Easter: The Supreme Eternal Value

March 27, 2016

“I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me — that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.  He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said.”  (1Corinthians 15:3-4)

There is another value I must share with you because it is the supreme and absolute value, the “door” that must be opened if we are to find all the eternal values.  This is the value we place on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Let me explain.

Suppose I asked you to write your answer to this question: “What is the Gospel?”  Imagine that I asked you to accompany your answer with Scripture verse references.   How would you answer my question?

As you search the Scriptures, you will discover this eternal value:  Easter is far more important than Christmas.  When the Apostle John wrote his Gospel, he devoted approximately half of his twenty-one chapters to the thirty-three years Jesus lived on earth and half his chapters to just the last week Jesus lived.  Of the eighty-nine combined chapters of the four Gospels, four chapters cover the birth and first thirty years Jesus lived, while twenty-seven chapters cover the last week Jesus lived.  Why is the last week of the life of Jesus so very important, and why is Easter far more important than Christmas?

Easter is when Jesus died and rose again for our salvation. The cry of the church all over the world on Resurrection Sunday is:

He is risen, indeed.   

Dick Woodward, 02 August 2013

May you have a blessed Easter — Jesus Christ is risen, He is risen, indeed!!!


Absolute Eternal Value of Easter

March 31, 2015

“Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures… and on the third day, He was raised to life..”  (I Corinthians 15:3-4)

Have you discovered that, to the authors of the four Gospels, Easter is far more important than Christmas? Of the 89 combined Gospel chapters, 4 chapters cover the birth and first 30 years Jesus lived, while 27 chapters cover the last week He lived. Why is the last week Jesus lived so very important?

The obvious answer is during that one week Jesus died and was raised from the dead for our salvation. In I Corinthians 15, after clearly stating that the Gospel is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Paul focuses like a laser beam on the second Gospel fact – the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  In 58 inspired verses, Paul shows us in a practical way what the resurrection of Jesus should mean to you and me.

Have you ever wondered why the apostles, who were all Jews, changed their day of worship from the Sabbath (seventh) Day to the first day of the week? If you read carefully, they never called Sunday the “Sabbath.”  They called it “The Lord’s Day” because that was the day Jesus rose from the dead.  Every Sunday the Church gathers for worship is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, because on the first day of the week Jesus demonstrated the absolute eternal value.

This is the greatest and most important eternal value: Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead for our salvation. The Good News is that when Jesus died on the cross, God laid on His only beloved Son all the chastisement we rebellious human beings rightly deserved for our sins. In this way, God exercised His perfect justice while also expressing His perfect love.  The beloved Apostle John points to the cross and says, “Here is love. Not that we love God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins, and not for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole world.” (I John 2:1-2)

Isaiah showed us how to confess this eternal value – that Jesus died for our sins – when he wrote: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)

…Do you believe you are included in the first and last ‘all’ of this verse?

Dick Woodward, In Step with Eternal Values


Metamorphosis

July 30, 2013

“…flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.”          . (1Corinthians 15:50)

Another arresting statement made by Paul in his great resurrection chapter is that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, because corruption cannot inherit incorruption.  What Paul means by this statement is that we cannot go to heaven with a physical body.  When God decides that He wants us in heaven, He must perform a metamorphosis on us that prepares us to spend eternity with Him in heaven.  God works that miracle metamorphosis through our death and resurrection.

As Paul describes the resurrection of believers at the time of the second coming of Jesus Christ he also tells us that those who are living when Jesus returns will be changed.  They must be changed because they cannot enter into heaven with their physical bodies.  They, too, must experience a miracle metamorphosis to prepare them for heaven.

Here Paul is declaring a sixth eternal value:  our heavenly bodies will be so much greater than our physical bodies we must experience a metamorphosis to live forever in heaven.  This is just one more way the Scripture consistently tells us that heaven is greater than earth and the best things in life for believers await them in the eternal dimension of life.

The Shepherd Psalm of David tells us that God makes us lie down to discover the green pastures and still waters of life.  But, then we get up again and the green pastures turn brown and the still waters become disturbed.  Many see a metaphor of the believer’s death as the Great Shepherd coming into our life making us lie down in death that He might give us the green pastures that never turn brown and the still waters that never become disturbed in heaven.


Words God Speaks Through Nature

September 4, 2012

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.”  (Psalm 19: 1, 2)

At the end of summer we approach the threshold of the explosion of beautiful fall colors.  While you enjoy the explosion of color this year consider the words God speaks to us every fall.

Since that beautiful color is produced by the death of those leaves, the word God is speaking to many of us is that death can be beautiful.  In many ways the most beautiful reality you and I encounter in our three or four score years on earth is the death of our Lord Jesus Christ that makes it possible for us to experience salvation and enter heaven.

Paul tells us the Gospel is that Christ died so we might live and now it is our turn.  We must die so Christ might live through us (Galatians 2: 20).  That means our death to ourselves can be beautiful.

Every spring our God speaks another word to us.  That word is seen through all the resurrection around us as we see black trunks and branches of trees we thought were dead sprout to life and bloom.

The Latin root meaning of rehabilitation is “to invest again with dignity.” Do we have the faith to believe God can bring to life that which we thought was dead?  Let’s apply that thought to our own life, to the lives of our children, and to secular people we know and love.


Resurrection

April 12, 2012

“Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.”   (1 Corinthians 15: 49)

Have you ever watched a dragonfly move from one plant to another with its two sets of wings making it possible for it to hover like a helicopter?  A dragonfly actually spends the first two years of its existence at the bottom of a large body of water.  When that phase of its existence comes to an end, it rises to the surface of the water, climbs up on the bank and lets it wings dry in the sun.  Then it spreads those magnificent wings and begins the second dimension of its existence when it becomes an aeronautical wonder.

Easter reminded us that like the dragonfly we are meant to live out our existence in two dimensions.  If you did a cross-section of that under-water dragonfly you would see that it has two respiratory systems.  It has one for living under water and one for breathing air in the second dimension of its life.

If you could do a spiritual cross-section on a born again believer you would find that we are also equipped with two systems.  We have an outward man and an inward man.  Our outward man is just a little clay pot in which our eternal inward man lives.

We are told in the great Resurrection Chapter (1 Corinthians 15), that we are given a body for living this life and we will be issued another body for living in the eternal state. According to Paul, that new body will be a spiritual body that will equip us for living throughout all eternity.  I don’t know about you but as a bed fast quadriplegic I’m really looking forward to being issued that new body!