THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
by Bishop Dr. Marcus P. Roberts, Calvary Pentecostal Church, Calvary Cathedral of Praise
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the fundamental fact on which Christianity is built and one of the central truths of the gospel. The apostle Paul tells us that there is no salvation without Resurrection.
In 1 Cor. 15:14, “If Christ is not risen, our preaching is vain, and Vs 17, your faith is vain, you are still in your sins”.
Proof of Jesus’ divinity depended on his resurrection from the dead. Five times in the Gospels he declared that he would be crucified and rise from the dead on the third day. (Mt 12:39,40; Mt 20:17-19; Mt 26:30-32; Lu 18:31-33; Jn 2:19-22).
If he hadn’t been resurrected, we wouldn’t have known whether he was who he claimed to be or not. However, Paul tells us in (Rom 1:4) that it was declared ie. (demonstrated) to be the Son of God, by the resurrection from the dead.
Jesus came to earth to redeem mankind. He came to be the substitute for the sinner and to satisfy the law, which says that “the soul that sins will surely die” “the wages of sin is death”. When a criminal has served his sentence, he cannot be detained a moment longer.
According to the Scriptures, the sentence of Jesus was that he was to remain three days in the tomb. When the time was up, no power on earth or in hell could hold him back a moment longer. This is clearly seen in (Acts 2:24) that God raised from the dead, having loosed the pains (i.e. the power) of death, because it was not possible let him be retained. The Psalmist said of Jesus, “You shall not suffer your
Holy to see corruption (Ps 16:10). (John 11:39). Therefore, Jesus had to rise before the fourth day. Death has been conquered. Jesus said to John, at Patmos: “I am the living one, and I was dead; and behold, I live forever, amen: and I have the keys of hell and of death”. (Rev. 1:18)
Jesus said to Martha, “I am the The resurrection and the life”. (Jn. 11:25) Paul tells us – When Jesus rose from the dead, “He abolished death, and brought to light life and immortality” (2 Tim1:10).
The Bible says that if you accept Jesus as your risen Lord and Savior, you will not perish, but you will have eternal life. I urge you to accept it today.
think about these things
by Reverend Frank I. Williams
Are you ready for the Word!
“Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord. So he said to them, “Except I see the imprint of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the imprint of the nails, and put my hand in his side, I will not believe.” John 20 :24-25
Every year for several years, the churches, where I pastor, enter into a collective fast for the last 19 days of Lent plus Good Friday and Holy Saturday for a total of 21 days. During this time, we encourage each other to give up excess food by maintaining a lean sacrificial diet, to go without entertainment in order to spend more time in reflection and to devote more time to prayer, reflection, Bible study. As Easter approaches, I have focused on three of the apostles, who each had unique interactions with Jesus in the last week before his crucifixion and resurrection, they are Judas, who betrayed him, Peter, who disowned him, and Thomas, who doubted him. In this article, we focus on Thomas.
Now, if I was Thomas, I would also want to witness Jesus alive, just to have that personal experience like others have. However, Thomas clarified that his statement was not a statement of personal fulfillment, it was a statement of personal faith; “If I don’t see him, and the imprint of the nails in his hands, and if I don’t put my finger in his side, I won’t believe.” Eight days later, Jesus reappears while Thomas was there and spoke to him directly. Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; and reach out your hand here, and put it in My side. Don’t be unbelieving, but believing. To which Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God!
This moment taught me a valuable lesson that I would like to share with you. That is, sometimes we need to let others see our wounds in order to help them see the God who raised us from those experiences. When you open your experiences to others, to show them and let them “feel” your scars, you are introducing them to the grace of God that has carried you through your pain, and in turn, this can strengthen their faith. It will strengthen their heart. The very scars you may have wanted to cover up and keep for yourself could be the very scars that will lift someone from disbelief to belief, and from depression to hope.
A pastor friend of mine said, “When people hurt you, they are responsible for the hurt, but God is responsible for the outcome. Isaiah 53:5-6 states, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. 6 All those whom we love as sheep have gone astray; we each went our own way; and the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all. Jesus was mortally wounded, but the result was his resurrection to our peace, our freedom from sin, and the hope of eternal life.
