Hallelujah!

blog tombb796a201f64ff34f04fe09f604ff0ae4--easter-crafts-crafts-for-kids“Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

He is not here:

for he is risen, as he said:

Come, see the place where the Lord lay …

go quickly,

and tell his disciples that

he is risen from the dead …

they departed quickly from the sepulchre

with fear and great joy;

and did run to bring his disciples word.”

Matthew 28:5-8

HALLELUJAH!

Heavenly Father, may we with joy and expediency go and share the sure hope, that is our joy, we have because, JESUS LIVES!

The Writer’s Burning Heart

The Writer’s Burning Heart

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“What do you make of the stories being told?” Cleopas asked his traveling companion.

He shook his head as the two walked the dusty road. “I cannot make sense of it. The women had to be hysterical with grief.”

The two men grew quiet in the late afternoon shadows, until Cleopas opened his heart to his friend. “I hope the women spoke truth. We had all believed Yeshua to be Messiah. Hope for me died on that cross.”

“Shalom, friends.”

The two stopped in their tracks as a third man joined them and kept walking, not giving them opportunity to clearly see his face. “What are you talking about that makes you so sad?” He asked.

Cleopas and his companion took a couple quick steps to catch the one walking ahead. As the trio finished the seven and a half mile trip from Jerusalem to Emmaus, they told the stranger of the crucifixion and supposed resurrection.

The traveler chided them. “How foolish you are for not believing all the prophets said about the Christ, his sufferings, and his glory to come.” He didn’t end there, but related all the scriptures that speak of the Messiah from Moses through the prophets, until they arrived at Emmaus.

“We stay here,” said Cleopas, “won’t you stop and break bread with us, since it’s getting late in the day?”

When Yeshua broke bread with them, the two men immediately recognized who they had been talking with. At the same moment, Yeshua vanished before their eyes.

“And they said one to another,

Did not our heart burn within us,

while he talked with us by the way,

and while he opened to us the scriptures?”

Luke 24:32

*

Cleopas and his friend now had a story they believed in—

  • a story that burned in their heart—“Did not our heart burn within us.”
  • a story prompted by a familiar picture of Yeshua—They saw the completed story in the breaking of bread.
  • a story with a purpose—to pass on the truth of the resurrection
  • a story for a specific audience—the eleven back in Jerusalem
  • a story they committed themselves to telling—it couldn’t wait until morning. They turned around and headed seven and a half miles back to Jerusalem.

When we set out to write our story, we can take these lessons to heart. We need to—

  • know if the story doesn’t resonate in our heart, we can’t expect it to resonate in another’s heart.
  • have a picture of where our story will take our readers and keep it in front of us.
  • understand why we are writing this story
  • know who the story is for.
  • commit ourselves to the task at hand, keeping our focus, so to complete it.

*

What story burns in your heart waiting to be told? What keeps you from sharing it? Don’t let the fire in your heart burn out. Someone is waiting for your story to be written.

Hopeful or Hopeless

“And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain: ye are yet in your sins.

Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

If in this life only we have hope in Christ,

we are of all men most miserable.”

1 Corinthians 15:17-19

The scene repeats itself minute by minute. Someone takes the last breath of life on this earth. Death is no respecter of persons – young, old, male, and female; black or white – color doesn’t matter; saint or sinner. Death leaves someone grieving by a graveside.

That’s the sad news. But the happy news tells us life does not end be the graveside. In fact, no one is left in the grave. The only thing found there is the body that housed the person. The sad news – many die to face death eternally apart from God. They will remain in darkness and torment forever. The happy news – many leave their bodies behind to be with the Lord for evermore for He has told us –

“I am the resurrection, and the life:

he that believeth in me,

though he were dead, yet shall he live:

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

Believest thou this?”

John 11:25,26

Stories of hope:

Job sat covered in boils with no relief from the pain. Before his pain came heartache from the sudden loss of his children, and possessions. Now he sat in his misery listening to so-called friends as they judged him. And God’s remained silent to his cries. In lack of understanding, he bemoaned his Maker.

“He hath stripped me of my glory,

and taken the crown from my head.

He hath destroyed me on every side,

and I am gone:

and mine hope hath he removed like a tree.”

