VIDEO 14 Quotes on Why Easter Matters

Easter. It’s one of the biggest Holidays if you are a believer. The day of all days! Hallelujah there is life after this one! Jesus came and died and paid the price for our sins – for our trying to live life without God and denying His existence.  I used to live my life without God and without hope. Ended up in a Hospital Ward – more than once.

For me the resurrection of Jesus means I can have a resurrection too. Easter means that my life can change from death to life with Jesus. For me it means that there is hope, I am not alone, and the God of all the Universe is on my side and will help me. Easter means that I have hope and joy and love and grace – all as a gift from God for what Jesus decided to do for us. We didn’t ask Him. While we were still sinners and not even born yet Christ died for us. I didn’t know Him yet – but He knew me and you. Easter means that God will give us a helper – the Holy Spirit to help us through this quagmire called the world. For me Easter means that this world here on planet Earth is only the beginning – there is way more fun stuff to come in Heaven. Streets of gold, pearly gates, constant praise, with no more sorrow, no more tears, no more suffering – sign me up!

HeisRisen

God’s Word for You:

“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:8-11 NKJV

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”” – John 11:25-27 NKJV

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” – Romans 8:11

Easter

14 Quotes on Why Easter Matters

  1. “Jesus Christ did not come into this world to make bad people good; He came into this world to make dead people live.” – Lee Strobel
  2. ” God undertook the most dramatic rescue operation in cosmic history. He determined to save the human race from self-destruction, and He sent His Son Jesus Christ to salvage and redeem them. The work of man’s redemption was accomplished at the cross.” – Billy Graham
  3. “Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.”- Clarence W. Hall
  4. “The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances.” — Robert Flatt
  5. “For me the most radical demand of Christian faith lies in summoning the courage to say yes to the present risenness of Jesus Christ.” – ― Brennan Manning
  6. “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” – Pope John Paul II
  7. “Here is the amazing thing about Easter; the Resurrection Sunday for Christians is this, that Christ in the dying moments on the cross gives us the greatest illustration of forgiveness possible.” — T.D. Jakes
  8. “The cross is the lightning rod of grace that short- circuits God’s wrath to Christ so that only the light of his love remains for belivers.” – A.W. Tozer
  9. “Before the resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit came upon individuals only on certain occasions for special tasks. But now, after the resurrection, Christ through the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer to give us supernatural power in living our daily lives.” – Billy Graham
  10. “Our old histroy ends with the cross, our new history begins with the resurrection.” – Watchman Nee
  11. “Let every man and woman count himself immortal. Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let him say not merely, “Christ is risen,” but “I shall rise.” — Phillips Brooks
  12. “We are adopted into God’s family through the resurrection of Christ from the dead in which he paid all our obligations to sin, the law, and the devil, in whose family we once lived. Our old status lies in his tomb. A new status is ours through his resurrection.” – Sinclair B. Ferguson
  13. “The resurrection completes the inauguration of God’s kingdom. . . . It is the decisive event demonstrating thet God’s kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven. The message of Easter is that God’s new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you’re now invited to belong to it.” – N.T. Wright
  14. “The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances. ” – Robert Flatt

Easter 2

 https://dianarasmussen.com/2017/04/12/14-quotes-on-why-easter-matters/
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Always Listening

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18

Dad was a man of few words. He had hearing damage due to years of military duty and wore hearing aids. One afternoon when Mom and I were talking a little longer than he thought necessary, he responded playfully, “Whenever I want peace and quiet, all I have to do is this.” Lifting both hands in a single motion, he turned off both hearing aids, folded his hands behind his head and closed his eyes in a serene smile.

We laughed. As far as he was concerned, the conversation was over!

Our God is big enough to hear the smallest voice.

My father’s actions that day remind me how different God is from us. He always wants to hear His children. This is underscored by one of the shortest prayers in the Bible. One day Nehemiah, a servant to King Artaxerxes of Persia, was visibly sad in the king’s presence. Fearful when the king asked him why, Nehemiah confessed it was because Jerusalem, the conquered city of his ancestors, lay in ruins. Nehemiah recounts, “The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king…” (Neh. 2:4–5, italics added).

Nehemiah’s prayer lasted only a moment, but God heard it. It set in motion God’s merciful response to the many prayers Nehemiah had already offered for Jerusalem. In that moment, Artaxerxes granted Nehemiah’s request to rebuild the city.

Isn’t it comforting to know that God cares enough to listen to all of our prayers—from the shortest to the longest?

Thank You, loving Father, for blessing me with the beautiful privilege and opportunity of prayer.

