Posts Tagged ‘Resurrection’

Resurrection of Christ

April 14, 2018

The Verse of the Day for April 4, 2018 reminds believers of the “gospel or “good news” regarding Christ’s resurrection:

1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4 (NIV):

[The Resurrection of Christ] Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

Though we celebrated this life-transforming event of the ages two weeks ago, we are always to remember the importance of what transpired. Never forget::Jesus Christ died for our sins. He was our substitute, in that when he died, we died with him. In addition, he was buried, and we were buried with him in baptism. “Buried, he carried our sins far away. “Finally, he was raised up, out from among the dead, and we were raised to life eternal with him. ”Rising, he justified, freed us forever.”

We also recall the lyrics to the spiritual often sung during the time of the celebration of the resurrection: “Were You There?” We note a series of questions asked in the following verses:

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Some lyrics ask, Were you there when he rose up from the dead?

In truth, the questions raised can be transformed into declarations that proclaim:

You were there in each instance:

When they crucified our Lord, when they nailed him to the tree, when they laid him in the tomb, when he rose up from the dead.

In reflecting on the resurrection of the Savior, we must also remember this exhortation from Romans 6:11 which serves as the introduction to this poetic response:

We are dead

Likewise you also, reckon yourselves
to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God
in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:11 NKJV

We are dead: we have died to the flesh and its lust.
We are unmoved: the dead do not know anything.
Blessed assurance is ours, as those who trust
That each day we die we grow immune to death’s sting.
We are dead: we have died to the lust of our eyes.
From the world and its trappings we are now set free,
For it is appointed unto us once to die.
Opened eyes, once closed in death, no longer see.
We are dead: we too have died to the pride of life.
It does not matter what others may think or say.
We learn to rise above conflict, envy, and strife.
Though dead, we abide in Christ, the new and living way.
As with Christ, death precedes any resurrection,
So the path we choose leads north, our new direction.

We close with Larnelle Harris offering a Worship Medley~ Were You There/Jesus Paid It All~

April 2, 2018

Colossians 2--12

This morning as our thoughts linger in celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, this passage also comes to mind to reveal the accomplished work of Jesus Christ expressed in Colossians 2:12-15 from the New Living Testament:

12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.
14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

This passage was the inspiration behind the following triumphant psalm of praise:

Having. . .Having. . .Having. . .Having. . .Having. . .He made. . . .

Colossians 2:12-15

Having forgiven all trespasses against us:

For every time we tried but failed and missed the mark,
When our flesh faltered, we received new strength within.
Christ, the Lord, washed and cleansed us from the stain of sin.
God made us to be lights that overcome the dark.
He set us free to sing on the wing, as a lark,
Having forgiven all trespasses against us.

Having wiped out handwriting of ordinances:

The hand that records each failure to keep the Law
Graciously blots out each shortfall and each mistake
And releases us from penalty, for Christ’s sake.
Through the eyes of love, He looked beyond what He saw
To decree that flesh should not be a fatal flaw,
Having wiped out handwriting of ordinances.

Having taken it far from us, out of the way:

Guilt and shame removed and replaced with righteousness;
Transformed and fashioned with a new identity,
We stand in His presence, revealing the mystery.
Hurled and buried in the sea of forgetfulness,
The curse of sin has been replaced with blessedness,
Having taken it far from us, out of the way.

Having nailed it to the cross as a bold display,

Turning into triumph what seemed to be disgrace,
Symbolic sign displaying both shame and glory,
Dramatic unfolding of the greatest story.
To show his love for all, Christ took our place
To flaunt the victory right in the enemy’s face,
Having nailed it to the cross as a bold display.

Having disarmed principalities and powers,

Our triumphant warrior defeated every foe,
Crushing at once the head of the deadly serpent
To achieve our victory to the fullest extent.
To perform the greater works of Christ as we grow,
God enlightens and empowers that we might know,
Having disarmed principalities and powers.

