Christ HAS died,
Christ IS risen,
Christ WILL come again!
As I read the Bible, I sometimes try to imagine that I am there witnessing everything that is happening. On Palm Sunday we recall the account of Jesus entering into Jerusalem, riding on the back of a donkey, to the cries of praise and adoration from the crowds. For believers, this is a comfortable scene to imagine, as we should continually worship our Lord. However, this event began a week of dramatic events, full of twists and turns.
In the space of 5 days, these cries of praise turned to the cries of hatred. On that Friday, as Jesus stood before Pilate, the crowds shouted Crucify him, crucify him. An innocent man, sentenced to a criminal’s death. The Old Testament tell us that this must happen and Prophet Isaiah gives us a very detailed and descriptive account of what would take place. In Isaiah 53 verse 3-6 we read these words: -
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 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 all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
In the New Testament, the four Gospels all give an account of the events that lead to Jesus death. He was whipped and beaten, he was mocked and spat on, he carried a heavy cross through the streets of Jerusalem to a place called Golgotha. His clothes were taken from him and he was nailed to a cross. There he suffered and died in your place and in mine. He took my sins and your sins upon himself. John tells us that just before he died he said, “It is finished”. These are powerful words as it shows us that the purpose for which he came, had been fulfilled. Later that day, after Jesus had died, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus sought Pilate’s permission to take Jesus body and bury it. They placed his body in a tomb which had never been used and was located in a garden near where Jesus was crucified. Christ has died!
However, this is not the end of Jesus. Each of the four Gospels tell us that on the first day of the week, early in the morning, just after sunrise, some of the woman that had been followers of Jesus went to His tomb. When they arrived they found the stone had been rolled away and the tomb was empty. The unthinkable had happened – Jesus was not dead and as the women were told “He is not here, he is Risen!”
For Christians, these events fill us with hope and assurance, giving us the certainty that if we follow Jesus, we will share in his resurrection. He promises, that if we ask him into our lives, seek the forgiveness of our sins, and place our trust in him, we will have eternal life and a home in heaven. Jesus promises, that one day he will come again and gather his people to himself.
So our faith is built on Has, Is, and Will. So the question remains, ‘Do you believe that….”
Christ has died,
Christ is Risen
Christ Will come again.
On behalf of all who worship in Christ Church, May I wish you a Happy Easter and…
May God the Father,
by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead,
raise you up to walk with him in the newness of his risen life.