Why think that (3) … Jesus rose from the dead

The central event of the Christian faith is the resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus stayed dead then his own predictions proved false – he was nothing more than a good man with some interesting teaching. But if Jesus rose from the dead then he is someone really special – someone worth believing. What’s more if Jesus rose from the dead then perhaps death isn’t the end – perhaps there is a way for others to overcome death too.

Jesus Resurrection 1778

Jesus Resurrection 1778 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now resurrection isn’t usual. This sort of things doesn’t just happen. Dead people do not come back to life again. So I know full well asking you to believe that Jesus rose from the dead is asking a lot – its asking you to believe in miracles. That’s a problem for some people – we’ll come back to that in Part Two. For now just consider two things: (1) if God created life then surely he is able recreate life, even after it has died, and (2) there is good reason why God might want to be resurrect Jesus, so as to prove that Jesus is God’s representative and to prove that there is life after death. So perhaps you’ll allow that this kind of miracle is a possibility. Now let’s look at the historical evidence. We can summarise the case in four points:

Firstly, Jesus died on the cross. This is not particularly controversial. It was accepted by non-Christians like Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian and the writers of the Talmud. It is, of course, also the unanimous testimony of Christian sources, like the gospels and the letters. Modern medical appraisals of crucifixion have concluded that Jesus could not have survived what he suffered and, in any case, the Romans had ways of ensuring their victims died.

14th century Byzantine Icon of the Descent from the Cross from the Church of Saint Marina in Kalopanagiotis, Cyprus. St. Joseph of Arimathea is the figure standing in the center, in blue-green robes holding the Body of Christ.

14th century Byzantine Icon of the Descent from the Cross from the Church of Saint Marina in Kalopanagiotis, Cyprus. St. Joseph of Arimathea is the figure standing in the center, in blue-green robes holding the Body of Christ.Secondly, Jesus was buried in a tomb. This is also not particularly controversial. The earliest Christian preachers described Jesus being laid in a tomb (Acts 13:28-29). The gospels record how Joseph of Arimathea took the body of Jesus and laid it in his tomb (Mark 15:46; Matt 27:59-60; Luke 23:53; John 19:41-42). The early reverence of a tomb in Jerusalem (whether or not this is actually the tomb of Jesus) is another witness of the type of burial given to Jesus. And no ancient critic of Christianity – whether Jewish or pagan – ever suggested that Jesus was buried somewhere else.

Thirdly, three days later the tomb of Jesus was empty. This is important because for both Jews and pagans “resurrection” (anastasis) meant bodily resurrection – if Jesus was alive again, his tomb must be empty. Again this is a feature of the earliest Christian preaching (cf. Acts 2:29-32) and the gospel records (Mark 16:1-8; Matt 28:1-10; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10). But it is also a feature of the early Jewish accounts of Jesus – from the first century onwards they claimed that the disciple stole the body (Matt 28:11-15; Justin, Dialogue 108; Tertullian, De Spectaculis 30; Toledoth Yeshu 9-10). This story presupposes that they thought the tomb was empty (they would hardly tell such a story if Jesus was still in the tomb). The fact that Caesar issued a decree against moving bodies from sealed tombs and had it inscribed on a stone in Nazareth probably indicates that he too had heard the story that the tomb of Jesus was empty (this decree is known as The Nazareth Inscription).

Fourthly, the early Christians claimed to have seen the risen Jesus. When writing a letter to the church at Corinth in the mid-50s, Paul lists those who saw Jesus after his resurrection, including the twelve disciples and Jesus’ brother James. He even says there are over five hundred other witnesses, many of whom were still alive when he wrote (1 Cor 15:5-8). These claims are also a feature of the earliest Christian preaching (Acts 2:32, 3:15, 10:39-40), the gospels (John 20:11-18; Luke 24:34; Matt 28:15-17, etc.), other New Testament texts (e.g. 1 Pet 1:3; Rom 1:4; Phil 3:10; Heb 13:20; Rev 1:18) and other first century Christian texts (Didache 10:2; 1 Clement 24:1; Barnabas 5:7).

ANGELICO, Fra Resurrection of Christ and Women...

Angelico, Fra Resurrection of Christ and Women at the Tomb Fresco, 189 x 164 cm Convento di San Marco, Florence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This evidence is early, based upon eyewitness testimony and has a consistent core – that Jesus died, was buried and rose again. The resurrection of Jesus is, by far, the simplest explanation of the historical evidence.

What about the alternatives? Well, a number of alternative theories have been suggested to explain the evidence but none has managed to convince the majority of scholars. Those scholars who deny the resurrection generally tend to not give a verdict on the evidence. But, for completeness, let us consider briefly just one oft-repeated alternative. It goes something like this: the disciples stole the body and then pretended Jesus was alive again to promote their new religion. After all, the first century Jews claimed that the disciples stole the body.

However, this alternative theory just does not work for a number of reasons. Firstly, if this was a conspiracy then it was a huge conspiracy (over 500 witnesses). Secondly, the disciples had no motivation for the deception – when other Jewish cult leaders and “messiahs” had met gruesome ends their followers had just disbanded. The early disciples gained neither money, status or fame from their preaching. Thirdly, the disciples had everything to lose from such a deception. They were persecuted, imprisoned and executed by both Jewish and Roman authorities. Early witnesses, like Peter and Paul, met their deaths refusing to renounce their faith. Would you die for a lie?

The simple fact is that the historical evidence is clear and consistent. And if the event in question wasn’t so controversial then I don’t think anybody would doubt it. Unfortunately it is controversial. Because if the resurrection is false then Christianity is false. And if the resurrection is true then Christianity (or at least its core claims) are also true. So a lot hangs on this question. And at the end of the day you’re going to have to make up your own mind for yourself. But if you think that resurrection is possible and if, like me, you think the historical evidence is strong, then you have good reason for thinking that Jesus rose from the dead.

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Note: Lucian of Samosata

 

Preceding articles:

Why think that (1) … Jesus existed?

