Tag Archives: Resurrection

The Fruit of God’s Love

26 Mar

Sorry. There’s really nothing funny about Resurrection Day. Oh there are lots of jokes about bunnies and Easter eggs, like:

  • Question: How many Easter eggs can you put in an empty basket
    • Answer: One. (After that, it’s not empty anymore!)
  • Question: How does the Easter bunny stay in shape?
    • Answer: Hareobics.
  • Question: What does the Easter Bunny have on his I-Pod?
    • Answer: Hip-Hop!

But jokes about Jesus who died on the cross for our sins and then rose to give us new life?

No. That’s not a joking matter.

But it IS a time for celebration. I can laugh out loud with joy that Jesus overcame death and the evil one and now calls people to new life.

About four weeks ago, I saw a sign at Hobby Lobby that was a play on the old Trix cereal commercial. The sign read:

Silly Rabbit, Easter is for Jesus.

SillyRabbit_EasterIsForJesus_SignSeenAtHobbyLobbyWhile funny—and I did laugh—the sign isn’t completely accurate.

Easter is a secular holiday to celebrate spring; Resurrection Day is “for Jesus.”

(In truth, for the Christian every day is supposed to be for Jesus, but I’m making a point here.)

There are at least two days most Christians hold as sacred and celebrate: Christmas and Resurrection Day (which many still call Easter). They both commemorate something special about the Lord we love. 

It’s been my choice through the years to keep these days special, because in the midst of all the “fun stuff,” I want to honor Him.

Thomas Cotterill wrote these words that remind me why I love this day:

On this auspicious morn The Lord of Life arose;

He burst the bars of death, And vanquished all our foes:

And now He pleads our cause above,

And reaps the fruits of all His love.*

When I read that I suddenly thought: Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, I am a “fruit of all His love!”

Today, my prayer is,

“Thank you, Jesus, for this and every Resurrection Day that reminds us what You did for us! Thank you that I am the fruit of Your love.”

Jesus, God’s Son:

CrossOnBlue_ChristIsRisen_HCTSaves and redeems us (Ephesians 1:7-10; Colossians 1:13-14).

Forgives us (1 John 1:8-10; Luke 24:47; Romans 3:23; 6:23).

Makes us holy (1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Hebrews 10:10; Romans 6:18; 12:1-2).

Gives us life with Him now and forever (John 3:16; 11:25-26; 17:3; 1 John 2:25).

Understanding God’s way of salvation isn’t hard, but people are free to believe or not.

The Lord made the way of salvation plain

Do you know Jesus—not just do you know about Him, but are you living in a relationship with Him? If you know the Lord, celebrate this Resurrection Day with joy and peace in your heart!

 – * Hymn: “Awake, Ye Saints, Awake” by Thomas Cotterill.

 – Dawn

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Death Cannot Hold Us Down

8 Apr

Children’s ideas of death and resurrection often surprise us. TV legend Art Linkletter once had a TV show highlighting the funny things children say. One of his funniest stories was about a seven-year-old boy whose dog had died.

To make the teary-eyed boy feel better, Linkletter said, “Don’t be sad, because your dog is up in heaven with God.”

The boy thought about this for a second and then said, “Mr. Linkletter, what would God want with a dead dog?”

Right. No dead things in heaven.

[By the way, we can’t know for sure about dogs’ destination… but Randy Alcorn has a wonderful chapter about pets in his book, Heaven. It encouraged me when my Jack Russell Terrier died.]

The truth is, God is all about giving life. We celebrate that truth on Easter; we celebrate the resurrection.

I got a kick reading about a four-year-old girl’s description of Jesus’ resurrection: “And three days later,” she said, “He snuck right out!”

Cute, but not true. Jesus didn’t sneak out of the grave.

Our Lord emerged triumphant over death, and showed Himself to hundreds of people in 12 appearances after His resurrection!

He appeared to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9; John 20:10-18). He appeared to the women returning from the tomb (Matthew 28:9-10) and to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32; Mark 16:12-13).

He appeared to Simon (Cephas, or Peter) in Jerusalem (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5). He appeared to the disciples and others in a locked room in Jerusalem ~Thomas not being present (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-23). A week later, Jesus appeared again to His disciples, and Thomas saw Him (John 20:24-29).

He appeared to seven disciples at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-24), and to 500 believers at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6). He appeared three more times to various disciples (1 Corinthians 15:7; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:50-53) before His ascension to heaven ~ and then to Paul after the ascension! (Acts 9:3-6; 1 Corinthians 15:8).

The wonderful consequence of Jesus’ resurrection for us today is this: because He lives, we too shall live (John 14:19). Jesus’ resurrection was more than an event. In John 11:15, He said, “I am the resurrection and the life…” He is the resurrection. He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) ~ the only way to live forever with God.

Just as death could not hold Jesus in the grave, the scriptures say, “whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:26). I echo Jesus’ words: “Do you believe this?”

Christians who are blood-bought and in Christ are heaven-bound, eternal creatures. The glorious truth is, Death cannot hold us down.

 

I Love Happy Endings

28 Jul

DaisyThe other day when I visited my “granddogger,” Daisy, (a female pup my son owns), I had to laugh when my son and his wife talked about the cost of Daisy’s haircut. It reminded me of this cute joke:

A friend took her dog to the parlor for a haircut, and asked what it would cost. Being told that it would cost her $50, she was outraged.

“I only pay 30 bucks for my own haircut!” she said.

The groomer replied, “That may be true. But then, you don’t bite, do you? (1)

Daisy has a long, swishy tail that acts like a propeller when she’s happy.Daisy on grass

That reminds me of young Jonathan, who had been promised a new puppy for his tenth birthday. He had a tough time choosing one from the dozen likely candidates at the neighborhood pet shop.

Finally, he decided on one nondescript, shaggy pup who was wagging his tail furiously.

Explained Jonathan, “I want the one with the happy ending!” (2)

Happy endings. We all love it when stories end well, don’t we? There’s that sigh of joy … the “aaaaaah” factor when a tale ends well.

Unfortunately, although that might work well in Hollywood, in real life, some stories don’t have happy endings. There are divorces that destroy whole families, financial struggles that overwhelm, and problems with no easy solutions.

Jesus said that we would have tribulation and trials in life (John 16:33). It’s just part of the human condition, brought about by the entrance of sin in the world (Romans 5:12). But in that same verse, Jesus said we can take heart because He has triumphed. In Jesus, there is hope (Titus 1:2) … He is our Hope (1 Timothy 1:1). There is hope and encouragement for our days on earth (1 John 3:2-3), and an ultimate future reward (Ephesians 1:181 Peter 1:3).

Hope in Jesus ChristOur happy ending is sure because of Jesus’ resurrection. It’s not a fairy tale happy ending to a story about a wise teacher, but a sure hope based on the truth surrounding who Jesus is ~ God, the Son.

Jesus died for our sins, but the resurrection is what makes Christianity distinct from mere religion. Other leaders of religions may have lived exemplary lives, led great movements, and even died a martyr’s death ~ but not one of them was raised from the dead.

The resurrection proved that God’s purpose for mankind in redemption was accomplished (1 Corinthians 15:13-20). (Evidence for the Resurrection.)

We have peace, power, victory, security, hope … and we will be with Jesus throughout eternity. Because Jesus lives, we, too, will live (John 14:19) ~ that is our happy ending!

(1) http://funnyjokes4me.blogspot.com/2009/07/clean-jokes-dog-haircut.html

(2) Michael Hodgin, 1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking, (Zondervan, 2004), #305, p. 128

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