He is Risen! #3

Tomorrow, we celebrate the most significant event during the entire panoply of human history: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from his substitutionary death on the cross. Every other founder of every other world religion has a grave someplace where their decaying corpses still reside.

Not so with our Lord — His grave is empty!
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He is Risen! #2

Once again it is the most significant holiday, in fact the only truly scriptural holiday, in the Christian calendar: Easter.
Our church does a huge outreach during this season, trying to reach the CEOs (Christmas & Easter Only) of our community. As part of this, we celebrated Good Friday by serving communion and praying for people by our church’s rather large cross located by one of the highways (a local landmark) and, afterward, showing The Passion Of The Christ movie in our auditorium.
Before I move on to the rest of what have to say, though, I want to comment on the movie itself. While Mel Gibson has some weird and toxic religious views, as well as apparently being an anti-Semite and an alcoholic, I have to say that, despite a few minor sops to Roman Catholic myth and the annoying and repetitive tendency for Mary to be filmed staring off into space, this film really hit the nail on the head. It is truly a masterpiece! Mel, ya done good, kid!
And as a completed Jew and a supporter of the State of Israel, I can honestly state there was not an ounce of anti-Semitic content to the film, a possibility that the Jewish community, who has long suffered the most heinous of persecutions at the hands of the Roman Catholic church to which Gibson belongs, were quite reasonably concerned about.
Unfortunately, they totally over-reacted, as people who have been maligned, tortured, and murdered for literally centuries by a host of pagan, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox followers are wont to do. And Gibson’s subsequent anti-Semitic rants only served to pour gasoline on that fire. Pray for the man — he’s caught in a conflicted state between his strict bondage-inducing religious views (which are not at all Christian, I might add) and his innate sinfulness as a typical human being. But I digress…
What I really feel the Spirit wants me to talk about is divine healing. Appropriately, The Passion opens with a paraphrased verse from the book of Isaiah, which says:

…He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. — Isaiah 53:5

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He is Risen! #1

Happy Resurrection Day!

Today we celebrate the anniversary of the single most significant event in the history of the world: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
This is not a doctrine that we believe lacking proof or despite evidence to the contrary, but it is an actual historical event that has been attested to by secular and church historians alike. The death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ are the most thoroughly and completely documented events in ancient history. Point of fact, there is better historical evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ and what He said, did, and experienced than Socrates, Julius Caesar, Confucius, Gilgamesh, Zoroaster, and all the other famous ancient figures who came before Him put together.
But this is not a treatise on apologetics and there are many far more learned men than I who have dealt with this subject in far greater detail, with far greater scholarship, and with far greater expertise than I could possibly muster.
What I want to address is the significance of the resurrection as it affects our daily human lives. Jesus is intensely practical and would have condemned discussions of His Word that were merely theoretical or abstractly theological, and not expressed with the simplicity of a child and practically applicable in our relationships with Him and one another. Christianity is not only to be believed, but to be lived!
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