Why think that (2) … Jesus claimed to be something special

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Related articles:

  1. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  2. Glory of God appearing in our character
  3. On the Nature of Christ
  4. Certainty in a troubled world
  5. Let me keep to “first importance” things
  6. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms
  7. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism
  8. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  9. 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast
  10. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  11. A Living Faith #8 Change
  12. The day Jesus died
  13. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  14. Jesus is risen
  15. Risen With Him
  16. 3 Reasons the Resurrection Matters
  17. Seven full weeks or seven completed Sabbaths and ascension of Jesus
  18. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  19. Shabbat Pesach service reading 2/2
  20. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  21. Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday
  22. Easter: Origins in a pagan Christ
  23. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  24. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice

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  • What criteria do historians use to get to the minimal facts about the historical Jesus? (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    Have you ever heard Gary Habermas, Michael Licona or William Lane Craig defend the resurrection of Jesus as the best explanation for the “minimal facts” about Jesus? The lists of minimal facts that they use are typically agreed to by their opponents during the debates.
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    There are actually a few more reasons for believing in the empty tomb that he doesn’t go into in the debate, but you can find them in his written work. For example, in his essay on Gerd Ludemann’s “vision” hypothesis. That essay covers the reasons for all four of his minimal facts.
  • Rationality of The Resurrection of Jesus (withalliamgod.wordpress.com)
    Moving from historical data to the best explanation of that data Crossan and Ehrman robustly rejects resurrections hypothesis. Their rejection is not based on historical data, but on what best explain these data. It is not a historical based rejection but a philosophical one, the impossibility of miracles.
  • The Resurrection is Believable (burrissblog.wordpress.com)
    Opponents of Christianity and skeptical minds have always questioned the resurrection, just as they question many other teachings of Christianity. Such skeptics are more common in contemporary America, but they have always been around. What is surprising is that more and more Christians are stating their skepticism about the resurrection.
  • William Lane Craig’s case for the resurrection of Jesus (winteryknight.wordpress.com)

    Certain appearances have earmarks of historicity. For example, we have good evidence from the gospels that neither James nor any of Jesus’ younger brothers believed in him during his lifetime. There is no reason to think that the early church would generate fictitious stories concerning the unbelief of Jesus’ family had they been faithful followers all along. But it is indisputable that James and his brothers did become active Christian believers following Jesus’ death. James was considered an apostle and eventually rose to the position of leadership of the Jerusalem church. According to the first century Jewish historian Josephus, James was martyred for his faith in Christ in the late AD 60s. Now most of us have brothers. What would it take to convince you that your brother is the Lord, such that you would be ready to die for that belief? Can there be any doubt that this remarkable transformation in Jesus’ younger brother took place because, in Paul’s words, “then he appeared to James”?

    Even Gert Ludemann, the leading German critic of the resurrection, himself admits, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.”
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    Gerd Ludemann is actually an atheist new Testament historian, and he has even debated Dr. Craig on the resurrection – not once, but twice. That’s the kind of evidence Dr. Craig uses in his case. Not just what your pastor will give you, but what atheists will give you. We need to learn to debate like that.

     

  • ‘Jesus Discovery:’ Jerusalem Archeology Reveals Birth Of Christianity (fourbluehills.com)
  • What are the arguments for the histority of the empty tomb? (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    The concept of resurrection in use among the first converts to Christianity was a Jewish concept of resurrection. And that concept of resurrection is unequivocally in favor of a bodily resurrection. The body (soma) that went into the grave is the body (soma) that came out.
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    It’s significant that the belief in the resurrection started off in the city where the tomb was located. Anyone, such as the Romans or Jewish high priests, who wanted to nip the movement in the bud could easily have produced the body to end it all. They did not do so, because they could not do so, although they had every reason to do so.
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    The phrase “on the third day” probably points to the discovery of the empty tomb. Very briefly summarized, the point is that since no one actually witnessed the resurrection of Jesus, how did Christians come to date it “on the third day?” The most probable answer is that they did so because this was the day of the discovery of the empty tomb by Jesus’ women followers. Hence, the resurrection itself came to be dated on that day. Thus, in the old Christian formula quoted by Paul we have extremely early evidence for the existence of Jesus’ empty tomb.
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    Note how careful Craig is not to imply that the guard tradition is historical, because we can’t prove the guard as a “minimal fact”, since it doesn’t pass the standard historical criteria.
  • William Lane Craig debates James Crossley on the resurrection of Jesus (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    The burial story supports the empty tomb

    • the site of Jesus’ grave was known
    • the disciples could not proclaim a resurrection if the body were still in it
    • the antagonists to the early Christians could have produced the body

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    Paul was hostile to the early church when he got his appearance
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    there is multiple independent attestation, then it cannot be a creative fiction invented in Mark alone
    regarding the women, even though Jesus respected the women, their testimony would not be convincing to others, so why invent a story where they are the witnesses
    the male disciples did not flee the scene, for example, Peter was there to deny Jesus three times

  • the angel is not authoritative, because the angel cannot be questioned, but the women can be questioned
    there was no response on the lack of embellishment
    there was no response to the earliest Jewish response implying that the tomb was empty
  • The Significance of the Resurrection (spyghana.com)
    The religious leaders would certainly have had enough reason for doing so. They had heard that Jesus had talked of resurrection, and were afraid of hanky-panky. So the argument runs, in order to forestall trickery, they took the precaution of confiscating the corpse. But when this is put into scrutiny, this conjecture also falls into pieces.Having placed the guards at the tomb, what would be their reason for moving the body of Jesus? If the authorities moved the body of Jesus, why didn’t they bring it when the apostles were boldly preaching about the resurrection in Jerusalem? The religious leaders did everything in their power to suppress the preaching on the resurrection. They even arrested Peter and John (Acts 4) and beat them, and threatened them in an effort to silence them.A few weeks of Jesus’ death, the disciples were boldly proclaiming the resurrection. The news spread rapidly. The new Christian movement threatened to undermine the stronghold of Judaism and disturb the peace of Jerusalem. The Jews feared conversion and the Romans detested riots. The authorities had before them one course of action. The Religious leaders could have produced the remains of the corpse of Jesus and published a statement of what they had done. They could have paraded the body of Jesus through the streets of Jerusalem, if indeed, they had it, and that would have smothered Christianity in its cradle. 
  • Guest Post – Jesus’ resurrection and the empty tomb (bennasmith.wordpress.com)
    Why would Matthew fabricate a Jewish cover-story and falsely suggest that it “has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day” (Matt 28:15 NIV)?  He wouldn’t.  Clearly his Jewish audience would have already heard the cover-story.  This is probably why Matthew seeks to rebut it.
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    It is wholly implausible that Jesus’ disciples stole his body.  They were broken and confused.  Their Messiah was dead and they had nothing to gain from stealing his body and then claiming he rose from the dead.  Indeed, they suffered greatly for this claim.No amount of cognitive dissonance could possibly motivate every disciple to claim their Messiah was alive when they knew he wasn’t.  We might at most expect them to find a new Messiah, but they didn’t.The second suspects are grave robbers hoping to make a profit.  However, the Gospels of Luke and John record that Jesus’ grave clothes remaining in the tomb. Why would any grave robbers leave the clothes behind?  Moving a body by itself would be incredibly messy.  Those looking for burial spices would almost certainly simply have carried off the wrapped body and removed the spices in a safe place. Even the clothes themselves could have been sold later on.Perhaps instead the robbers wanted body parts for magic practices.  This is unlikely since there is no evidence that stealing bodies for magical purposes was much of a problem in first-century Palestine.

