Welcome to the April edition of the Christian Writers Blog Chain. This month's topic is “Joy” I hope you will enjoy my take on this topic and be sure to visit my fellow writer's blogs listed on the right side bar.
I am thrilled to write a post about Joy, but today is also the 8th day of April, representing New Beginnings- What more fitting day to share the Joy of the Lord and what this Holy Day represents- a New Beginning for all of us!. It is my Joy and privilege to write on the holiest day of the Christian calender. Be blessed and enJoy!
He Has Risen!
Many people celebrate this day with feasts, colored eggs and parades, but these are not about the Risen Lord, it's about the Spring Equinox. For thousands of years, this event has been celebrated as a time of fertility, marking the occasion with the colors of spring and greenery.
However, today marks the greatest event in human history, the verifiable resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! Nothing compares to this miracle! Nothing is as important as this day! On this day the Law of Moses was fulfilled. On this day the sin charged against humanity was erased and on this day New Life was breathed into the universe. Pretty spectacular, but nothing is impossible for God.
As we read in scripture, the disciples were horrified by the crucifixion of Jesus. Afraid for their lives, they hid from the religious leaders, trying to decide what their next move was. Very few of those believed what Jesus said about being raised from the dead on the third day-except a couple of women.
Because the religious leaders killed Jesus on the eve of a high Holy day – Passover, there was no time for His family to honor Him in burial. Basically, He was removed from the cross, wiped off and wrapped in cloth, placed in an available tomb. How humiliated His family and those who loved him must have felt, hastily disposing of the body, before honoring God with the celebration of deliverance.
I am sure as the disciples and others conducted the ritual of Passover, they didn't realize that Jesus was their Passover lamb which brought deliverance from the slavery to sin! He was the fulfillment of what the Passover represented when Moses led the Jews out of Egypt.
The horror of those days and the treatment of Jesus, was the way God knew this to happen. He spoke in explicit details to the prophet Isaiah about this event through (Isaiah 53) and also to the prophet King David through (Psalms 22) hundreds of years before.
I am always amazed at the ways God does things. He is not above great exhibitions of power, but I believe He loves to show His power to those who believe in him. That is His greatest Joy!
Hebrews 12:2 talks about persevering when things get rough, but I love this part of the verse “He [the Anointed One] was willing to die a shameful death on the cross, because of the Joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven.”
What did Jesus know? Isaiah 53:11 has the answer. “When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted as righteous, for he will bear all their sins”
This verse speaks of Jesus' Resurrection, because a dead person can not see the results of their actions. And how would he know of his heirs? This is written to those of us, who have believed in Jesus. We are his heirs, counted as righteous and sinless, in the sight of the Father. We are the reward of all he suffered.
The next part says “Now, he is seated in the place of honor” That means, “It's finished” Every thing he sat out to do is complete! Funny, how we tend to forget this part. There is nothing for us to do but believe what He did, and rest in Him.
Psalms 16:9-10 also speaks of his resurrection. “No wonder my heart is filled with Joy and my mouth shouts His praises! My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your godly one to rot in the grave.”
If Jesus were just an ordinary human, he could have convinced some people by the things he said and did, but there are a number of things that are beyond the power of a mere human.
He could not determine his parents, or where he was born. He could not have any authority over what was done to him on the cross or after his death. The scriptures detail many events that took place, things only God had knowledge of.
What do you believe? Has He risen and completed the purposes of God? Or is Jesus in a grave somewhere, because his disciples moved his body? That's the traditional belief of Jewish people. Search the scriptures, It's the biggest decision of your life.
As for me – Because He lives – So do I! Hallelujah! Shout glory to His Name!
In honor of this day and the release of my new book “Footsteps of Jesus – Becoming a Disciple” Over the next few weeks, I will post excerpts from several chapters describing who a disciple is and what a disciple does.
It is my hope it will inspire you to grow in your love and understanding – sharing the Good News that He has Risen and We are Forgiven!
Have a Blessed and Peace-filled Day!