Job 19:10,11

When his friends judged him, his neighbors loathed him, and his loved ones left him, Job looked to the heavens and remembered the one thing that would bring him comfort. By faith, he speaks –

 “For I know that my redeemer liveth,

and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

And though after my skin worms destroy this body,

yet in my flesh shall I see God:

Whom I shall see for myself,

and mine eyes shall behold, and not another,

though my reins be consumed within me.”

Job 19:25-27

As Job finds hope and comfort in knowing his Redeemer lives, we can know the same. He has not left us alone or without hope when we face the worst of life. He lives. Job knew it though he had not seen him. Thousands of years later, the disciples  walked with their Redeemer but were slow in believing His resurrection. To them and over 500 others Jesus –

“shewed himself alive after his passion

by many infallible proofs,

being seen of them forty days,

and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”

Acts 1:3

Peter, the other disciples, Paul, and many others through the centuries have given their lives to proclaim the truth of the resurrection. They knew  without the resurrection, we have no hope and the grave is all that remains.

With eyes of faith, we can see our resurrected Redeemer today. For He lives. And God has –

“raised us up together,

and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

Ephesians 2:6.

One day our eyes of faith will turn to sight when our Lord, our Resurrection and Life comes for us –

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,

and with the voice of the archangel,

and with the trump of God:

and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain

shall be caught up together with them in the clouds,

to meet the Lord in the air:

and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16,17

 And When we sit at the table with him –

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him:

for the marriage of the Lamb is come…

Blessed are they which are called

unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

Revelation 19:7,9

If this life is all there is, what’s our purpose? But praise God, we have a hope in life here and beyond for –

“now is Christ risen from the dead,

and become the firstfruits*

of them that slept.”

1Corinthians 15:20.

*[We are the fruits to come]

Having this knowledge Paul exhorts us to –

  • “Awake to righteousness,
  • and sin not;
  • for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” 1 Corinthians 15:34

We who are followers of Christ, walk in the power of the resurrection and the life of Christ. The hope, the life, the power of the resurrection we have freely received, may we freely share with those “who have not the knowledge of God.”

This world offers band-aids of hope. Jesus offers a life of hope. Where do you put your hope?

Death, Taxes, and the Resurrection

blog tombb796a201f64ff34f04fe09f604ff0ae4--easter-crafts-crafts-for-kidsIt’s been said two things are certain in this life –  death and taxes. We’re not going to talk about taxes. Nobody likes taxes. Of course nobody really likes death either. But as the author of the Book of Hebrews writes –

“It is appointed unto men once to die,

but after this the judgment.”

You might evade taxes for a time, but death is a certainty. Only two men escaped death in this life, Enoch and Elijah. Personally, I believe they may have to face it in the tribulation days as the two witnesses. Every other person ever born has died or will die – unless Jesus returns before that day. Even Jairus’ daughter, the widow’s son, and Lazarus faced death a second time after Jesus raised them back to life. Of course, when He raised them from the dead, each were still clothed in a flesh and blood body with its weaknesses.

In our “I Am” passage this week Jesus says,

“I am the resurrection and the life:

he that believeth in me,

though he were dead,

yet shall he live:

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me

shall never die.

Believest thou this?”

John 11:26

Those who witnessed and we who read the accounts of Jesus raising the dead have proof Jesus has power over life and death. Remember from last week’s posts concerning the Good Shepherd Jesus spoke of his own death and life when he said,

“No man taketh it from me,

but I lay it down of myself.

I have power to lay it down and

I have power to take it again…”

John 10:18

Jairus’ daughter had been dead for a very short time when Jesus raised her from the dead. The widow’s son had been dead long enough to have his body prepared for burial and be on the way to his tomb. Lazarus had been dead for four days. Decay surely had to be setting in as Martha remarked of the fact he would stink. Yet, Jesus spoke the word and he came out of the tomb. Jesus would be the only one to come out of the tomb with a new body, a glorified body. His resurrection proved his power over death. No one would ever have to suffer death again.

Our flesh must die in order to inherit the new body fit for our eternal soul. But the soul who believes in Jesus will never die. We step from this life into our eternal life where there will be no more death ever.

Jesus’ Promise:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you,

He that heareth my word,

and believeth on him that sent me,

hath everlasting life,

and shall not come into condemnation:

but is passed from death unto life.” John 3:24

Jesus, who is the I Am the resurrection and the life, has bought our pass from death into life through his own death and resurrection. Because He lives, all who believe on him, live and never die. His word doesn’t say we will have everlasting life but that we have everlasting life.

Jesus is asking, “Do you believe this?”