     

  • John, when he reached the tomb, saw and believed (fggam.org)
    John in his first epistle testifies: What we have seen, heard, and touched we proclaim as the word of life which existed “from the beginning” (1 John 1:1-4). John bears witness to what has existed from all eternity.  This “Word of Life” is Jesus the Word incarnate, but also Jesus as the Word announced by the prophets and Jesus the Word now preached throughout the Christian church for all ages to come. One thing is certain, if Jesus had not risen from the dead and appeared to his disciples, we would never have heard of him.  Nothing else could have changed sad and despairing men and women into people radiant with joy and courage. The reality of the resurrection is the central fact of the Christian faith. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Lord gives us “eyes of faith” to know him and the power of his resurrection. The greatest joy we can have is to encounter the living Christ and to know him personally as our Savior and Lord.the witnesses were in Jerusalem, so they were in a position to knowif the story is made up, who cares what the male disciples did, just invent them on the scene anyway

 

3 Reasons the Resurrection Matters

The resurrection of Jesus (alongside his crucifixion) is by the majority of Christians the central historical event in the Christian faith. You could say that

Without the resurrection there would be no Christianity.

The Jewish fighter against the first followers of Christ, after some time changed  his mind and wrote to the Corinthian community:

“If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14).

The Resurrection of Christ (Kinnaird Resurrection)

The Resurrection of Christ (Kinnaird Resurrection) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of people came to the faith because of the tremendous stories they heard and because they came to believe that resurrection of Christ Jesus was not a joke or a fairy tale. Many do not stand still what importance such an act of coming of the dead, by a man really means. Those trinitarian (believing in a three godhead) Christians who take Jesus to be God nullify his death, because the God of gods can not die, and make a farce of this man, who only wanted to follow the will of his Father and not of himself.

“41 And he was parted from them about a stone’s cast; and he kneeled down and prayed, 42 saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:41-42 ASV)

We should understand that Jesus did not pray to himself, but to a much Higher Being, to Whom he would go later.

“28 and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who hath given [them] unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29 ASV)

“Ye heard how I said to you, I go away, and I come unto you. If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced, because I go unto the Father: for the Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28 ASV)

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father.” (John 14:12 ASV)

“Now I know that Jehovah is greater than all gods; yea, in the thing wherein they dealt proudly against them.” (Exodus 18:11 ASV)

Several Christians say they  believe in the resurrection and are convinced that after dying a violent death on a Roman cross on a Friday afternoon in 30 A.D., Jesus of Nazareth came back to life and emerged from the tomb on Sunday morning. Those days are not correct, but are not the subject of what we want to bring forward today.

Jesus, as a devote Jew celebrated the Passover or the liberation of God’s People. On the 14th of Nisan, the first month of the Judaic year, he with his closest friends installed a New Covenant, between his Father and those who wanted to come close to God . The Jews had got their opportunity to be the most praised people of God, but now others could also come into the House of God, thanks to what Jesus accomplished.

He was a man of flesh and blood who could be tempted. His heavenly Father is a Spirit and has no flesh, blood or bones. God also can not be tempted and can not sin. Jesus himself never had claimed to be God and always had spoken with respect of his Father in heaven, without Him he could do nothing. Him always referring to his Father made the Pharisees willing to get rid of him.

“17  But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh even until now, and I work. 18 For this cause therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only brake the sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner.” (John 5:17-19 ASV)

“21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father. 22 Ye worship that which ye know not: we worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshippers. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:21-24 ASV)

That he was not a spirit he would proof to his disciples after he was taken our of the dead, after having resided for three days in hell. (In case many Christians could count well, they would not take Good Friday as a day Jesus died and Sunday being the day he stood up from the dead, because than he would not have been three days death.)

Lamentation at the Tomb, 15th century.

Lamentation at the Tomb, 15th century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We may already be happy those Christians say Jesus was put unto death, put in a grave (sheol = the hell) and was resurrected. They should come to see it was not Jesus who came from himself out of the grave, but that it was his Father Whom took him from the dead. This is important, because when Jesus is a man of flesh and blood, who can get up from being death, this makes it also possible for us. In case Jesus is God that does not proof anything for a humble human being, who can sin and probably did more than one sin in his or her life. When we know how severely God punished the first human beings and did not make an end straight ahead to this distorted situation and broken relation, we should wonder what the use would be in case God Himself would come to earth to play a man and to do as if He could be tempted and as if He could die. You might wonder why such a charade would have any use and why God than waited such a long time to come to this earth to play the role of Messiah.

From historical writing we got to know what happened in the past with the people who claim to be God His People. We also got to know about the Nazarene Jew Jeshua who did many miracles and who claimed to be the son of God, but never said he himself was God.

His resurrection is not easy to believe. But if it is true, it is the most pivotal event in human history. Much has been written in defense of Jesus’ resurrection, according to Brian G. Hedges, Lead Pastor for Fulkerson Park Baptist Church and the author of Christ Formed in You: The Power of the Gospel for Personal Change, Licensed to Kill: A Field Manual for Mortifying Sin, and Active Spirituality: Grace and Effort in the Christian Life, the most thorough and convincing book being N. T. Wright’s massive 800-page volume, The Resurrection of the Son of God. (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Volume 3) (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2003)

What is unquestionable is that the first generation of Jesus’ followers did believe he had risen, and were convinced that everything had changed as a result.

Consider just three of the ways the New Testament highlights the significance of the resurrection.

1. Jesus’ resurrection means that his sacrificial death on the cross was sufficient, and therefore our sins can be forgiven.

Paul emphasizes this in 1 Corinthians 15, reminding us that

“Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (vv. 3-4).

Then, in verse 17, he argues that

“if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”

In other words, Paul saw a direct connection between the resurrection of Jesus and the sufficiency of his death to atone for our sins. When Jesus rose again on the third day, it was the public announcement that God was fully satisfied with the sacrificial death of his son Jeshua.  In his resurrection, Jesus was vindicated (1 Timothy 3:16).  But in his vindication, we are vindicated too. That’s why Paul says in Romans 4 that Jesus

“was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:25).

2. Jesus’ resurrection means that death is defeated once and for all.

As Peter proclaimed on the Day of Pentecost,

“God raised [Jesus] from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:24).

The distinctive English image, with Christ ste...

The distinctive English image, with Christ stepping on a soldier, in a 14th century Nottingham alabaster relief (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are told that ‘Death‘ lost its grip on Jesus! Death could never have had a grip on God. But every man, though being created in the image of God, would, because of the sin of the first man, be in submission to death.

When Jesus was a man of flesh and blood and not a spirit, like his Father, this all makes sense. By the Father taking His son out of death and even by taking him to sit on his right site, to become a mediator between God and man, we have the assurance Jesus can mean something to us. He is not only our solicitor or privileged intercessor by the Most High, he is also an example to what can happen also to us.

The resurrection means that Jesus not only defeated death for himself, but that he defeated it for us. He died and rose as a new representative for humanity, as the Second Adam.

“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead,”

writes Paul,

“the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:20-22).

It is in that way that Jesus his disciple John looks at the genesis of the New World of Christ, where Jesus is that begin for all of us, the alpha, but also the end, the omega.

After the default Adam, we have a remake Adam to which we can refer; In him we find a new harddisk to start anew, fresh under his guidance, with his software.

