The Day That Sets Apart a Faith - Soapbox Rewind
"On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus." - Luke 24 1:1-3 New International Version of the Holy Bible
Since Jesus was crucified on a Friday and Shabbat - or the Sabbath - began at sundown, His flowerers had not been able to carry out the anointing of His body with the fragrant spices and ointments and it had to be delayed until Sunday morning, after the Jewish religious law forbidding working on the Sabbath was lifted.
Wondering who was going to roll the heavy stone across the entrance of the tomb away so they could enter, the women, followers of Jesus, headed for the garden tomb where His body had been laid.
When they got there, not only had the stone been rolled away, but the body of Jesus was gone.
"Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!" - Luke 24:5-6
And therein lies the fact that separates Christianity from every other faith, a fact that had been predicted by Old Testament prophets centuries before, a savior who would be "hung on a tree" (Crucified on a cross) taking the sins of mankind upon Himself and rising again from the dead.
The fact that Jesus died on the cross was witnessed and attested to by many and the fact that He rose from the dead and was seen by at least 500 people after His resurrection is unassailable.
And to His followers, His return to the earth is just as certain, in fact judging by Bible prophecy the day of His return could be fast approaching.
And something to consider, if Jesus is but one of any number of different paths to God - as many people today believe - then why was it so important for the Son of God to suffer a flogging so brutal that the skin on his back was ripped to shreds, exposing the bones from His ribs? Why was it necessary that He hang on a cross and suffer a slow and agonizing death? If Jesus is only one of many paths, why did God make Him become the sacrificial lamb to conquer mankind's sin once and for all?
Why? Because as He said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me." - John 14:6
In all the other religions in the world, there is no god who took on the flesh of a human being, who died and rose from the dead, ascended into the heavens and promises to one day come back and gather His followers and take them to a place of indescribable joy to spend all eternity with Him.
If one element of the prophecy had been missing, if He had died in another manner than being crucified, or if any number of the Old Testament's foretelling about the life and death of Jesus had not been fulfilled, the story could reasonably be doubted.
But as in all things, God fulfilled the birth, life, death and resurrection of His only begotten Son down to the Nth degree, even the fact that He would be "pierced for our transgressions" (Isaiah 53), as He was by a Roman soldier's sword.
All across the world this Easter - or as many believers call it, Resurrection Day - will be celebrated by the faithful, and what a wonderful time of year it is, a time of new beginnings, when earth has finished her long winter sleep and new life has sprung forth, the resurrection of dormant plants and seeds and the beauty of God's creation puts on its new garments, each new blossom, each bird's song, a visible and audible praise to the Creator.
To try to fathom the depth of God's love to send His only begotten Son to earth is impossible, especially in light of the fact that, in His foreknowledge, He knew how so much of the world would not even acknowledge Christ's sacrifice and would deny His deity and turn their backs on the God who created them.
And what kind of love motivated Jesus to hang on that cross for hours, suffocating, the only way to get a good breath was to push against the nails in His feet and pull against the nails in His hands to lift himself up to catch a breath. I can't even imagine the pain.
All this when - if He had asked - His Father would have sent down a legion of angels to rescue Him and annihilate the entire Roman army.
But He hung there for something like six hours, slowly dying an agonizing death, forsaken, alone suffering physical agony and mental anguish until at last He breathed His last and said "It is finished".
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." - John 13:34-35
His enemies thought they had won, however the death of His physical body was not the end, but the beginning. Love conquers all.
Christ has risen!
He has risen indeed!
Wishing a happy and blessed Easter to all.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels - 2017
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