Importance of the Resurrection

Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19

“And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are still in your sins” ( v. 17).

Toolbox, check. Parts all over the garage floor, check. Instruction manual, check. You’re ready to put that new cabinet together. You get through steps 1 and 2 like a pro. Then you turn the page and realize there's a problem; the next step in the manual is 8. Part of the manual is missing. We need all of the Bible.  We can’t skip to the ending and miss out on the beginning or middle. We need each and every word and truth.

Some reject the doctrine of man's sinfulness and only want the hope of resurrection.  Others ignore the life of resurrection in favor of the sinfulness of man. But it is an error to emphasize Calvary to the exclusion of Gethsemane and vice-avers.  We cannot separate the cross from the empty tomb.  They are one.

At the cross, we died with Christ; out of the tomb, we are made alive with Christ (Romans 6:3-4).  At the cross, we resolve our past; at the tomb we gain our future (Romans 6:11).

At the cross, the power of sin is broken; at the tomb, the power of righteousness is released. (Romans 6:13);

In the cross, we taste mercy; at the tomb, we drink grace (Romans 6:22). (Don Callaway)

In the Cross of Christ I glory

Towr'ing o'er the wrecks of time;

All the light of sacred story

Gathers round its head sublime.  -John Bowring

“I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

2020-04-08T14:53:11+00:00April 8th, 2020|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , |0 Comments

April 12, 2020: A Rugged Cross and an Empty Tomb (Easter)

Focus Text: Matthew 27:50-54, 57-61; 28:1-8

Central Truth: Jesus' bodily death and resurrection is the central claim of the Christian's faith.

Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to identify key reasons why Jesus' bodily death and resurrection is the central claim of the Christians' faith.

LESSON OUTLINE:

I. Jesus' Death (Matthew 27:50-54)

II. Jesus' Burial (Matthew 27:57-61)

III. Jesus' Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8)

2020-04-08T14:47:52+00:00April 8th, 2020|Categories: Front Page, Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , , |0 Comments

The Call of the Cross

In "God's Word for Today" William Snider writes:

The basis of Paul's appeal for consecration is “the mercies of God.” John Bowring wrote, “In the cross of Christ I glory, Tow'ring o'er the wrecks of time. All the light of sacred story Gathers round its head sublime.” Wesley said when dying, “I the chief of sinners am, but Jesus died for me.” The cross is the epic moment of history for the world at large and the individual Christian in particular. We are forever dependent upon the cross. Because of the cross, we owe Him everything. While the theology of the cross is compelling to consider, it issues in a practical assignment. “Present your bodies.” Barclay observed that true worship is not ritual; rather, it is the offering of the body every day. The body is the instrument of service. Such an offering is not salvation by works, but rather, an appropriate response.

Source: Studies in Romans: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 65.

2017-02-10T09:00:00+00:00February 10th, 2017|Categories: Lesson Highlights|Tags: |0 Comments

The Shame of the Cross

In "Word Focus" Darrell Grim writes:

Bearing his cross (v. 17). It was the custom that four soldiers were detailed to each cross, and they were under the command of a centurion. The cross was usually carried by the one who would soon be nailed to it. In many cases his arms were tied to it. Normally they took the longest route and through the most crowded streets to attract the most public attention. This had a twofold purpose. First, it was a deterrent to others inclined to break the law. Second, it gave opportunity for anyone who had evidence in behalf of the condemned to come forth. Whether these customs were followed in the case of Christ’s crucifixion is unknown.

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2, KJV).
Discussion: As followers we are to take up our cross daily and follow Jesus. What does this say then about the "shame" we may endure as a result of carrying our cross for Jesus?
Source: Jesus, Son of God: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 28.

2016-04-01T09:00:00+00:00April 1st, 2016|Categories: Lesson Highlights|Tags: |0 Comments

The Savior Dies

But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water (John 19:34).
Jesus, the blood and water flowing from your side speak to us the surety of your death and
the blessings that flow to penitent believers.
The blood and water speaks of the two great benefits which all believers partake through Christ Jesus. They are justified by his blood and purified by the cleansing stream of Calvary. They both flow from the pierced side of our Redeemer. To Christ crucified we owe merit for our justification, and grace for our sanctification.
And, your legs were not broken. These soldier thought they were in control but were in fact fulfilling prophecy, "that the Scripture should be fulfilled, a bone of him shall not be broken"; referring to Psalm 34:20, "he keepeth all his bones, not one of them is broken; and again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced."
Isaac Watts give us these words from his song When I Survey:
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Jesus, I want to be at my best for you this day. (William Cook)
This devotional is the Friday, April 1, 2016 entry of Opening the Word.
Bremner Cross by NPS / Jacob W. Frank is licensed under CC BY 2.0

2016-03-30T08:00:00+00:00March 30th, 2016|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Even so … for God so loved

John 3:14-16:

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God's gift of love to us!