His resurrection guarantees ours.

Perhaps no one has said this more eloquently than C. S. Lewis. In his 1947 book Miracles, Lewis wrote:

“The New Testament writers speak as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the ‘first fruits,’ the ‘pioneer of life.’ He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so. This is the beginning of the New Creation: a new chapter in cosmic history has been opened.”

The empty tomb assures us that sickness and suffering, death and disease will not have the final word.

This should be both personal and powerfully hope giving to all of us.

3. Jesus’ resurrection means that the material world matters.

Lest there be any misunderstanding, when the apostles said that Jesus rose again, they meant that his physical body came back to life. The risen Jesus wasn’t a phantom or ghost, but a breakfast-eating, flesh-and-bone, human being (see Luke 24:36-43 and John 21:10-14).

As the Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist John Updike once said,

Make no mistake: if He rose at all

it was as His body;

if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules

reknit, the amino acids rekindle,

the Church will fall.

When Jesus’ came out of the tomb in a physical body, it was God’s definitive stamp of approval on the creation project with all of its materiality. The resurrection shows us that matter matters. And this is why the early Christians looked to the future with confidence that the created order itself would be redeemed (see Romans 8:18-25).

Though we wait for the full consummation of new creation, the Scriptures also teach that the power that raised Jesus from the dead is already working within us (Ephesians 1:19-20). The resurrection, you see, not only assures of God’s forgiveness and comforts us in suffering as we anticipate the final reversal of death, disease, and decay; it also motivates and empowers us to push back the tide of suffering and evil in the present world, through word and deed, in mercy and in justice, all in Jesus’ name.

(Having taken in mind words from Brian G. Hedges,Lead Pastor for Fulkerson Park Baptist Church and the author of Christ Formed in You: The Power of the Gospel for Personal Change, Licensed to Kill: A Field Manual for Mortifying Sin, and Active Spirituality: Grace and Effort in the Christian Life. Brian and his wife Holly have four children and live in South Bend, Indiana. Brian also blogs at www.brianghedges.comand you can follow him on Twitter @brianghedges.)

End Notes


N. T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Volume 3) (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2003).

The Greek word for “justification” (dikaiosin) in Romans 4:25  is closely related to the word “vindicated” (edikaiothe) in 1 Timothy 3:16.

C. S. Lewis, Miracles (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1947) 236–237.

John Updike, “Seven Stanzas of Easter,” in Telephone Poles and Other Poems (Random House, 2013).

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Preceding articles:

Entrance of a king to question our position #1 Coming in the Name of the Lord

Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be

Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God

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Additional reading:

  1. The meek one riding on an ass
  2. The son of David and the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
  3. About a man who changed history of humankind
  4. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  5. Who was Jesus?
  6. On the Nature of Christ
  7. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  8. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son
  9. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  10. A man with an outstanding personality
  11. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  12. No Other Name (But Jesus)
  13. Servant of his Father
  14. Servant for the truth of God
  15. Slave for people and God
  16. Jesus spitting image of his father
  17. Reasons that Jesus was not God
  18. Jesus and his God
  19. The high calling of God in Christ Jesus
  20. Jesus Messiah
  21. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  22. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  23. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  24. Wishing to do the will of God
  25. Imprisonment and execution of Jesus Christ
  26. A Messiah to die
  27. Jesus memorial
  28. No person has greater love than this one who surrendered his soul in behalf of his friends
  29. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  30. The day Jesus died
  31. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  32. The Song of The Lamb #5 Revelation 5
  33. Why do we need a ransom?
  34. Ransom for all
  35. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  36. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  37. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  38. 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast
  39. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  40. 14 Nisan a day to remember #5 The Day to celebrate
  41. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  42. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  43. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  44. High Holidays not only for Israel
  45. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  46. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  47. Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?
  48. Swedish theologian finds historical proof Jesus did not die on a cross
  49. Impaled until death overtook him
  50. Jesus three days in hell
  51. Christ has indeed been raised from the dead
  52. Through Christ’s death you can be adopted as a child of God
  53. Jesus is risen
  54. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  55. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  56. Seeing Jesus
  57. Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
  58. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  59. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  60. One Mediator between God and man
  61. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  62. A fact of History or just a fancy Story
  63. The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
  64. Only one God
  65. God of gods
  66. God is One
  67. The Trinity – true or false?
  68. The Trinity – the Truth
  69. True Hope
  70. Epitome of the one faith
  71. Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition Matthew Chapter 27
  72. Hebraic Roots Bible Matthew Chapter 28
  73. Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2

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Related articles:

  1. Pre-Good Friday Rememberances
  2. The Festival Sabbaths and Preparation day
  3. Preparation day of Passover
  4. Weekly Torah Portion: Pesach (Passover) Week 1
  5. Passover, A seven-day festival
  6. The Passover Lamb
  7. Our Passover Lamb
  8. The Lamb of God
  9. He Says Concerning Himself “I am the Son of Elohim”
  10. Preparations for the Passover Meal – Luke 22: 7-13
  11. Passover and the Feast of First Fruits
  12. Passover Confusion?
  13. Jesus Christ, Our Passover
  14. Happy Passover!
  15. Passover and Good Friday are just hours away! – A Message from Bibles for Israel
  16. The Week With Two Sabbaths
  17. The Crucifixion Week
  18. Faith Without Obidience
  19. Easter Reflections: Betrayal, Trials, Denial, and Remorse
  20. Dave Hunt : Scripture reveals the answer Of .Crucifixion Week
  21. Tree of Jesus Life, the Suffering Christ, Passion Week
  22. Gospel according to Saint John – Chapter 19
  23. 10 proofs passover is a memorial
  24. Proof Jesus Died Just Before the Passover Feast in 33 AD
  25. The Day of Crucifixion and time of resurrection
  26. Easter
  27. The Empty Tomb
  28. The Passover Lamb has Gone Missing
  29. He is not here, He is risen, just as He said
  30. Happy Easter, He Is Risen!
  31. He Is Risen! – Matthew 28: 1-20
  32. He’s Risen! (Easter Sunday Reflections)
  33. Resurrection Sunday
  34. Easter scripture for today
  35. He Is Alive..
  36. Walk with Jesus: Matthew 27 He who overcame
  37. The Evolution of the Resurrection
  38. Oh Foolish People
  39. How long was Jesus in the grave?
  40. Solving the Three Day Three Night Mystery
  41. Yet Another Three Day Three Night Question
  42. Three Days Three Nights Follow Up

