Spring is a beautiful illustration of how things dormant can be joyously woken from their slumber. We too have this hope of new life in Jesus Christ!
“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”
Let New Life Begin!
As Easter quickly approaches, Jesus’ death and resurrection are on my heart. It was on an Easter Sunday that I began my own journey of faith!
Getting to know the Lord has taught me to cherish Him and His sacrifice on the cross. Why? The power of God is eye-opening (Isaiah 42:5-9) and heart changing. (Ezekiel 36:26-27) Not only that, His love is beyond measure. (Ephesians 3:16-21)
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” — 1 Corinthians 1:18
God’s Plan to Bring us Back to Life
Scripture tells us that those who sin against God are dead in their wrongdoings. (Colossians 2:13) When the first humans (Adam and Eve) sinned, all of humanity became subject to the penalty of sin: death. (Genesis 2:16-17 ) Why? Sin is rebellion (or hostility) towards God. (Romans 8:7)
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” –Romans 6:23
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16
What Does “Jesus is Lord” Mean?
The first time I was asked if Jesus was my Lord and Savior, I didn’t know what this meant. I figured that I was being asked if I was a Christian (at the time I wasn’t a believer), however, I didn’t understand the words Lord and Savior. I also didn’t know what to say, so I sat there in painfully awkward silence. (lol)
When a Christian says that Jesus is their Lord, they are acknowledging that He is their Master or Leader. (It’s a term of respect.) All authority in heaven and earth was given to Jesus, making Jesus our Lord. (Matthew 28:18)
Our life has been offered to God, and He rules in our hearts. This is a good thing. It means that we’re no longer enemies of God. Instead we become His friends and family. (John 15:13-15, John 1:13-15)
Why is Jesus Referred to As Savior?
Because the penalty for sin is death (shed blood), the Jewish law required a sin offering for the forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9:22) A pure animal’s blood would be shed as payment, but this isn’t what God wanted, and these sacrifices weren’t pleasing to Him (Hebrew’s 10:8)
What He wanted was loyalty (or mercy, not only for His people but also from His people–one person to another.) God wanted to be acknowledged by His creation. (Hosea 6:6) Instead the Israelites were unfaithful to Him. They lived wicked lives, breaking God’s commands even more than the nations around them. (Ezekiel 5:5-7)
When we govern ourselves we aren’t able to keep God’s commands. Infact, it isn’t possible for us to be loyal to God on our own. (Romans 8:7)
However, God had a plan. Jesus was born to be the sacrifice to end all sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:1-18) Why? He was the only one who was without sin. God the Father made (meaning caused or even sent) Jesus to become sin–meaning, that Jesus was accepted as a pure sacrifice in place of the sins of all humanity. He bore our sins upon the cross so that we would stop sinning and live for what’s pleasing to God. (1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20)
For those who believe, this means that He took our place, and He took our punishment on Himself. (2 Corinthians 5:21) Those who accept Jesus authority are forgiven their sins and receive the Holy Spirit. It’s then the Spirit of God who governs us, and helps us to follow our Leader. We are now considered no longer condemned by God. (Romans 8:1-14)
Jesus Crucifixion was Prophesied by the Prophet Isaiah about 700 years before His Death.
“But He was wounded for the wrong we did; He was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to Him, and we are healed because of His wounds.” —Isaiah 53:5 (NCV)
Because Jesus was Fully Man and Fully God, God Himself Died for Us!
“Be sure that no one leads you away with false and empty teaching that is only human, which comes from the ruling spirits of this world, and not from Christ. All of God lives fully in Christ (even when Christ was on earth), and you have a full and true life in Christ, who is ruler over all rulers and powers. –Colossians 2:8-10 (NCV)
“Jesus planned His own sacrifice. It means that He intentionally planted the tree from which His cross would be carved. It means He willingly placed the iron ore in the heart of the earth from which the nails would be cast.”
Proof that the Dead Will Live Again!
Jesus death was not the end of the story. On the third day after His death, the stone of His tomb was rolled away revealing that Jesus was no longer there. He had risen to life! Jesus was seen and even touched. He was no spirit. He was alive! (Matthew 28; Luke 24:39)
What Does Jesus Resurrection Mean for the Believer?
For the believer His resurrection is our promise. It took the power of the Holy Spirit to raise Jesus from the grave. This same Spirit in us will raise us from our graves also. We’ve been marked as belonging to Him, which guarantees that we will receive what God promises to those who believe. (Ephesians 1:13-14, 1 Corinthians 15:12-33 )
“And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you.”–Romans 8:11
Do You Believe This?
If Jesus is your Lord and Savior you have a reason to sing. There is freedom and new life when we surrender our lives to God. It’s worth nothing to gain the world, but lose one’s soul. (Matthew 16:24-26) However, It’s worth losing everything to gain Jesus. (Philippians 3:7-11)
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” —Romans 10:9-10
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”” –John 11:25-26