He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Coming attractions describe the Spectacular
Super-conquering show:
The captor has been made captive, prisoner without parole
in his own prison,
The accuser of brethren, once idolized,
now the source of derision,
Stripped, crippled, toppled and trampled
To be brought ever so low;
A foretaste of the day when every tongue shall confess
And every knee shall bow.
He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Many songs offered in praise to God also make known the ultimate triumph of Jesus Christ over the enemy, displayed so magnificently in the resurrection and its victorious aftermath. We close with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir singing “Worthy is the Lamb.”

 

He is not here but is risen–He’s alive!

April 1, 2018

As the sun begins to rise on this Resurrection Sunday, April 1, 2018, I reflect upon one of the most memorable accounts of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is found in Luke 24:1-9:

Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.

2But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.

3Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

4And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.

5Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?

6He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,

7saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”

8And they remembered His words.

9Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

In thinking about this account of the women at the empty tomb, this reflective piece also comes to mind: “Witness”

Witness

Luke 24:1-9
The account of the women at the empty tomb

Though we did not journey with the women
In the dark before dawn that first day,
Nor were we walking, weeping with them when
Two angels spoke, nor did we hear them say,
“He is not here but risen as he said;
Recall that on the third day he should rise;
Why seek you the living among the dead?”
Though we did not see with our naked eyes,
In our hearts we know God’s desire to bless.
Though we did not touch Christ nor did we see
The open tomb, yet we still bear witness.
We have a more sure word of prophecy.
By the spirit, fruit of our Promised Seed,
We surely know He is risen, risen, indeed.

We close with this lively reminder from Eddie James that “He’s Alive!”:

I am the resurrection and the life

December 7, 2015

John-11-25-26

Modified and re-posted below is a blog entry from a year ago:

Another in the series of seven metaphors related to the identity of Jesus Christ is found in John 11:25 (AMP), the Verse of the Day for December 7, 2015:

Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, relies on) Me [as Savior] will live even if he dies;

The context for this comparison is set with the beloved friend of Jesus, Lazarus, who has died. From this particular narrative comes the shortest verse in the King James Bible found in John 11: 35: “Jesus wept.” The lyrics to an original song “Can You See Messiah Weeping?” describe what transpired in that moving account:

Can you see Messiah weeping, weeping?
Messiah is weeping because of his dear friend.
On the fourth day Jesus came to Bethany
Where Lazarus was sleeping, sleeping.
His life had come to an end.
Then Jesus plainly said, Lazarus is dead, Lazarus is dead.

His sisters ran to him and cried
Had you been here he would not have died.
Had you been here he would not have died.
Jesus answered, and he said in this death God will be glorified,
In this death God will be glorified.

As Jesus told the sisters, so he speaks to us:
I am the resurrection and the life.
He that believes on me, though he dies,
Yet shall he also live.
Believe on me and you shall arise.
Believe on me and you shall arise.
Though we may die, we shall arise.
Like Lazarus, we shall arise.
Nevermore to die, nevermore to die.

 

Garden tomb

The photo is of the Garden Tomb, believed to the place where Jesus Christ was laid after his crucifixion. The empty tomb symbolizes that Jesus Christ is, indeed, the “resurrection and the life.”

Jesus Christ embodies in his resurrection, the ultimate triumph of life over death. As one translation of John 11:25 notes, “The whole power to restore, impart, and maintain life, resides in Me.” 1 Corinthians 15: 54 makes this powerful declaration: “Death is swallowed up (utterly vanquished forever) in and unto victory,” according to the Amp1lified Bible.

Gaither Vocal Band offers a song which expresses the ultimate the triumph of the “Resurrection”:

I am the resurrection and the life

December 7, 2014

John-11-25-26

Another in the series of seven metaphors related to the identity of Jesus Christ is found in John 11:25 (NLT), the Verse of the Day for December 7, 2014:

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.

The context for this comparison is set with the beloved friend of Jesus, Lazarus, who has died. From this particular narrative comes the shortest verse in the King James Bible found in John 11: 35: “Jesus wept.” The lyrics to an original song “Can You See Messiah Weeping?” provide an account of what happened:

Can you see Messiah weeping, weeping?

Messiah is weeping because of his dear friend.

On the fourth day Jesus came to Bethany

where Lazurus was sleeping, sleeping.

His life had come to an end.

Then Jesus plainly said, Lazurus is dead, Lazurus is dead.