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  • Can you question the Resurrection and still be a Christian? (religionnews.com)
    Did Jesus literally rise from the dead in a bodily resurrection, as many traditionalist and conservative Christians believe? Or was his rising a symbolic one, a restoration of his spirit of love and compassion to the world, as members of some more liberal brands of Christianity hold?As Easter approaches, many Christians struggle with how to understand the Resurrection. How literally must one take the Gospel story of Jesus’ triumph to be called a Christian? Can one understand the Resurrection as a metaphor — perhaps not even believe it happened at all — and still claim to be a follower of Christ?
  • Resurrection – for ME? (aworldontheedge.com)
    Resurrection is defined in the dictionary as the act of causing something that had ended or been forgotten or lost to exist again, to be used again, etc.We come into this world innocent, and nothing can change that we’re made in the image and likeness of God. Part of each one of us is spiritual, like it or not. And it is that spirituality that draws us to God.
  • The Resurrection is Believable (burrissblog.wordpress.com)
    Opponents of Christianity and skeptical minds have always questioned the resurrection, just as they question many other teachings of Christianity. Such skeptics are more common in contemporary America, but they have always been around. What is surprising is that more and more Christians are stating their skepticism about the resurrection.
    +
    1. Something dramatic happened that changed the disciples from a hiding, defeated group to a group willing to die for their faith in Jesus. They were devastated when Jesus was killed. Did they just decide to reinterpret His death or did they see Him alive again?2. If Jesus’ dead body was in a tomb near Jerusalem, why didn’t His opponents simply bring out the dead body when His disciples started preaching that He was alive?
  • The Significance of the Resurrection (spyghana.com)
    The embalmed remains of Lenin lie in a crystal casket in a tomb in Red Square in Moscow. On the casket it says: “He was the greatest leader of all peoples, of all countries, of all times. He was the [savior] of the world!”All is in the past tense for Lenin. How forward-looking, by contrast, are the triumphant words of Christ: “I am He that [lives] . . . I am alive forevermore.”
    +
    What judge would listen to you in a court of law, if you said that while you were asleep your neighbor came into your house and stole your TV set? Who knows what goes on when he/she is asleep? A testimony like this would be ridiculed in a court of law. Besides, the guards would have lost their heads if they told the Roman governor, Pilate that they were asleep at their post and the disciples came and stole the body. Furthermore, we are faced with a psychological and ethical impossibility. Stealing the body of Jesus was something totally foreign to the disciples and all that we know of them. It would mean that they were perpetrators of a deliberate lie, which was responsible for the deception and the ultimate death of thousands of people.Each of the disciples faced the test of possible torture and martyrdom for his statements and beliefs. People will die for what they believe to be true, though it may actually be false. They do not, however, die for what they know is a lie. If anything is clear from the Gospels and the Book of Acts, it is that the apostles were sincere. They may have been deceived, if you like, but they were not deceivers. Hypocrites and martyrs are not made of the same stuff.
  • The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ Is The Greatest Single Event In Human History (fggam.org)
    Do you realize that Jesus never corrected, withdrew, or amended any statement He ever made? I wish I could say that! Jesus Christ never apologized for anything He ever did or said. Jesus Christ never sought advice from anyone, never had to ask for forgiveness. Jesus Christ doesn’t have any strong points. For Him to have strong points, He would have to have weak points.
  • Three Implications of the Empty Tomb (mainthings.wordpress.com)
    Paul says, if the King is risen and if the King is enthroned than nothing done for Him is meaningless. It is His triumph and not our fruitfulness that determines these realities.
  • Because of Easter, We Are Overcomers (chronicillnesspaindevotionals.wordpress.com)
    As I think about the power that God exerted to raise Christ from the dead, my human mind can’t fully comprehend what that entailed. But I do know that no other power is so great, and as a Christian, that power now lives in me.
  • The Resurrection of Jesus is not optional (gracedigest.com)
    Notice that there are three key parts to the gospel Paul preached. 1. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. 2. He was buried. 3. He as was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. This is important! If you take away the resurrection component you have nothing! Try sitting on a stool with two legs! Just so, a gospel without the resurrection of Jesus is no gospel (good news) at all! Paul went to great lengths to assure his readers that indeed Christ did rise from death.
  • Is Jesus’ Resurrection the Best Explanation of the Evidence? (jkw00d.wordpress.com)
    1. Historical claims are strong when supported by multiple, independent sources.
    2. Historical claims which are also attested to by enemies are more likely to be authentic since enemies are unsympathetic, and often hostile, witnesses.
    3. Historical claims which include embarrassing admissions reflect honest reporting rather than creative storytelling.
    4. Historical claims are strong when supported by eyewitness testimony.
    5. Historical claims which are supported by early testimony are more reliable and less likely to be the result of legendary development.+
      Some skeptics argue that Jesus may have been crucified but He did not actually die. Instead, He lost consciousness (swooned) and merely appeared to be dead only to later be revived in the cool, damp tomb in which He was laid. After reviving He made His way out of the tomb and presented Himself to His disciples as the “resurrected” Messiah. Thus the Christian religion begins.
  • The Doctrine Without Which Holy Week Is Not Good News (derekzrishmawy.com)
    Unless I am united to Christ, all of his obedience to the covenant, or righteousness, is not mine–I am left to stand on my own false works before the judge of all the earth. Unless I am united with Christ, then his sin-bearing death is not mine, and I am left to give an account for all my wicked sins. Unless I am united with Christ, I am not part of the crop of which Christ is the first-fruits, and I can only reap the death that  sin leads to and have no life through the Spirit.

Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be

Previously

In the previous writing we looked at the multitudes, being more obedient and yielding to the effect of the sign, who went to meet the Christ, hymning him as one who had conquered death, and carrying palm branches. And they do not praise him with ordinary language, but quote from the inspired Scripture that which was beautifully spoken with regard to him; confessing that he was indeed King of Israel, whom also they called specially their own king, accepting the lord-ship of the Christ.

We also saw that they spoke about the Son, they say, is Blessed: not because he who blesseth all things and guards them from destruction, and who is of the ineffable essence of the Father, receives the blessing which comes from the Father; but because the blessing which is due to One Who is God and Lord by Nature is offered to him from us, inasmuch as he came in the Name of the Lord.

Knowing his place under God

Many people in the old times as in the contemporary time do not see the prophetic language, which was quoted very suitably, with regard to that man that entered the gates of Jerusalem on a colt. For indeed some are called lords, who are not such by nature, but have the honourable name granted to them by favour. Many of them do not see the difference between tittles and names and do not remember that in the Holy Scriptures there is also spoken of a lot of gods and lords. In the Book of books men are also called “true,” when they abstain from falsehood: but this is not the thing to say with regard to Christ; for he is not called “Truth” for the reason that he does not speak falsely, but because he has that nature which is altogether superior to falsehood. He was a real man of flesh and blood and bones, having placed in the womb of his mother Miriam (Mary/Maria) from the lineage of king David. Though coming from a blue blood family, he was a simple ‘carpenters’ son. His earthly father Joseph was a skilled labourer. Jesus knew very well his place in the community, but also knew the task given by his heavenly Father, which was more important than his position on earth, where he could do nothing without his Father in heaven; Who is grater than him.

John 5:19-20 ESV  So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. (20)  For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.

Showing the work of his Father and the way to God

In the short period of Jesus his public life, he did many miracles, but never claimed to do them by himself, and never wanting people to thank him, but told them to thank his heavenly Father, Whom is also our Father.

