Happy Resurrection Sunday!!!

Today Uplift: He Has Risen! Why we Celebrate Easter? Children wake up on Easter morning, hoping to find a basket full of chocolate candies. Children are excited to go Easter egg hunting. It’s a fun and wonderful time for the whole family! But for God’s children, the Christians, Easter is much more than a basket full of candy and an Easter egg hunt! To the Christian, Easter is the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus, our Lord and Savior! Now can you get excited!!!

Easter means everything to the Christian person. Easter is the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Jesus' blood covered every person from the beginning of time and to the end of the world. He died for all of our sins. On the third day (Easter), Jesus conquered death, and rose from the grave. Jesus is the only God who has ever risen from the grave. Jesus is the Savior of the world!

Without Jesus, where would we be? We certainly would not be called Christians. Remember, we were called something different. Just a little teaching here…..The faith was referred to in Acts as the Way. The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. The word Christian comes from Christ, obviously. Christ (Christos) is Greek for the Anointed One - that is, the Messiah. Christians then are followers of the Messiah. It's a bit more complicated, but that's it in a nutshell.

Jesus became the mediator between God and the common man. All you have to do is accept Jesus, confess your sins, obey Him, and live your life for Him. Christian people are not perfect, however we are different. We are not supposed to just “fit in” we are of a royal priesthood, a chosen generation! Yes we have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. However, because of Jesus, we have been saved. For the Christian, Easter is the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

Jesus died for gay people and straight people; Jesus died for both Liberal and Conservative people; Jesus died for every type of person. He died for the Jews and the Gentiles; Jesus died for African American people, Caucasian people, Asian People, he died for every ethnicity on the face of the earth. Each person on the face of the earth has the same chance to be saved and come to Christ. Jesus died for each and every one of us, and more importantly, Jesus defeated death and resurrected on Easter morning.

On Easter morning, each of us will wake up to a new day with new mercies. Our children will be excited about their baskets filled with chocolate candies. They will be excited to go on their Easter egg hunts. I will remember that Jesus my Lord and Savior rose from the grave for me. Easter is a celebration of what He did for you and me.

The meaning of Easter is Jesus Christ's victory over death. His resurrection symbolizes the eternal life that is granted to all who believe in Him. The meaning of Easter also symbolizes the complete verification of all that Jesus preached and taught during His three-year ministry. If He had not risen from the dead, if He had merely died and not been resurrected, He would have been considered just another teacher or Rabbi. However, His resurrection changed all that and gave final and irrefutable proof that He was really the Son of God and that He had conquered death once and for all. Let’s break down some of the events that led up to His resurrection……

The night before His death, Jesus visited a garden called Gethsemane, just east of the walls of Jerusalem. Leaving His apostles at the edge of the garden, He walked through the dewy grass and past olive trees, walking farther inward.

He had prepared His entire life for this moment, carefully following His Father’s commands in every step of His life, in every breath He took. Now the time had come. Even as He prayed, “Father, if it be thy will, remove this cup from me,” He accepted that this was His burden, and His alone, to bear. He was the only one who could free us from the awful consequences of our sins.

In the coolness of the night, He knelt and began to pray. He willingly took upon Himself our sins and sorrows, suffering in body and spirit for every sin, every sadness, every mistake and imperfection of every single one of us. The pain that came was crushing, exquisite and infinite. Blood oozed from His pores as this impossibly heavy weight caused Him to tremble with pain.

Sometime in those seemingly endless hours, the pain ceased. If only that were the sole burden He had to bear. As Jesus rejoined His disciples at the edge of the garden, they watched the glow of distant torches steadily approaching. The faces of people armed with swords and staffs flickered menacingly in the torchlight. From the middle of the crowd emerged Judas, Jesus’ own Apostle. “Master,” Judas said, and kissed Jesus on the cheek. “Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” Jesus asked Judas.

The cruelties of the next day have echoed throughout the ages: the cries of “Crucify Him which if you remember just days before were cries of “Hosanna” by some of the same people!” As He stood before Pilate, wrists bound like a common criminal; each lash of the whip, laced with bone and metal, tearing the flesh from His back— once, twice, even thirty-nine times; the purple cloak soaked with His blood as soldiers pressed a woven circlet of thorns into His scalp; the spitting, the cries of anguish, the blows with the hands, the insulting, derisive cries.

At Golgotha, soldiers stretched Jesus’ arms along a wooden cross. Their hammers clanged dully as they drove thick nails into His palms and wrists; sharp, hot pain shot through Jesus’ body. The wood grazed the bloodied grooves in His back. As his body rose, onlookers saw them write on a plaque above His head: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.

Tired, sweaty, bloodied, Jesus did only what a Redeemer could do: He forgave His murderers, comforted the criminal suffering next to Him, and trusted in His Father. When His sacrifice was complete, Jesus willed Himself to die as only God’s Son could do. He gave up the ghost, but His death wasn’t an end. It was the beginning for all of us.

The empty tomb in that Jerusalem garden is a reminder that when the women who so lovingly cleaned, anointed, and wrapped his body came to observe the tomb, His body was gone, and in His place were two angels. “He is not here: for He is risen,” they said. The door on the tomb repeats that phrase: “He is not here, for He is risen.” It reminds visitors that the Savior not only lived and died for us, but that He also rose from the dead. Because Jesus Christ is the Savior of all mankind it’s possible for each of us to live again with God.

Today, the meaning of Easter, for millions of Christians, is that of honoring and recognizing Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, and His glorious promises of eternal life for all who believe in Him.

Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” In other words….. We all have sin in our hearts; we all were born with sin; we were born under the power of sin's control. So… Admit that you are a sinner.

Romans 6:23a says “The wages of sin is death” In other words…. Sin has an ending and that ending always results in death. We all face physical death, which is a result of sin. But a worse death is spiritual death that alienates us from God, and will last for all eternity. The Bible teaches that there is a place called the Lake of Fire where lost people will be in torment forever. It is the place where people who are spiritually dead will remain. This is real talk people!! There was nothing to “Sugar coat”! So… Understand that you and I deserve death for our sins.

Romans 6:23b says “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Salvation is a free gift from God to you! You can't earn this gift, but you must reach out and receive it. So… Ask God to forgive you and save you.

Romans 5:8 says “God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!” When Jesus died on the cross He paid sin's penalty. He paid the price for all sin, and when He took all the sins of the world on Himself on the cross, He bought us out of slavery of sin and death! The only condition is that we believe in Him and what He has done for us, understanding that we are now joined with Him, and that He is our life. He did all this because He loved us and gave Himself for us! So…. Give your life to God... His love poured out in Jesus on the cross. He is our only hope to have forgiveness and change. His love bought you and me out of being a slave to sin. His love is what saves us -- not religion, or church membership. God loves you!

Romans 10:13 says “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved!” So…. Call out to God in the name of Jesus!

Romans 10:9,10 says “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” So… If you know that God is knocking on your heart's door, ask Him to come into your heart!

Over comer, did I make it plain enough for you? Easter is not about bunnies, new clothes, sunrise services, or special candy. It is all about a risen Savior, Jesus Christ. He Has Risen! Happy Easter/Resurrection Day to you all!

Be Optimistic; Be Open Minded; Be an Over comer!!

Love P.

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