Our God is big enough to hear the smallest voice.

Praying on Our Knees

Hebrews 4:16

I remember the conflict that arose many years ago when I was being considered for the position of senior pastor. Every Sunday when I preached, I knew that a number of people in the sanctuary objected and were trying to get rid of me. It was a challenging situation. Perhaps you can relate because of a difficult home life, work relationship, or school situation in which people are reacting negatively to you.

The way to handle troubles is discovered on our knees. The heavenly Father waits for us to approach His throne through prayer, gain His divine perspective, and receive instruction on how to proceed. In my prayer time, a battle was taking place between what I wanted—avoiding this conflict—and what the Lord had planned for me—to move forward in faith. Eventually, I agreed to God’s course and experienced His peace in my life.

When we humbly seek the Lord through prayer, we invite Him to take the lead in our situation and to accomplish His plan. He may direct us in ways that surprise us, but they will be for our good and His glory. In my case, God instructed me not to argue or defend myself. My part was to pray. It was hard to be silent, but I trusted Him, followed His lead, and watched Him resolve the situation.

Praying on our knees reminds us that God is the Master and we are His servants. He knows all things, whereas our perspective is narrow. He is also all-powerful—He can penetrate hard hearts and closed minds. We cannot. Let’s make prayer a regular part of our day and watch what the Lord does.

Joy in the Christian Life

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)

The word “fun” is never mentioned in the Bible, and “entertain” is used only in reference to being hospitable. Such activities as “reveling” and “playing” receive nothing except condemnation in the Scriptures (with the exception of little children at play).

Yet, there is growing emphasis today in many churches and parachurch organizations on providing “entertainment” and “fun times” for their members—especially for teenagers and young adults. This is the way to reach them and keep them for the Lord, so they say. Perhaps so, but one wonders why neither the Lord nor the apostles nor the prophets ever told us so. Is this a program kept in reserve by the Lord just for the young people of this generation?

Actually, Christians can have something far better, more effective, and more lasting than fun and entertainment. In Christ, they can have heavenly joy! “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine,” the Bible says (Proverbs 17:22), where the word for “merry” is more commonly translated as “joyful” or “rejoicing.”

While the Bible never mentions “fun,” it has many references to “joy” and “rejoicing.” Here are just a few. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16). “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). “For the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

We must remind ourselves continually that the Lord Jesus daily, through His words, shares His joy with us, “that [our] joy might be full.” HMM

“Let the righteous be glad.”

Numbers 10:29-36

Numbers 10:29

We should talk to our friends and kinsfolk of the advantages which arise out of connection with the people of God; it may be they will be led to cast in their lot with us.

Numbers 10:30, 31

Those who are converted to the faith often become of great service to the church, and this should urge us the more eagerly to seek their conversion.

Numbers 10:32

Thus the compact was made to share and share alike. This was true brotherhood. Believers know that the Lord dealeth with all his servants as he is wont to do unto those who fear his name. He feeds them with the same bread of life, clothes them with the same righteousness, shelters them beneath the same providential care, and brings them by the same grace to the same glory. Those who truly join with us in Christ’s church shall enjoy all the privileges with which we are enriched.

Numbers 10:35

This is the Rising Prayer. It confesses that Israel’s path is beset with foes, and it looks away from all human help to the Lord alone. The Lord has but to rise, and his foes and ours are gone. O Lord, now arise!

Numbers 10:36

This was the Resting Prayer. It pleads for the divine presence. Fearing that the Lord may have been grieved during the day, it beseeches him to return. It is of the same tenor as our sweet evening hymn, “Abide with us.”

Psalm 68:1-8

Let us read a few verses of David’s psalm, in which he sings of the Lord’s glorious marching through the wilderness.

Psalm 68:3

Such a God is not to be worshipped with sadness or half-heartedness. Let us be very joyful in him.

Psalm 68:4

He is as much with us as he was with the Jews, let us equally sing his praises.

Psalm 68:5

Therefore let his people remember the orphan, and aid those institutions which are for their benefit. Let them also be very pitiful towards poor widows who are God’s peculiar charge.

Psalm 68:6

Gracious as God is he cannot bless those who persist in rebellion. Sin is and ever must be the source of misery.

Psalm 68:7, 8

Eternal honour be unto the God of Israel, whose presence is still our succour and solace. Our inmost hearts adore him. Lord throughout this day go before us, and bless us with thy presence.

 

Scorned!

Matthew 27:27-29

After Jesus was scourged, Pilate delivered Him to the Roman soldiers so they could initiate the crucifixion process. However, first these soldiers dragged Jesus through the worst mockery and humiliation of all. Matthew 27:27-29 describes what Jesus went through at this stage of His ordeal: “Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!”