File:Jesus Christ fragment.JPG

Jesus Christ fragment before his death

John 14:6-7 ESV  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (7)  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

John 14:28-31 ESV  You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. (29)  And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. (30)  I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, (31)  but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

The love of Jesus Christ (Jeshua from Nazareth) was with his heavenly Father, to whom he always prayed and taught others to pray to Him as well.

On Palm Sunday Catholics pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst ordain that our Lord Jesus Christ should sit upon the foal of an ass, and didst teach the multitude to spread their garments or branches of trees in the way and to sing Hosanna to His praise: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be able to imitate their innocence and deserve to partake of their merit.

A redeemer for the people coming to Jerusalem

File:14th-century unknown painters - The Osnabrück Altarpiece (detail) - WGA23756.jpg

Triumphal entry into Jerusalem – The Osnabrück Altarpiece (detail) Unknown Master, German (active 1370s in Westphalia)

Never did Jesus ask the people to honour him. Jesus was an humble man. This holy week we better think about that humbleness he kept. We should think about that man about whom the children cried out, saying:

This is he that is come for the salvation of the people. He is our salvation, and the redemption of Israel. How great is he whom the Thrones and Dominions go forth to meet! Fear not, O daughter of Sion; behold thy King cometh to thee sitting on an ass’s colt, as it is written.

By this man, sent form God, salvation could come over the people there but also here now.

The multitude in Jesus his time went forth to meet their redeemer with flowers and palms, and paid the homage due to a triumphant conqueror:

the Gentiles proclaim the Son of God; and their voices thunder through the skies in praise of Christ: Hosanna in the highest!

It was the time for the this one seated on the colt:

Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord: Hosanna in the Highest!

As Jeshua entered the holy city, the Hebrew children, went declaring the resurrection of life, with palm branches, cried out:

Hosanna in the highest.

An appeal to be stopped

The people in charge of Jerusalem city and its temple did not like it at all that when the people heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they went forth to meet him, showing more interest in him than in what the priests had to tell in what they considered to be the House of God.

For them it was better that this “Saviour” would not get any more attention. He had already received to much followers because he had taken their amazement by the many miracles he had done. His followers were also calling to take up the same mind which Christ Jesus showed them. How could they talk about his nature coming from the first, divine, and yet he did not see, in the rank of Godhead, a prize to be coveted (Philippians 2: 5-11).

Jesus, like his earthly parents Mary and Joseph, knew his origin, but he did not want to boast by his descent. He dispossessed himself, and took the nature of a slave, fashioned in the likeness of men, and presenting himself to us as a humble man doing the works of his Father in heaven. He lowered his own dignity, accepted an obedience which even was going to bring him to his death, death on a wooden stake.

A name given to be greater

We should know that that is why God has raised him to such a height, given him that name which is greater than any other name; so that everything in heaven and on earth and under the earth must bend the knee before the name of Jesus, and every tongue must confess Jesus Christ as the lord, dwelling in the glory of God the Father.

Philipppians 2:5-11 ESV  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  (6)  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  (7)  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  (8)  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  (9)  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  (10)  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  (11)  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Not own will but the Will of the Father

Jesus his mind had always been on trying to do what God wanted from him. He also learned the apostles that nothing that we do means anything if the mind is not continuously fixed on God. All labour, all study, all service and sacrifice and suffering, are useless if we do not keep God before our mind, for none of it is serving its intended purpose. Like Jesus always did everything for God we always should remember: if we also are not consciously doing it for God — in love of God — it is fruitless and meaningless in any eternal sense. The mind fixed on God — in total harmony with God — is the ultimate goal and purpose of all. If any activity is not contributing to this purpose, but rather diverting the mind from it to its own self, then that activity is counter-productive and destructive, however “good” it may be. It has usurped the position of God in our heart and mind and thoughts. It has become idolatry.

Pope Francis I on Palm Sunday

Pope Francis leads the Palm Sunday mass at Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican April 13, 2014. REUTERS-Alessandro Bianchi

Pope Francis leads the Palm Sunday mass at Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 13, 2014. – Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

The tired and somber-looking Pope Francis I, who led a Palm Sunday service before more than 100,000 people, opening two packed weeks of activities including Easter and the canonization of two popes, rode into the square of the Vatican on a white jeep and stopped at the centre of the square to bless palm and olive branches. He delivered an impromptu homily, putting aside the one he had prepared.

Francis spoke of the events on the last two days of Jesus’ life – his betrayal by Judas, his arrest, beating, trial and crucifixion – and asked his listeners to think hard about who they resembled more, those who helped Jesus or those who condemned him, betrayed him or were indifferent to his fate. For us this holy week we should think seriously about what had happened, what the people undertook and should question which site we do want to take.

We all could wonder like the pontiff:

“Where is my heart? Who among these people am I like? This question will remain with us all week.”

For the second straight year, Francis, whose has said the Roman Catholic Church must be closer to the poor and suffering, is holding two services for Holy Thursday outside one of Rome’s basilicas. In one he will wash and kiss the feet of elderly people in a nursing home to commemorate Jesus’ gesture of humility to his apostle on the night before he died.

14 April 2014 = 14 Nisan and the Holy Week

Tonight, April 14, we shall remember in our service this particular moment at the beginning of 14 Nisan, when the sun goes down and darkness might come over the world.

“For the infant Church, ‘Palm Sunday’ was not a thing of the past,”

wrote Pope Benedict XVI in Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week (Ignatius, 2011).

“Just as the Lord entered the Holy City that day on a donkey, so too the Church saw him coming again and again in the humble form of bread and wine.”

That “Bread and Wine“, the symbols of a New Covenant we shall remember tonight.

“At the Last Supper, on the night when he was betrayed, our savior instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of his body and blood”,

states the Vatican II Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,

“He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us” (par. 47).

Form of a slave

The Catholic Church states also that Saint Paul in the great Christological hymn in his letter to the Philippians wrote that

“Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped”

They say the Son of God came in the “form of a slave” and humbled himself, accepting the cruelty of death on the cross. This, of course, was a most astounding, unexpected descent, flowing from the love the Father and the obedience of the son.

In the eyes of the world, the cross was complete and utter defeat. A ‘cross’ is the sign of the god Tammuz, the god of evil and “son god”, and by presenting this man nailed on that sign of evil they consider this evil conquered. The symbol of this son god would also be used to present the Christian son god or God the son (or god-son).

But, as pope Benedict XVI in Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week (Ignatius, 2011) noted, “The hour of the Cross is the hour of the Father’s true glory.”

The pilgrims who accompanied Jesus cried out, “Hosanna” (that is, “Save us!”), sang the praises of the Son of David, and told the unsettled city dwellers:

“This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Not his will but the Will of his Father

Many had been greatly troubled by the news of Jesus’ birth (Matthew 2:2-3), now the city was upset by this display of joyful praise; the stage was set for the arrest and crucifixion of Christ, where the vertical and horizontal movements would meet according to Catholics on the Cross.