 

His sisters ran to him and cried

Had you been here he would not have died.

Had you been here he would not have died.

Jesus answered, and he said in this death God will be glorified,

In this death God will be glorified.

 

As Jesus told the sisters, so he speaks to us:

I am the resurrection and the life.

He that believes on me, though he dies,

Yet shall he also live.

Believe on me and you shall arise.

Believe on me and you shall arise.

Though we may die, we shall arise.

Like Lazurus, we shall arise.

Nevermore to die, nevermore to die.

Gotquestions.org commented on this situation:

When Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life,’ He was claiming to be the source of both. There is no resurrection apart from Christ, and there is no eternal life apart from Christ. Beyond that, Jesus was also making a statement concerning His divine nature. He does more than give life; He is life, and therefore death has no ultimate power over Him. Jesus confers this spiritual life on those who believe in Him, so that they share His triumph over death. Believers in Jesus Christ will experience the resurrection because having the life that Jesus gives makes it is impossible for death to defeat them.

Garden tomb

The photo is of the Garden Tomb, believed to the place where Jesus Christ was laid after his crucifixion. The empty tomb symbolizes that Jesus Christ is, indeed, the “resurrection and the life.”

Reflections on the Resurrection: Three poems and three songs

April 17, 2014

empty tomb new

In reflecting upon the events leading up the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ and his subsequent resurrection, three poems came to mind that I would like to share in this blog entry for the Thursday of Holy Week. From time to time I attempt to comprehend to a limited degree the unimaginable anguish and suffering that the Savior took upon himself on my behalf. The scriptures speak of “Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith . . . who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame. . . .” As I read about or view in a film or some other graphic portrayal, such as The Passion of the Christ, I am sometimes tempted to scream, “Enough is enough.” Such sentiments I express in this first poem which was composed on Resurrection Sunday, March 31, 2001:

More than Enough

How much is enough?

Can you measure the length of each scar on his back?

Can you trace the depth of each gash and follow each track?

Can you extract and analyze sweat, like drops of blood?

Can you remove water and blood and then weigh the good?

Can you collect the tears and hold them in a vial?

Can you assess the shame and disgrace of trumped up trial?

How much is enough?

 

One more mocking bow, one more man to spit in his face,

One more taunting gesture, one more mark of disgrace.

One more lash, one more gash, one more blow to the head,

As he endured the cross, despising the shame as he bled.

To smash once more, one blow short of certain death.

He cried, “It is finished” then yielded his last breath.

 

How much is enough?

Who can assess the worth of his blood and establish a price

For the precious Lamb of God, unblemished, sinless sacrifice?

God’s bounty of mercy is sufficient. His deep love will suffice.

Despite the deficit, God balances each account to set it right.

Where sin once had free reign, now grace has abounded instead.

The Lord himself provided the Lamb, whom He raised from the dead.

In His gracious goodness Jehovah-Jireh reminds us

That He is more than enough, yes, so much more than enough.

 

Listen to this corresponding musical composition, “More than Enough” by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir:

Taking It Personally

As is often the case, Holy Week, or the commemoration of the last week of Jesus Christ’s life on earth, takes place during the same period as the Jewish Passover celebration. Such was the case in 1998 when Passover began at sunset on Good Friday, April 15. The congregation at my church partook of the Lord Supper or Holy Communion, and although I had taken communion seemingly countless times prior to that particular occasion, I apprehended to a much greater degree the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ and was inspired to compose this poem:

Taking It Personally

Isaiah 53

 

Cursed with a curse, He was hung on a tree.

The suffering servant bartered for a price,

Battered and bruised for my iniquity.

Behold the Lamb, unblemished sacrifice,

Offered once, Jesus Christ, my Passover.

Afflicted, stricken, smitten that God should

Freely pour out His mercy, moreover,

Lay on Him the chastisement of my peace.

From His side flowed water and sinless blood,

A new covenant established that I might cease

From dead works by a new and living way.

God’s good pleasure no longer concealed

But memorialized this solemn day.

Man of sorrows, with His stripes I am healed

In spirit, mind and body, for I am

Quickened and cleansed by the blood of the Lamb.