Thomas’s faith needed the kind of proof that only seeing Jesus for himself could give him at that time. Jesus allowed Thomas to see his wounds and touch his scars. Then Jesus said to him: “Blessed are those who have not seen and who have believed.” What a Savior Jesus is. It still speaks to many who, like Thomas, are skeptical that God cares enough to show up for them. But God cares, and He calls them to look at our lives, our wounds, our scars, and how He has been God our Savior. This type of transparency can only be done when one has been healed from the emotional and psychological impact and trauma of the experience itself. When God and time pass us by and we emerge as overcomers, then we can say, “look at me”, do you see that – Jesus passed me on. Would you believe today? Until next time, Happy Easter my friends, and think about these things.
Perfect love triumphs for all
by Reverend Sharon Petgrave Cundy, Senior Pastor, St-Pauls-UMC-Brooklyn
Lent is a religious time the observance of the Christian liturgical calendar which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later; depending on the Christian denomination and local custom, Lent ends either on Maundy Thursday evening or at sunset on Holy Saturday, when the Easter Vigil is celebrated.
This year we have witnessed things our eyes have never seen before, evils and habits of the past that threaten to return in the form of senseless murders, new acts of violence against humanity, wars useless in the world, as well as pandemic that will not pass. Truly, we are challenged by hate, darkness and fear, and live in such sad times that need not define our human nature. Our hearts go out to families who are hurting and grieving, but these are the reasons Christ came.
The lyrics of the song “Easter people, Raise Your Voices” remind us that: “Fear of death can no longer keep us from pressing down here, for our Lord gives us power to triumph over every enemy.” And, the Word, that ‘There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out all fear: so therefore love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid…” – 1 John 4:18
Today we are called to tear down the walls we use to separate ourselves from one another as an interfaith community, in our businesses and in our homes. Surely we must believe in our ability to overcome because we have been gifted to take on a new self in Christ and to love more than ever.
So, as we enter the Easter season, celebrate God’s Love for all of us; a love that was proven on the cross for our penance by the death of the “Son of God”, Jesus Christ and his resurrection on Easter morning. Let us also re-examine the values we carry in our personal and public lives. There is a dawning light for us as we return to houses of worship and find new ways to reach the lost.
I pray that when you define your values, you will find deep roots of Truth and Love; the incarnation of God, and we will be granted peace, mercy and love all over the world because that is why we are celebrating this season.
A Holy Easter to all!
“HE IS NOT HERE, FOR HE IS RISEN”
by Apostle Cecil G. Riley, General SupervisorFreedom Hall Churches of GodHeadquarters, Brooklyn, NY
Since December 2019 until today, it seems that we live under a kind of cloud, a cloud of fear… “should I do this or should I do that?…should I go here or should I go the low ? ‘ The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed our way of life and, sad to say, I believe some of those changes are permanent.
It seems to be a universal fact that we are always looking for something better, whatever the subject. Scripture is filled with God’s promises for better things for His chosen people, those who would live in obedience to His Word.
In this season, I would humbly encourage believers in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ not to live in fear, no matter how adverse the circumstances. Because Christ lives, we can face all our tomorrows. Our fearlessness depends on the fact that He is alive!
In the Gospel of Saint Matthew, chapter 28 and verse 6, it is reported that some women came to the sepulcher where Jesus was placed after his death.
crucifixion. An angel spoke to them saying, “He is not here; for he is risen as he said. Come and see the place where the Lord rested. The knowledge of his life brings a certain joy in our hearts that nothing that happens around us can disturb. To make our joy even more exhilarating is when we see in verse 18 of this same chapter where Jesus himself appeared and told them “all power has been given to me in heaven and in earth”. This Word of our Lord should be enough to bring us the comfort that we so need, especially in this season uncertainty.
One thing is sure, Christ is risen! The apostle Paul did abundantly clear in verse 32 of chapter 2 of the book of Acts that there are many witnesses to the fact that God raised him up. In 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verses 3-8, Paul recounts the important fact that Christ was resurrected, names some witnesses who saw him alive, and then testifies that he himself, though born out of time, also saw the risen Christ.
Let us use the measure of faith given to us all to always see the risen Christ, and not just during the season we call Easter. Let us see him alive, high and lifted above all the trials and challenges we may encounter.
For those who do not know Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour, it is my sincere prayer that you ask Him in faith to receive you as His child. He says in Saint Matthew chapter 11 and verse 28 “Come unto me, all ye that labor, and I will give you rest”.