Verse 27 says the soldiers “… took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.” The “common hall” was the open courtyard in Pilate’s palace. Since Pilate rotated between several official royal residences in Jerusalem, this could have been his palace at the Tower of Antonia (see April 4). It also could have been his residence at the magnificent palace of Herod, located on the highest part of Mount Zion. All we know for sure is that the courtyard was so large, it was able to hold “the whole band of soldiers.” This phrase comes from the Greek word spira, referring to a cohort or a group of 300 to 600 Roman soldiers.

Hundreds of soldiers filled the courtyard of Pilate’s residence to participate in the events that followed. Matthew 27:28 says, “And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.” First, the soldiers “stripped him.” The word “stripped” is the Greek word ekduo, which means to totally unclothe or to fully undress. Nakedness was viewed as a disgrace, a shame, and an embarrassment in the Jewish world. Public nakedness was associated with pagans—with their worship, their idols, and their statues.

As children of God, the Israelites honored the human body, made in the image of God; thus, to publicly parade someone’s naked body was a great offense. We can know, then, that when Jesus was stripped naked in front of 300 to 600 soldiers, it went against the grain of His entire moral view of what was right and wrong.

Once Jesus stood naked before them, the soldiers then “… put on him a scarlet robe.” The Greek phrase is chlamuda kokkinen, from the word chlamus and kokkinos. The word chlamus is the Greek word for a robe or a cloak. It could refer to a soldier’s cloak, but the next word makes it more probable that this was an old cloak of Pilate. You see, the word “scarlet” is the Greek word kokkinos, a word that describes a robe that has been dyed a deep crimson or scarlet color, which is suggestive of the deeply colored crimson and scarlet robes worn by royalty or nobility. Did this cohort of Roman soldiers who worked at Pilate’s residence pull an old royal robe from Pilate’s closet and bring it to the courtyard for the party? It seems that this is the case.

As Matthew continues the account, we find out what happened next: After the soldiers “… had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head….” The word “platted” is the Greek word empleko (see January 25). Thorns grew everywhere, including in the imperial grounds of Pilate. These thorns were long and sharp like nails. The soldiers took vines that were loaded with sharp and dangerous thorns; then they carefully wove together those razor-sharp, prickly, jagged vines until they formed a tightly woven, dangerous circle that resembled the shape of a crown.

Afterward, the soldiers “… put it upon his head….” It was this kind of crown that the soldiers violently pushed down upon Jesus’ head. Matthew uses the Greek word epitithimi, a word that implies they forcefully shoved this crown of thorns onto Jesus’ head. These thorns would have been extremely painful and caused blood to flow profusely from His brow. Because the thorns were so jagged, they would have created terrible wounds as they scraped across Jesus’ skull bone and literally tore the flesh from His skull.

Matthew called it a “crown” of thorns. The word “crown” is from the Greek word Stephanos, the word that described a coveted victor’s crown. These soldiers intended to use this mock crown to make fun of Jesus. Little did they know that Jesus was preparing to win the greatest victory in history!

After forcing the crown of thorns down onto Jesus’ brow, the soldiers put “… a reed in his right hand….” There were many beautiful ponds and fountains in Pilate’s inner courtyard where long, tall, hard “reeds” grew. While Jesus sat there before them clothed in a royal robe and crown of thorns, one of the soldiers must have realized that the picture was not quite complete and pulled a “reed” from one of the ponds or fountains to put in Jesus’ hand. This reed represented the ruler’s staff, as seen in the famous statue called “Ave Caesar,” which depicted Caesar holding a staff or scepter in his hand. The same image, also showing a scepter in the right hand of the emperor, appeared on coins that were minted in the emperor’s honor and in wide circulation.

With a discarded royal robe about Jesus’ shoulders, a crown of thorns set so deeply into His head that blood drenched His face, and a reed from Pilate’s ponds or fountains stuck in His right hand, “… they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!” The word “bowed” is the Greek word gonupeteo, meaning to fall down upon one’s knees. One by one, the cohort of soldiers passed before Jesus, dramatically and comically dropping to their knees in front of Him as they laughed at and mocked Him.

The word “mocked” is the Greek word empaidzo, the same word used to describe the mocking of Herod and his bodyguards (see April 19). As Pilate’s soldiers mocked Jesus, they said to Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” The word “hail” was an acknowledgment of honor used when saluting Caesar. Thus, the soldiers shouted out this mock salute to Jesus as they would to a king to whom honor was due.