April 15, 1998

Passover

 

Recently I discovered this recording which expresses in part my response on that unforgettable Good Friday/Passover: “Just for Me” by Donnie McClurkin.

Witness

On a number of past occasions, when I first awoke on Resurrection Sunday, I would greet my wife or our daughters with the words “He is risen,” and the corresponding response would be “He is risen, indeed.” This phrase turns out to be the closing phrase in this poem:

Witness

Luke 24:1-9

The account of the women at the empty tomb

 

Though we did not journey with the women

In the dark before dawn that first day,

Nor were we walking, weeping with them when

Two angels spoke, nor did we hear them say,

“He is not here but risen as he said;

Recall that on the third day he should rise;

Why seek you the living among the dead?”

Though we did not see with our naked eyes,

In our hearts we know God’s desire to bless.

Though we did not touch Christ nor did we see

The open tomb, yet we still bear witness.

We have a more sure word of prophecy.

By the spirit, fruit of our Promised Seed,

We surely know He is risen, risen, indeed.

“My Soul is a Witness” is a traditional Black spiritual sung by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in a recording made in 1920. Click here to access a link to an article discussing the contribution of this musical ensemble who were pioneers in developing the spiritual and sharing it with the world. The group has a special connection with Columbus, Ohio where I formerly lived.

Because of what the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished through his suffering, his death, burial and resurrection, we can all be “a witness for my Lord.”

Reflections on the Resurrection

April 24, 2011

The words of Jesus Christ remind us of his unique position as the Son of God, raised from the dead, who is alive forevermore.

This morning as my thoughts turned toward the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, I remembered a poem inspired by the accomplished work of Jesus Christ expressed in Colossians 2:12-15 from the New Living Testament:

12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

 13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.

14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

 

Having…Having…Having…Having…Having…He made….

                     Colossians 2:12-15

                        

Having forgiven all trespasses against us:

     For every time we tried but failed and missed the mark,

     When our flesh faltered, we received new strength within.

     Christ, the Lord, washed and cleansed us from the stain of sin.

     God made us to be lights that overcome the dark.

     He set us free to sing on the wing, as a lark,

Having forgiven all trespasses against us.

Having wiped out handwriting of ordinances:

     The hand that records each failure to keep the Law

     Graciously blots out each shortfall and each mistake

     And releases us from penalty, for Christ’s sake.

     Through the eyes of love, He looked beyond what He saw

     To decree that flesh should not be a fatal flaw,

Having wiped out handwriting of ordinances.

Having taken it far from us, out of the way:

     Guilt and shame removed and replaced with righteousness;

     Transformed and fashioned with a new identity,

     We stand in His presence, revealing the mystery.

     Hurled and buried in the sea of forgetfulness,

     The curse of sin has been replaced with blessedness,

Having taken it far from us, out of the way.

Having nailed it to the cross as a bold display,

     Turning into triumph what seemed to be disgrace,

     Symbolic sign displaying both shame and glory,

     Dramatic unfolding of the greatest story.

     To show his love for all, Christ took our place

     To flaunt the victory right in the enemy’s face,

Having nailed it to the cross as a bold display.

Having disarmed principalities and powers,

     Our triumphant warrior defeated every foe,

     Crushing at once the head of the deadly serpent

     To achieve our victory to the fullest extent.

     To perform the greater works of Christ as we grow,

     God enlightens and empowers that we might know,

Having disarmed principalities and powers.

He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

     Coming attractions describe the Spectacular

           Super-conquering show:

     The captor has been made captive, prisoner without parole

           in his own prison,

     The accuser of brethren, once idolized,

           now the source of derision,

      Stripped, crippled, toppled and trampled

           To be brought ever so low;

     A foretaste of the day when every tongue shall confess

           And every knee shall bow.

He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Earlier in the month I had published my Top 10 List of Songs celebrating the Resurrection. Each individual article in the series includes historical information regarding the song along with a video rendition of some of my favorite “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” Many of the songs in the list could be associated with the passage from Colossians that makes known the ultimate triumph of Jesus Christ over the enemy, displayed so magnificently in the resurrection and its victorious aftermath. Click here to read about and listen to some of the favorite songs of this special season.