Easter – 2020
I’ve always talked about how difficult it sometimes is to write something for everyone each week. We’ve all heard God’s words and, hopefully, have listened intently and realized the Love He has for us and the sacrifice His Son made to free us from ourselves.
This week, my task was not all that difficult. After all, today, Easter Sunday, is such a glorious day to any child of God and Brother or Sister to the Son and Holy Ghost.
If we could all be gathered together in one place, I’m sure we could talk about God’s grace for hours on end. Unfortunately, due to current circumstances around the world, we are not able to do so, so here I am… sitting alone and staring into a tiny littlecamera mounted atop my computer’s monitor.
Is this going to stop us from giving praise and glory? I think not, but we’ll go into that later.
His Last Week
How many of you walked with Jesus this past week? How many of you recalled the last days and what our Lord was put through? I can tell you honestly, aside from all that’s going on in our world, it was the primary thing on my mind.
Just last year, I took you through the last week of Jesus’ ministry, day-by-day. Today, I’d kind of like to do the same but, instead, jump to Thursday.
This was the day of the Last Supper. Jesus gathered all His Apostles around Him and celebrated all they had worked for and, equally important, how much was still left to be done. MOST IMPORTANLY – GIVING THANKS!
He told His Apostles of His impending imprisonment; false trials against Him; and eventually, His death…
Luke 9:22 – “And he said, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.’”
He told them that, on this very night, the Son of Man…
- Will be betrayed.
- Will be tried and ridiculed and beaten before the Chief Priests and Pharisees.
- Denied by Peter (3 times).
- …and handed over to the Gentiles to be killed.
The Apostles were confused and deeply saddened by all of this and not certain what He meant by “raised to life.”
Jesus then went up into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray where He asked His Father in Heaven…
Matthew 26:39 – “‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’”
Three times Jesus did this, saying the same thing… and while He was doing so, His Apostles had fallen fast asleep as they were overwhelmed with Jesus’ words and grief.
When He had finished His prayers, and angry mob then came upon Him with clubs, sticks and swords… arresting Him and taking Him away to be tried.
This was the day of our Lord’s trials. All that He had told His Apostles would take place on this day.
- He WAS betrayed – by one of His own people!
- He WAS falsely accused and tried; ridiculed and beaten before the Chief Priests and Pharisees.
- He WAS denied by Peter (3 times before the rooster crowed).
- He WAS handed over to the Gentiles (Romans) and bloodily beaten; nailed to a wooden cross to hang in front of the public and die a harsh death!
This being the Sabbath, His Apostles and Disciples did what they had been taught to do and gave thanks to God for all that they had.
They also were in great mourning over the loss of their Rabbi; Teach; Lord and Brother!
The quiet of this day must have been eerily frightening to all that had witnessed our Lord’s crucifixion. Can you even imagine the heartache; sorrow and great grief felt by all those who knew Him… by all those who LOVED Him?
What Had He Done?
As He began His ministry Jesus ventured into the wilderness to be closer to His Father; learn from Him and become who He was to become.
Here, He was tempted by the Devil himself, 3-times…
Luke 4:5-8 – “The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
“Jesus answered, It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
He had defeated Temptation!
Jesus then entered the synagogue in Capernaum, a town in Galilee. He then confronted a demon-possessed man, an impure spirit who immediately recognized Him and said…
Luke 4:34-35 – “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
To which Jesus replied…
“Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.”
He had defeated Evil!
How many times did the authors of the New Testament tell us of Jesus’ healings?
- He cured people of their diseases (leprosy, sickness)!
- He gave sight to the blind!
- He gave hearing to the deaf!
- He raised the dead!
He had defeated sickness and disease!
Who is The Son?
Matthew 22:41-45 – “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, ‘What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?’
‘The son of David,’ they replied.
He said to them, ‘How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says,
‘The Lord said to my Lord:
Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your feet.’
If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.”
He had defeated the Pharisees!
Now, it is Sunday, the third day.
Matthew 28:1-7 – “After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him. Now I have told you.”
He HAS defeated Death!
As we just read…
- Jesus defeated temptation!
- Jesus defeated evil!
- Jesus defeated sickness and disease!
- Jesus defeated the Pharisees!
- Jesus HAS defeated death!
Why did Jesus do all of this? Why was he so good to a people that had turned their backs on God?
Jesus did all of this without raising a hand against anyone. Never once did He physically fight; strike anyone; argue harshly or back-down from those that opposed Him… He did just as His Father in Heaven had instructed Him to do handling every challenge with kindness; compassion; and Love!
Just as it was foretold to us (Old Testament) by the Prophet Isaiah…who then, was this “Savior” to be?
Isaiah 53-4-5 – “Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.”
We Live Today
- It is by His sacrifice; you and I exist today.
- It is by His words; we’ve drawn closer to God.
- It is by His lessons; we know and understand our purpose and how we are supposed to live our lives.
They Can’t Stop Us!
You look at all that’s going on in our world today. Couldn’t you say that perhaps the devil is now giving forth “his best effort” to keep us from our relationship with God?
- We can’t go to our family’s homes.
- We can’t enjoy a night out with friends or have them over to our house.
- We can’t watch our favorite sports team.
- We can’t get our hair done; our nails done; or any other nicetythat we have enjoyed for so long.
These are, indeed, troublesome times… CAN THAT STOP US? IS THE DEVIL WINNING?!
- Rome, Italy – In the Vatican, The Pope stands in the cathedral and addresses a congregation of nearly zero… yet his face is seen, HUNDREDS OR MILLIONS, and his words heard across the globe.
- In Germany – They are gathering at old drive-in theaters, sitting in their cars and listening to the Priests, Pastors and Ministers loudly proclaiming the victory of Christ!
- Across Florida and the United States – Pastors are preaching the word of God and the Mercy of Christ in parking lots and empty spaces.
As I was watching the Pope this morning on the news, my phone (and hers) started doing the early morning “b-dinging.” Pamela, still sleeping as me what all the noise was, and all that could come to my mind is…
YOU CAN’T STOP THE PRAISES
NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY;
HOW DIFFICULT YOU MAKE IT;
OR HOW YOU TRY AND SILENCE US…
GOD WILL HEAR US!
Greatest Man in History
I saw this one on Facebook late last week so I though I’d share it with you.
- Had no servants, yet they called him Master.
- Had no degree, yet they called him Teacher.
- Had no medicines, yet they called him Healer.
- He had no army, yet kings feared Him.
- He won no military battles, yet He has conquered the world.
- He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
- He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today. His name is Jesus.
- We are a blessed people!
- We are Loved beyond what we know of Love!
- We have blessings we don’t even realize, every day!
- We have been forgiven our sins; cleansed in the blood of Jesus Christ… our sacrificial Lamb!
Give praise today; give praise every day and… especially today, thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the sacrifices He made and the Love he bestows upon us throughout this age and into Eternity!
Go with God; be good to one another; always stay humble; always be kind… God Bless (Amen)!