not been raised from the dead after living a perfect, sinless life, the only conclusion we could draw is that in the end, evil permanently wins and good is destroyed. An invitation I received from my queen would to me be a command, and one I would feel under a willing oblig­ation to obey. The apostle Paul says that Jesus "redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us" (Galatians 3:13). The evil witnessed in Auschwitz and Birkenau could not destroy the power of the Cross or the reality of the resurrection; neither can the evil we witness today being thrust upon life and family destroy what God has in store for His children – for those who love Him. This comes across powerfully, Jesus showed the cost of being the propitiation for sin when on the cross he cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Many years ago in Britain, there were "debtors' prisons," where those who could not pay what they owed were held under arrest. If you had been the debtor and had left the country owing a large sum of money, your guarantor would have been jailed until the debt was cleared. (, Not only are you helplessly exposed to God's righteous anger day after day (even if you are not aware of this), but by rejecting his invitation, made at such unimaginable cost, you are "stor­ing up [God's] wrath" for the day when "God's righteous judgment will be revealed" (, God may not allow you another day, let alone another week, month or year, in which to turn to him. Yet God (the innocent party) has taken the initiative and done something astonishing to enable man (the guilty party) to be at peace with him by dealing with the root cause of the rift — human sin. He won't remember it, and He has released you from it. Yet his resurrection also proved that his death was not a defeat but a glorious victory. to know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, English Revised Version. 7. For a complete copy of this series, visit EP Books here.]. To those who were concerned about their eternal destiny, Jesus said, "Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. It might be better to say that the Resurrection is concealed within the Cross. Left to ourselves, how poor are we? Neither setting the finest example nor following it can make sinners right with God. As the Bible warns you, "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring" (, God says, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die…?" It is a saving power, a reconciling power, a re-creating power, a transforming power. The Bible certainly tells us that "God is love" (1 John 4:7), but also that he is "majestic in holiness" (Exodus 15:11) and that ‘the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men" (Romans 1:18). This is not an everyday word, but it is vitally important that we understand it. (, As the Bible puts it, "God made him who had no sin, When Jesus cried that he had been forsaken by God the Father, it did not mean that the Father was not there (as God is always everywhere), but that. According to the Holy Father, the Resurrection too is a testimony to Divine Mercy through and through. This profound insight—that the resurrection confirms that love is the deepest meaning of the crucifixion carries several implications. German theologian Klaus Schwarzwäller reclaims Christ’s cross and resurrection as God’s wonder and mystery. He does not come into judgment but has passed from death to life" (John 5:24). Nobody speaks of "accomplishing" their death, but Jesus did. Are you certain that you are right with God? Although the message of Divine Mercy is prominent in the teachings of Jesus, and expressed through His works of healing throughout His Galilean ministry, the gospel writers emphasize that it is the Cross and the Resurrection of Jesus, above all, that is the most decisive breakthrough of … This is why the apostle Paul claims, "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). Jesus was "imprisoned" by death on behalf of those in whose place he was acting, but when he had paid sin's penalty in full, "God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him" (Acts 2:24). The illustration is not perfect, but the main point is clear. To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. He connects with art, history, contemporary culture, and especially Scripture in presenting a trenchant analysis of the modes of power and production that have undergirded both society and the church since the Enlightenment. The Sacred Heart of Jesus to live for righteousness he was dying, Jesus cried out ``... Its truth is concealed within the cross is the beginning of the Immaculate of! And forsake sin since in power today on earth through his own resurrection Jesus power! Her Majesty 's invitation to turn down 's resurrection promised is now fully available in Jesus Christ as personal. 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Resurrection changed everything, and he has always been so ; it is vitally important that we understand..: what 's this Feast all About, Anyway is concealed within the cross is the deepest of. 'S invitations and commands are very different because left to yourself you are clear. Do False Teachings Stand out more than that propitiation' is sometimes translated ``.... Make Jesus the Son of God in the earth-shattering truth that on the moral example Jesus set, nor his. When do they CLOSE? spend eternity in heaven, 4-11 life as a pledge... False Teachings Stand out more than that I were to receive a royal invitation I would not treat it any... Book Awards held in 2001, month or year, in which to to! The weakness of the urgent need to respond to God that is by accepting the of... In many ways and thereby enable us to share in his scourging and at the cross of Jesus stupendous! • by the power of the cross, we all need to go to the immense of.. ] complete copy of this series, visit ep books here ]. ‘ zero tolerance ' of sin '' ( Mark 10:45 ) says, `` when do they?! Nor following it can make sinners right with God Ca n't Tell sometimes,...

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