Matthew 27:30 goes on to tell us, “And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.” The word “they” refers to the entire cohort of soldiers who were present in Pilate’s courtyard that night. So as each soldier passed by Jesus, he would first mockingly bow before Him; then he’d lean forward to spit right in Jesus’ blood-drenched face. Next the soldier would grab the reed from Jesus’ hand and strike Him hard on His already wounded head. Finally, he would stick the reed back in Jesus’ hand to make Him ready for the next soldier to repeat the whole process.

The Greek clearly means that the soldiers repeatedly struck Jesus again and again on the head. Here was another beating that Jesus endured, but this time it was with the slapping action of a hard reed. This must have been excruciatingly painful for Jesus, since His body was already lacerated from the scourging and His head was deeply gashed by the cruel crown of thorns.

When all 300 to 600 soldiers were finished spitting and striking Jesus with the reed, Matthew 27:31 tells us that “… they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.” The robe wrapped around Jesus had no doubt had time to mesh into His wounds, for it took a great amount of time for so many soldiers to parade before Him. Therefore, it must have been terrifically painful for Jesus when they jerked this robe off His back and the material ripped free from the dried blood that had coagulated on His open wounds.

But this would be the last act of torture Jesus would endure in this stage of His ordeal. After putting His own clothes back on Him, the soldiers led Him from the palace to the place of execution.

As the soldiers mocked Jesus that day, hailing Him as king in derision and ridicule, they were unaware that they were actually bowing their knees to the One before whom they would one day stand and give an account for their actions. When that day comes, bowing before Jesus will be no laughing matter, for everyone— including those very soldiers who mocked Jesus—will confess that Jesus is Lord!

Yes, a day is soon coming when the human race will bow their knees to acknowledge and declare that Jesus is the King of kings. Philippians 2:10, 11 talks about that day: “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

If you have a friend who doesn’t know Jesus yet, don’t you think it’s time for you to introduce that friend to Jesus Christ? Your friend will one day bow before Him anyway; the question is, from which place will he bow before Jesus—from Heaven, from earth, or from hell?

Everyone in Heaven will bow low before Jesus on that day, as will everyone who is alive on earth at His coming and everyone who has gone to hell because they didn’t bow before Him while they lived on this earth. So the big question is not if a person will bow before Him, but from which place will he choose to bow before Him?

Isn’t it your responsibility to help lead your friends and acquaintances to Jesus? God’s Spirit will empower you to speak the Gospel to them. If you pray before you speak to them, the Holy Spirit will prepare their hearts to hear the message. Why not stop today and ask the Lord to help you speak the truth to those friends, acquaintances, and fellow workers whom you interact with every day?

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, open my eyes to those around me who are unsaved and in need of salvation. You died for them because You want them to be saved. I know that You are trusting me to tell them the Good News that they can be saved. Please empower me strongly with Your Spirit, giving me the boldness I need, to step out from behind intimidation and to tell them the truth that will save them from an eternity in hell. Help me to start telling them the Good News immediately, before it is too late.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I declare by faith that I am a strong witness for Jesus Christ. My eyes are opened and my spirit is attentive to recognize opportunities to speak the Gospel to people who are unsaved. When I speak to them, they listen with an open heart and want to hear what I have to say. Because of my bold witness, my family, friends, acquaintances, and fellow workers are getting saved!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. How long has it been since you shared the Good News of Jesus Christ with your family, friends, acquaintances, or fellow workers?
  2. Since the people in your life will bow their knees before Jesus at some point in the future anyway, don’t you agree that you should help them do it now so they won’t have to bow their knees to Him one day from hell?
  3. How long has it been since you’ve bowed your own knees to pray or to worship Jesus? Don’t you think it would be a good idea for you to make this a part of your daily spiritual routine?

A day is soon coming when the human race will bow their knees to acknowledge and declare that Jesus is the King of kings. If you have a friend who doesn’t know Jesus, don’t you think it’s time for you to introduce that friend to Jesus Christ? Your friend will one day bow before Him anyway; the question is, from which place will he bow before Jesus—from Heaven, from earth, or from hell?

 

Applying The Scriptures To Your Life

As you spend time with the Lord meditating over a portion of Scripture, you may find it helpful to ask the following questions:

  • Is there an example to follow?
  • Is there a sin to avoid?
  • Is there a promise to claim?
  • Is there a prayer to repeat?
  • Is there a command to obey?
  • Is there a condition to meet?
  • Is there a verse to memorize?
  • Is there an error to mark?
  • Is there a challenge to face?

If you would like practice in utilizing the above questions, read and meditate upon Luke 14:25-17:10.

 

 

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