Monthly Archives: March 2016

Take Off Your Grave Clothes and Live

John 11:43-44 ” And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.        44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

 

Jesus had raised Lazarus from the grave. We should love the story because it shows the power of the Savior. We can know that if He can raise the dead to life, we can trust Him to help us make our house payment or whatever struggles our life may hold. We need to remember that today. Since Jesus has power over death, is there anything in your life that He can’t handle?

 

Jesus came to give us life! Jesus told Lazarus to take off His grave clothes, to quit “living” like he was dead. Shouldn’t we do the same thing? Have you received Christ as your Savior? Is your name recorded in Heaven as a child of God? Have the angels sung “Glory” over your salvation? Have you personally, without reservation, believed that Jesus died for your sins, and that the only way you will enter Heaven is through the grace of His shed blood on the cross?

 

Well, TAKE OFF YOUR GRAVE CLOTHES! Quit “living” among the dead. Look alive! Jesus saved you by grace, through faith, not unto death, but unto life! Shouldn’t that make a noticeable difference in your life today? SO LIVE! Don’t let this world steal your joy. Don’t let Satan rob you of your peace. Stop worrying over tomorrow.  Take off your grave clothes and LIVE!

He Rose For A Reason

Acts: 8:35 “Then Phillip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus”;

During the 40 days following his resurrection, Jesus met with his disciples on numerous occasions. During these gatherings Jesus instructed them to preach the gospel message to a dying world. It is with this single message, that we can reach out and save a dying world. He rose with all power that we might carry out His mission.

In Jesus is the fullness of life, he is the abundance of life God promised, and this the early saints understood. Even though they were smaller in number, they were big in faith, love, and they understood where their strength and power came from. They did more with less, while we are doing less with more. They didn’t have the mega buildings but their church was built on the foundation of the gospel. They didn’t have T.V., radio or the social networks, but they shared the truth of God’s word everywhere they went. No matter what challenges, trial,  and/or tribulation came their way, they never lost focus as to what their mission was, nor did they sway from their message. They continued to reach out to a lost world. They didn’t change the message to get the people, the people changed to get the message, they trusted God’s word to do just what he said it would do.
When sin crept in, they reached out with the gospel, when envy raised its ugly head they reached out, preaching Christ and him crucified. When trouble tried to enter the body of believers thru murmuring, they never lost sight of their mission; even when faced with death (like Stephen) they reached out with the love of Jesus, and prayed that the charge be not held against their enemies. They realized their strength was in doing God’s will, they were lead by Gods spirit, and trusted in Gods word, and reached out with Jesus the Christ God’s gift  to a dying world.

He Is Risen

  Sunday School Lesson

 

Key Verse:  And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. Mark 16:6,KJV

 

Introduction: Our celebrations of Easter can be pretty bland. Easter eggs, chocolate, and lilies are not very threatening. But the first Easter was scary. If Jesus was alive, then life could not continue as usual.The resurrection is a historical fact. Faith in the resurrected Jesus begins with the acceptance of eyewitness testimony. That testimony is collaborated by all four Gospels and literally hundreds of people (1 Corinthians 15:6). Depending on how one counts, Jesus made 13 resurrection appearances.

Judge Herbert Casteel was a judge in Missouri for years. He wrote that if collaborative eyewitness testimonies came into his courtroom similar to the record that we have in the New Testament, he would have to conclude that Jesus of Nazareth was alive.

 

Going to the Tomb

Mark 16:1-3KJV

 

1And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

 

The women were the last at the cross and the first at the tomb. They were quicker to believe than the men. Mark mentions three—Mary from Magdala (from whom Jesus had cast out seven demons, Mark 16:9), Mary the mother of James (about whom we know nothing), and Salome (very possibly the mother of James and John).Jesus’ burial by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus was, of necessity, done quickly. They only had three hours to prepare Jesus’ body before the Sabbath began. Even though the men used 75 pounds of spices, the women felt compelled (out of love?) to anoint Jesus’ body again. So as soon as the Sabbath was over and the sun began to rise, they scurried off to the tomb. They arrived very early on the first day of the week. (That phrase appears several times in the Gospel of Mark and usually in a positive sense, except in Mark 15:1). These earliest witnesses of the resurrection began to discuss their obstacle while walking to the tomb. They remembered the rock’s size and the Roman seal across it. What would they do? No worries.

