Where were you when President Kennedy died?
I remember it clearly. It was on November 22, 1962, around 12:30 PM. I was 21 years of age, employed as a stocking clerk at a Grocery Store chain in Southern California. I worked nights and slept days while living at my parents home and on this particular day I didn’t have to set my alarm to wake up. My dad cracking the door to a darkened bedroom said, “You better wake up and come out to the front room and watch the news on TV. President Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas.”
Where were you when Martin Luther King was shot? Where were you when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded?
We have a way of remembering events like that, don’t we? When something startling happens, when someone famous dies, for some reason those things get burned into our memories.
On EASTER SUNDAY we hear about a DEATH, the most shocking announcement of all time. DEATH EXPIRED!
That’s right, DEATH DIED! Our greatest enemy–DEAD! Our greatest fear–GONE! Our greatest doubt–REMOVED! This happened through JESUS CHRIST, who rose in victory and triumph on Resurrection Sunday morning. There is no doubt that this is true. Never any doubt that Christ would win. There isn’t any chance that He can’t deliver you from DEATH and bring you safely into His eternal kingdom of Heaven.
There is no doubt that this is true. Never any doubt that Christ would win. There isn’t any chance that He can’t deliver you from DEATH and bring you safely into His eternal kingdom of Heaven.
For so certain a truth is EASTER, even centuries before it happened, centuries before Christ lived and died and rose again, JESUS said through the prophet Hosea:
“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave;
I will redeem them from death.
Where, O death, are your plagues?
Where, O grave, is your destruction.”
EASTER MEANS THAT JESUS LIVES!
It means that you LIVE too! It means that DEATH HAS EXPIRED! Praise God!!!
Our Savior Destroyed the Enemy.
“Resurrection Sunday” is the MOST INCREDIBLE MESSAGE the world can hear. Yet people don’t, or won’t believe it, and even we in the weakness of our FAITH are slow to believe it.
DEATH HAS ENDED? HOW CAN THAT BE?
Our experience screams at us “That isn’t true!” A father taking his kids to a Seahawk game is caught in the middle of a drive-by shooting on the nearby streets and was accidentally killed. Every day there’s an obituary column in the local newspaper. Every day people pass from this life to the next. How then can I write in a BLOG-study and proclaim “DEATH HAS EXPIRED”?
Yes, in one sense DEATH is still very much in the world, very much lurking behind every corner of our lives.
SO DEATH IS OUR GREATEST ENEMY –
Ultimately everything we do is geared toward prolonging life, We put AIRBAGS in our cars, we WARN our kids not to run out into the street. We try to eat HEALTHY. We WALK, WE RIDE, WE JOG…we go to doctors.
The prophet Isaiah once wrote that DEATH hangs over us like a CLOUD:
No matter how much success we may experience in life, no matter how much fun we might have, no matter how much capital we’ve accumulated, IN THE END…there is the GRAVE, there is DEATH,
DEATH HAS PLAGUES –
- It plagues us with DOUBT,
- It plagues us with FEAR,
- It plagues us with SORROW.
Is being in debt to creditors a problem? Sure. Does arthritis cause pain? Yes. Does having our hopes and dreams dashed hurt? Of course. But there is no enemy like DEATH, an enemy that stirs up FEAR just by the mention of his name.
DEATH’S ENTRY TO THE WORLD –
The Apostle Paul wrote in the Book of Romans: AND IN THIS WAY DEATH PASSED UPON ALL, FOR ALL HAVE SINNED (Ro. 5:12).
No, DEATH isn’t merely a scientific, biological problem. But will SCIENCE ever find a CURE FOR DEATH? No.
Mark Twain once called DEATH the “ultimate statistic; one of everyone dies.” If the Lord Jesus doesn’t return first, we too will each march off to the grave.
HOSEA HAS IT RIGHT; the GRAVE HAS POWER AND DEATH HAS DESTRUCTION; DUST WE ARE AND TO DUST WE WILL EACH RETURN, the ultimate proof of our sinfulness.
We feel GUILT. Deep down we know that we are sinners. We are afraid to DIE and stand before our CREATOR.
THE ENEMY HAS BEEN DESTROYED ONCE AND FOR ALL!
THE TRUTH is not just to be recognized during the Easter season once a year, but a TRUTH to be recognized daily; looking to the empty grave of JESUS…“HE IS NOT HERE; HE HAS RISEN!”
I don’t really care what the popular views of JESUS are–that he was only a great teacher, that he was only a great role model, that he was merely a man with moral conviction who bravely died for his beliefs. He’s indeed more than that; He is your SAVIOR, AND HAS DESTROYED YOUR ENEMY!
THE VICTORY IS WON!