File:Veringendorf St. Michael Gethsemane-Szene Detail.jpg

Veringendorf St. Michael Gethsemane-Scene Detail of the left column of the choir, facing the nave, showing the Agony in the Garden (Jesus Christ praying in the garden Gethsemane )

Many have forgotten what Jesus did and whom he really was. This humble man had feelings like we and was also very afraid , like we can be. Also he doubted a moment about the position of God in his life. The gospel-writers were not afraid to write it down, so that we too could see how agony could be come master of the inner soul of Christ Jesus. We this week should also remember that cry of that man of flesh and blood, who sweated in the garden of Gethsemane.  There he brought his last hours with his disciples and asked them to pray with him. There it was that Jesus said prayers to his Father in fear of what would be coming; Though there he also declared that not his will should happen. Clearly we get to know that not Jesus his will is most important, but the Will of Jesus his Father, the Only One God of gods.

Matthew 6:10 ESV  Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Those words should remind us that Jesus also said:

Matthew 7:21 ESV  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

For Christ Jesus this doing the will of the Father was most important.

John 4:34 ESV  Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.

A call to witness

The God of our fathers appointed Jesus and his apostles, including Saul (Paul) to know His Will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth, so that they could be a witness for him to everyone of what they have seen and heard. (Acts of the Apostles 22:14-15)

Luke 22:39-44 ESV  And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him.  (40)  And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (41)  And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,  (42)  saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (43)  And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.  (44)  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

A Spirit like God has no flesh, no blood, no bones, but Jesus had it all. He was the promise of God, the Word spoken in the Garden of Eden, that had become flesh and had brought words of truth. It was up to people to listen to those words and to take them at heart, or to ignore what they say.

Words of the Trusted One who does not forsake

Jesus had always loved and trusted the Words of his Father and had explained them to others. He also had told them they could come to his Father and trust Him. But now looking at death Jesus also was taken by fear and felt that it looked like God was far, far away from him. In case Jesus would have been God he would not have been afraid of death,because he clearly knew it could do nothing to God, or even to God’s people. But now, being a man of flesh and blood, coming into the reality to face that horror, he too was taken by fear. He also wondered, like many of us, if it could not have been that God left him on his own. He also cried like many of us want to do at certain moments:

File:Sankt Ingenuin und Albuin in Saubach Passionstafeln.jpg

Passion of Jesus (Jesus in the olive garden and Veronica wipes the face of Jesus) on painted tables in the Church of Saint Ingenuinus

Matthew 27:46 ESV  …. “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

As ordinary man, also afraid of death we to shall remember those words Jesus cried out about three in the afternoon in his own Aramaic language. He was calling to Eli, the Elohim his God, Who is also the God of Abraham and the God of Moses. He did not call onto himself but on the Only One Divine Creator.

Remembering tragic events

Today we are going to remember those tragic events and would like to call also

“My God, my God, look upon me;”

We should know that God did not leave his son in the dark. God was willing to take this man as a complete offering, the purest Lamb the world could give as ransom.

We should see that man and should see ourselves placed in his world. We, perhaps may also ask

Why cannot my sinful words reach Thee, Who art my salvation?

some people even might say:

Thou dost not answer, my God, when I cry out to Thee day and night and I am patient still. Thou art there nontheless, dwelling in the holy place Israel’s ancient boast. It was in Thee that our fathers trusted, and Thou didst reward their trust by delivering them. They cried to Thee, and rescue came; no need to be ashamed of such trust as theirs.

Are we not poor worms having no manhood left?

Where in this world we would like to stand

We should question ourselves where in this world we would like to stand and whom we would like to be. Do we want to be of this world or just living in this world where others may consider us a by-word, the laughing-stock of the rabble. Are we wanting to go with everybody keeping up traditions, like having Easter decorations and chocolate eggs searchings in the garden on Easter Sunday, telling children the bells are coming from Rome to throw eggs? (What do those bells and eggs have to do with the resurrection of Christ?)

Do we want to catch sight of us falling to mocking; mouthing out insults, while others toss their heads in scorn. Do we want to accept that Jesus was really a man who really died and not fake his death because God can not die? Are we willing to commit ourselves like Jesus committed himself to his heavenly Father? Are we not afraid that we do not always feel God around us? Are we accepting that we at moments can be week and also like Jesus may wonder why we do not feel God to be with us?

Do you ever have questions why “the Lord” does not come to your rescue and set you as His favourite free? Did you, when you felt abandoned by God, ever ask yourself if you were praising the right god? Have you ever thought if you were worshipping the right god or person or spirit?

These days when we remember the Passion of Jesus Christ, looking back at the time when Jesus had ended all these words which we can find written down in the New Testament, are we willing to place ourselves in the whole story and see the full picture?

Let us look at the disciples who even got more afraid after Jesus had died, but when the Comforter had come, found ways to get over their fear and went out in the world to preach.

Night of remembrance

They also kept remembering the exodus of God His people from slavery, but also remembered the moment that whilst they were at supper in the upper room in Jerusalem, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said:

Take ye, and eat. This is My body. And taking the chalice, He gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is My blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins. And I say to you, I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of My Father.

Let us not be scandalized in Jesus this night. Let us come together tonight to sit down and pray that we may not enter into temptation. We should be aware that the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. We should be stronger than human tradition and show the world where we do want to stand in this world.

Behold, the hour is at hand that we remember that the Son of Man was betrayed into the hands of sinners. Let us go to feel united with the one who was sent by the heavenly Father to save us from all evil. Let us see how then the Scriptures are fulfilled, that thus it happened some two thousand years ago.

We should look at the man who was accused by the chief priests and the elders, who made no answer, so that the procurator wondered exceedingly. Pilate knew that they had delivered Jesus up out of envy. Also his wife sent to him, saying,

“Have nothing to do with that Just Man, for I have suffered many things in a dream today because of Him.”

Who do you want to be and what do you want to believe?

Are you willing to listen to such dreams and such talks from others? Do you want to believe those few people at that time who saw in Jesus the promised Messiah and accepted him as the son of God, the sent one from above? Or do you prefer to follow the same thoughts as the Pharisees and those who accused Christ of saying he was equal with God?

Do you want to be like the two robbers which were crucified with Jesus, one on his right hand and one on his left, who when the passers-by were jeering at him, shaking their heads, were saying,

“Thou Who destroyest the temple, and in three days buildest it up again, save Thyself! If Thou art the Son of God, come down from the cross!”

In like manner, the chief priests with the Scribes and the elders, mocking, said,

“He saved others, Himself He cannot save! If He is the King of Israel, let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He wants Him; for He said, “I am the Son of God.”

What do you need to believe Jesus is really the son of God and not god the son?

Do you feel with Jesus when at the ninth hour (3 p.m.) Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying,

“Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani.”

That is,

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?”

