Christ is Risen

Today is Good Friday and the sacrifice our Lord Jesus made this very day has been weighing very heavy on me.  Why did Christ have to die? Was there no other way?  When we think of Him, we usually consider that fact that He is righteous, holy, loving, and good. But here is something else to consider about Jesus: He is the God who suffered.  “He was despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief . . . Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows.” (Isaiah 53:3-4)  In order for Christ to rise, He had to die.  I was listening to Glorious Day this morning and these words really hit me: Living, He loved me; Dying, He saved me; Buried, He carried my sins far away; Rising, He justified freely forever…  One day the grave could conceal Him no longer; One day the stone rolled away from the door; Then He arose, over death He had conquered; Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore; Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him; From rising again.  One day the trumpet will sound for His coming; One day the skies with His glories will shine; Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing My Savior, Jesus, is mine.

 But why did Jesus have to suffer and why was there no other way? He suffered because He loved us and He always will, even in our sinful state and even when we continually run from Him and make terrible choices.  Jesus, the Lamb of God, without blemish or sin, took the weight of all our past, present, and future sins.  The enormity of them was so great that they caused him to sweat blood while He was praying to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus knows true suffering, so we need to realize that we are not alone in our trials and circumstances, because Jesus has been there Himself and He has walked in our shoes and He is just waiting for us to call out to Him.  We can’t let our pride get in the way of our healing, sanctification, and being made whole.  Just as the devil can change his shape, our pride can masquerade as many different things in our life: our name, our job, our title, our neighborhood, the car we drive, the people we associate with.  The list goes on and on, but the main thing we need to focus on is that anything we place before God in our life is an idol.  With Easter approaching, now, more than ever, we need to change our focus back to God.  Easter should be more than just another holiday to us. It’s the Sunday set aside to recognize the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins.

 Some interesting facts I found out in my research about this special season are: Easter marks the end of Lent, which is a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and repentance. The last week of the Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains Good Friday, which commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, where our sins were nailed to the cross.  Praise God that is not where the story ends because 3 days later Jesus Christ rose from the grave and there is no body in His tomb.  Easter is the Sunday following the full Moon which falls on or after the spring equinox.  It is then followed by fifty-day period, ending with Pentecost Sunday, when God’s Spirit was poured out.  “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:2-4)  This was the beginning of the New Covenant.  I am telling you that I can sense in my Spirit that God is getting ready to do something amazing this season and I want to make sure you are ready to receive the blessing that is about to come your way.

In order to not miss out on what God has planned, we must submit ourselves to Him and pray that the Holy Spirit illuminate any areas in our life that need to be made right.  We cannot submit to God without humility because true obedience requires us to humble ourselves and to surrender to the authority of another.  God tells us continually to resist pride, which is the opposite of humility.  He also tells us to resist the arrogance that fosters that pride.  We have to choose to submit to God in all areas of our life in order to grow spiritually.  It is a process that begins at salvation and is ongoing with each and every choice that we make. This process will continue until the Lord comes again, or He calls us home.  What we must never forget is that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, and to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)  Take a moment and thank the Lord for what He did at Calvary and for everything in your life: good and bad and remember that God causes ALL things to work together for our good when we love Him and are called according to His purpose.  Even anything the enemy meant for your harm, God will use it for your good, so get ready because a blessing is coming your way!

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