“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death…” (Hosea 12:14)
Many bible translations use the word REDEEM or DELIVER. In the Old Testament, that word “REDEEMER” has such a beautiful meaning: The responsibility “to redeem” belonged to the nearest relative–brother, uncle, uncle’s son, or a blood relative from his family. The person (kinsman) who “redeemed” the one who was facing dire circumstances was known a kinsman-redeemer [READ the Book of Ruth].
JESUS became our “relative”–our “blood brother”–our kinsman-redeemer when God became a man–Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
The Bible tells us HE SHARED OUR HUMANITY (Hebrews 2:14).
- HE ATE, HE WALKED, HE SLEPT, HE ACHED.
- HE HUNGERED, HE KNEW PAIN, HE KNEW SORROW, HE WEPT, HE BLED, HE DIED!
But then He rose again from the dead.
All this He did for you and for me. To REDEEM us, to DELIVER us from SIN, from DEATH, and from HELL itself!
I KNOW MY REDEEMER LIVES –
It’s comforting to know this because JESUS, our brother, erased our sins.
It’s comforting because JESUS has PAID THE RANSOM for our release with His own BLOOD.
It’s comforting because Easter proves that God accepted Jesus’ SACRIFICE for payment for our sins.
His RESURRECTION declares to you that you are forgiven. Your SIN is gone! Your GUILT is dead!
Every wrong thing you’ve ever done has been washed away by the BLOOD of JESUS.
I have had a severe wound on my right middle toe exposing the bone now for several months. In the next week, because of the infection, the toe must be amputated. The other morning while in the shower, I noticed BLOOD being washed down the drain. A reminder of Jesus’ shed blood on the cross for all of mankind; washing away sin.
And Jesus came out of the GRAVE to tell each one of us,
I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. ANYONE WHO BELIEVES IN ME WILL LIVE, EVEN THOUGH HE DIES, AND WHOEVER LIVES AND BELIEVES IN ME WILL NEVER DIE (Jn. 11:25-26).
So then DEATH is not the end, but only the beginning.
YOUR REDEEMER GIVES YOU VICTORY!
VICTORY, not just for your SOUL. It was not just the Son of God that came out of the tomb, but also the Son of Man.
It was not just the Son of God that came out of the tomb, but also the Son of Man. It was a human being that arose on Resurrection Sunday morning. By becoming a man, Jesus Christ also became our blood-brother. And His RESURRECTION means that these tired old bones of yours also comes out of the grave to rise in glory! My SOUL will be united to my glorified body and I will LIVE–yes, me, not a copy, not a clone, but me! I will LIVE with my REDEEMER in heavenly bliss.
Compared to other cultures, we Americans are obsessed with our bodies and the way we look. Yet these bodies do grow old (trust me, I know!) and they radically change and finally wear out.
But Easter gives HOPE to our bodies as well as our souls.
WE WILL BE CHANGED, Paul wrote the Corinthians, “In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the [sound of the] last trumpet will sound, and the dead [in Christ] will be raised imperishable (free and immune from decay), and we shall be changed (transformed)” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:52 – Amplified Bible.
YOUR REDEEMER SHARES HIS VICTORY OVER DEATH WITH YOU –
God will raise us from DEATH and give to our souls and bodies ETERNAL LIFE. That’s His PROMISE to all who believe in Him and God doesn’t and can’t LIE!
Are you reading this BLOG-study with skepticism about what EASTER proclaims?
Then proceed through life at your own risk. Go ahead, continue to let UNCERTAINTY gnaw at you, FEAR chase you, and DEATH terrifies you. In fact, that’s not living at all; that’s just slowly dying.
RESURRECTION SUNDAY OFFERS A BETTER SOLUTION TO LIFE AND A SURE HOPE –
It is more than bunnies and baskets of candy, more than nice flowers and long weekends, even more than that family Ham Dinner.
Today is where the rubber meets the road. This strikes at the very heart of our human existence; will we live or is DEATH the end?
They say that there are only TWO certain things in life: DEATH AND TAXES. But, in view of Easter, really only one thing is certain. April 15th (April 18th this year) has passed. I’m sorry about the TAXES. That probably won’t ever go away, at least not in our lifetime.
But DEATH has! The PROPHECY of Hosea is fulfilled!
That’s what Jesus’ RESURRECTION is all about: DEATH HAS EXPIRED!
Your Savior has DESTROYED your greatest enemy! Your REDEEMER LIVES to share with you His VICTORY.
And you who believe in Him WILL NOT DIE BUT LIVE – Psalm 118:17:
VINE’S COMPLETE EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF OLDTESTAMENT AND NEW TESTAMENT WORDS.
PHOTOS: Google Advanced Image Search; Photo Pin.
Bible Translations: New International Version (NIV), unless referenced in the text.