God can not die but on that day Jesus again cried out with a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent, and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep arose; and coming forth out of the tombs after his resurrection, they came into the holy city, and appeared to many. Now when the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, they were very much afraid, and they said,

“Truly He was the Son of God.”

What do you want more?

Do you need extra wonders or spectacular events before you want to believe who Christ Jesus is? Are would you be willing to accept the stories which God allowed to continue through the ages and to reach many people in many languages?

Are you willing to tell the Most High that you know you need no other gift to set before Him, because the ransom paid by God His son Jeshua by God His Majesty may obtain for us the grace of devotion, and ensure us an eternity of bliss. Through our lord Jesus Christ His Son.

We should know that it is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto the Father of Jesus Christ, who like Jesus looked at Him and praised Him, we also should worship Him as the Only One God Whose Will we want to do.

That we may pray tonight  to the Most High and be thankful that He wanted to accept that offering by His son, so that we can have light and eternal life. To this Most Holy Father Almighty, everlasting God Who didst establish the salvation of mankind, by the death of His beloved son on the tree, that whence death came thence also life might arise again, and that he, who overcame by the tree, by the tree also might be overcome.

Tonight we shall look on a special way to the symbols and place in our minds how that man born in Bethlehem made that our sins be purged away, and our just desires fulfilled.

We shall be looking at Jesus on the donkey, thinking we are no donkey. But perhaps it would not be bad to night to see  ways in which we can identify with him. A colt is meant to work hard, are we? Do we want to carry Jesus and have also all have heavy burdens to bear?
Being a Christian we shall not be liked so much by others. And when we only want to worship One God, we shall be in the minority outvoted by the world.

Are you  prepared to take your humble position in this world like Jesus took his position, only willing to do the Will of his Father?

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Preceding article: Entrance of a king to question our position #1 Coming in the Name of the Lord

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Find also to read:

  1. The meek one riding on an ass
  2. The son of David and the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
  3. Importance of the only proper name of God
  4. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  5. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  6. Titles of God beginning with the Aleph in Hebrew
  7. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name (Video)
  8. The Divine name of the Creator (Video)
  9. Use of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  10. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  11. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  12. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  13. Lord and owner
  14. About a man who changed history of humankind
  15. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  16. Who was Jesus?
  17. The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
  18. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  19. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  20. Jesus begotten Son of God #16 Prophet to be heard
  21. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  22. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  23. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  24. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son
  25. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  26. A man with an outstanding personality
  27. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  28. No Other Name (But Jesus)
  29. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  30. Impaled until death overtook him
  31. After the Sabbath after Passover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ
  32. A fact of History or just a fancy Story
  33. Why do we need a ransom?
  34. Ransom for all
  35. Suffering redemptive because Jesus redeemed us from sin
  36. Servant of his Father
  37. Only one God
  38. God of gods
  39. The Trinity – true or false?
  40. The Trinity – the Truth
  41. Altered to fit a Trinityod of gods
  42. History of the acceptance of a three-in-one God
  43. Christianity without the Trinity
  44. Sitting at the right hand of God
  45. Human Nature: What does the Bible teach?
  46. Your Sins Are Forgiven
  47. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust

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Additional reading:

  1. Trinity And Pagan Influence
  2. Trinity: A False Doctrine of a False Church
  3. Part 2) God is not a Trinity
  4. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  5. Unitarianism and the Bible of the Holy Trinity
  6. Trinity: The Truth about Matthew 28:19 & 1 John 5:7
  7. Anyone Who Goes Too Far and Does Not Abide in the Teaching of Christ, Does Not Have God
  8. Is Jesus God?
  9. If the Father is the “only true God” (John 17:3) , does that mean that Jesus is a false god?
  10. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  11. Massacre of children leaves many asking, ‘Where’s God?’

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  • Gazing at the Crucified Christ (prayersofmysoul.wordpress.com)
    We see Jesus looking at each of us with great tenderness and compassion. We hear him promising forgiveness and eternal life to anyone who turns to him in repentance. We see a Messiah who loves us unconditionally, who loves us enough to endure and conquer not only our sins but death itself.
  • “The Emptied-Out God” (stgregoryschurch.typepad.com)
    We call this Sunday “the Sunday of the Passion” as if the passion of our Lord began with his entrance into Jerusalem. But in his letter to the Philippians (2:5-11)
  • Hosanna! (kswptim.wordpress.com)
    Do you welcome Jesus into your life, into your home, school, or where you work?Is He declared Lord and Savior by you for all to see and hear?Or will you deny Him later in the week; turn away from Him and let Him die in your life?When you take Jesus as Savior, He is Savior all the time – not just one day a week but every day of the week.
  • Jesus is my Joy, Jesus is true peace (jesusmygodforever.wordpress.com)
    There are so many people in this world who just don’t know Jesus, and it’s sad because he truly yearns for all of us to be in a close relationship with him, he yearns to save all of us from death, destruction, hell. He yearns for our days to be filled with a great peace that no man can obtain without Jesus giving his peace to them. No matter what anyone says how happy they are or how peaceful their hearts are if they don’t know Jesus  as their Lord then they cannot know true peace.
  • Palm Sunday, a day to reflect (endtimebibleprophecy.wordpress.com)
    The day that our Lord and Savior would ride into Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, while riding on the back of a donkey, the King of kings, the Lord of lords.  Coming in peace, love, and hope.  Humbling Himself before the nation of Israel.
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    Many did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament.  He did not meet the expectations of whom they believed their King should be.  He did not come with great force and to conquer their enemies.  But instead came in quiet and peacefully.  Yet, many today still do not believe that Jesus is Lord.
  • Palm Sunday 2014. At the Name of Jesus Every Knee Shall Bow. St. Matthew 21. 1-11 (deprofundisclamaviadtedomine.wordpress.com)
    The crowd reads Jesus’ actions as proclaiming that He is the King. And even the people of Jerusalem pay attention, the citizens of the city the Lord chose for His dwelling place, the temple. Living in such a holy place, the people of Jerusalem aren’t easily impressed by people claiming to be prophets. But today, on Palm Sunday, when the crowds of Passover pilgrims raise the festal shout of salvation, they ask, “Who is this?” (21:10) And the answer comes back, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.” (21:11)
  • Palm Sunday-hymn for Today (berry20nice.wordpress.com)
  • The Gates of Jerusalem (christinesunderland.com)
    The great festivals of the year mark our time on earth, our passage, our pilgrimage from birth to death. Where was I last Palm Sunday? Where will I be Palm Sunday 2015? We mark time with festivals, for time is limited, making it precious; numbered days are valuable days. Was I journeying closer to God or away from him?
  • Palm Sunday – “o Gates, Lift High Your Heads” (prayers4reparation.wordpress.com)
    He, the Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory.
    Hosanna in the highest!
  • Hosanna to Hallelujah (my52sundays.wordpress.com)
    From ancient times Christians have brought palm branches home from church on Palm Sunday.  Some place them on the wall behind a cross or sacred picture.  Farmers would bury palm branches in the corners of their fields.
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