2016-03-25T08:00:00+00:00March 25th, 2016|Categories: Lesson Highlights|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Why Jesus' Trial by the Sanhedrin Illegal?

In "Word Focus" Darrell Grim writes:

The Sanhedrin was the ruling body of the Jews. It consisted of seventy-one members including scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and elders. The high priest was the presiding officer. Certain regulations were set forth to cover such events as a trial. There was to be a quorum of twenty-three. Criminal cases were all to be tried in the daytime and must be completed during the daytime. A trial could only be finished on the day it was begun if the verdict was “not guilty.” Otherwise, a night had to pass before a guilty verdict could be pronounced. No decision of this body was valid unless they met in their own meeting hall in the Temple precincts. All evidence had to be sworn to by at least two witnesses who were examined separately and had no contact with each other. A false witness was punishable by death. In every trial the evidence for the innocence of the accused was to be put before the court before any evidence of his guilt. In their rush to eliminate Jesus, the Sanhedrin completely disregarded its own rules.

Discussion: What happens to a society when its courts no longer uphold justice?
Source: Jesus, Son of God: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 16.

2016-03-18T08:00:00+00:00March 18th, 2016|Categories: Lesson Highlights|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Devotional: The Messiah's Reproach

“Reproach hath broken my heart: and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.” (Psalm 69:20)
The appropriate title for the picture painted in this verse is “Alone”. We can only identify with being alone in a human sense. We do not have the capacity to feel as our blessed Savior felt. He obviously enjoyed the friendship and fellowship of his disciples, and especially “the twelve”. He had even a closer relationship with the inner circle of Peter, James and John. Yet when he was facing the reality of his crucifixion in the Garden of Gethsemane, and needed their support, they fell asleep.
When he was being led away after his arrest, “... All the disciples forsook Him and fled”. (Matthew 26:56)
We sometime refer to the Passion of Jesus. The Latin word “passio” originally meant to endure suffering. This is an appropriate term when we try to imagine the agony and pain that Jesus suffered during those sham trials and the brutal beatings. As we well know a cruel crown of thorns was forced upon His head, and His hands and feet were nailed to the cross of crucifixion.
We should keep in mind that He suffered all of this for the sins of the world. Because He bore our sins, just before His death He cried, “...My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

“Alone, Alone, He bore it all alone;
He gave Himself to save His own,
He suffered, bled and died alone.” ---Ben H. Price

Jesus died the death of a sinner.

This devotional is the Monday, March 14, 2016 entry of Opening the Word.

2016-03-15T07:00:00+00:00March 15th, 2016|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , |0 Comments

What did it mean for Jesus to be the "Son of man"?

In "Word Focus" Darrell Grim writes:

The Son of man (v. 23). In Daniel 7:1-8 the writer was describing the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Medes and Persians. These were the nations that had held power over Israel. They were cruel and savage rulers. But the writer had a vision that a new power would arise that would rule in a gentle and humane manner. Daniel 7:13, 14 states that one like the Son of man came before the Ancient of Days to receive an everlasting kingdom.
From this passage in Daniel, the Jews dreamed of a golden age when they would be masters of the world. They realized that their nation was so small and weak that God would have to send a champion to lead them to this golden age. So, to them, the Son of man stood for a great, undefeatable ruler sent to them by God. Thus, when Jesus said, “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified,” they would feel that their day of supremacy was at hand. They failed to realize that when Jesus spoke of being glorified, He spoke of crucifixion. When the Jews spoke of the Son of man, they spoke of worldly conquest. When Jesus spoke of the Son of man, He spoke of the victory of the cross.

Source: Jesus, Son of God: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 10.

2016-03-11T09:00:00+00:00March 11th, 2016|Categories: Lesson Highlights|Tags: , |0 Comments

Christ’s Death Foretold

Read Isaiah 53:1-6
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; And the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all (v.6).
Isaiah portrays for us one of the most graphic, and yet most beautiful, scenes in holy writ. Where would we be had Christ not suffered humiliation and death for our sins? He became the spotless and perfect Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world (Jn. 1:29).
When Christ was here on earth, He also likened the multitudes to scattered sheep having no shepherd. Revealing His compassion through His sacrificial death, He became our Good Shepherd – thus providing meaning and direction to our lives.
Because sheep naturally tend to stray, they become lost and defenseless. This makes them vulnerable prey. Just so, humanity is without Christ. God, the Father, willed that His Son become our substitute – to be sin for us, who knew no sin (II Cor. 5:21). Certainly, we can join with John the Beloved, BEHOLD, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us… (I Jn 3:1a). (Shirley Gordon)

Man of sorrows, what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah! What a Saviour! - Philip P. Bliss

How can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

This devotional is the Monday, March 7, 2016 entry of Opening the Word.

2016-03-08T09:00:00+00:00March 8th, 2016|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , |0 Comments
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