 

Entering the Tomb

Mark 16:4-5KJV

 

And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

 

God’s power took care of the women’s problem. The stone had been rolled away. No doubt rather carefully, they entered the tomb. This was quite a risk and not a little frightening. They saw an angel. Young man is only used in Mark’s Gospel. He was dressed in a white robe. All the women could do was stare and be alarmed (the translation of alarmed is the same word for “marvel”).

The announcement by the angel contains three imperatives, two indicatives, and one promise. The imperatives: 1. Don’t be alarmed. This is the standard line that angels use with humans in the Bible. 2. See the place where they laid him. The resurrection is of such significance that Heaven invites us to investigate it. There is no need to kiss one’s brains good-bye on Easter or have blind faith. 3. Go tell his disciples and Peter. While the disciples would be skeptical at first to accept this announcement, this message would be especially important to Peter (John 20:3-10; 1 Corinthians 15:5).

 

He Is Risen

Mark 16:6-8

 

And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

 

The two indicatives: 1. You are looking for Jesus . . . who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. What God has done precedes what we do. 2. He is going ahead of you into Galilee. Each of the Gospels has a great commission statement. Galilee is the place of that statement for Matthew and Mark. Jerusalem is the place of that statement in Luke and John.The promise is singular: There you will see him, just as he told you. In light of the resurrection, that promise is made all the more sure.

Mark’s Gospel ends as abruptly as it began. If the Gospel ends in verse 8 (there is a major textual issue with verses 9-20), Jesus does not even show up in his own resurrection account. The women run from the tomb scared to death—but hoping in faith that it is all true. Mark uses three words for their anxiety: trembling (trauma), bewildered (ecstasy), and afraid (phobia). All of this underscores the mysterious, busy Messiah presented in Mark’s Gospel.John Ortberg tells about a minister named Skip Viau who, in a children’s sermon, posed this question to the kids: “What were Jesus’ first words to the disciples after he was raised from the dead?” Before Skip could answer the question, a little girl waved her hand. “I know,” she said. “Ta da!” We are the “Ta da!” people. We have resurrection faith.

The Night He Died

John 19:30 ” When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said “It is Finished: and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost”.

Jesus died to save lost man. We were ungodly, and powerless and yet Christ died for us. We were without strength, weak, worthless, useless, helpless, destitute, powerless. We were spiritually unable to help ourselves and Christ died for us. We were ungodly, not like God, enemies to God, rebellious to God, profane having a different lifestyle than God, and yet Christ died for us. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for an imperfect people. Because of our sin, He died.

Here we have Jesus on the cross, it was a cross that He bore, and He willingly went forth. Pilate delivered Him, the soldiers led Him, but Jesus bore the cross and went forth. He was not a victim, He was a victor, for He was bearing the cross to save man. He was crucified between two sinners, two unjust thieves. He was surrounded by a world of unjust men, yet we live because He died. He said it is finished, all that is needed for man to be reconciled back to God had now been completed. He had given sight to blind eyes, so man could see the love of God. He had cured the lunatic, that we might let this mind be in us that is in Christ Jesus. He put hearing in deaf ears that we could hear what thus said the Lord. He put speaking in dumb lips, that we could proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. He put standing in lame legs that we might stand in God’s truth and walk in His righteousness, and he raised the dead that we might have a new life in Christ. Hanging from the cross, He said it is finished.

Jesus died that all might have a right to the tree of life, but we must believe and receive His death as our own that we might be raise up as a new creature in Christ. Let us walk in this new life that a lost world will come to know what we already know; He died.