The cross is empty! He’s no longer dead!
Enjoy our Savior as we remember His resurrection! Wonderful, wonderful Jesus!!
The cross is empty! He’s no longer dead!
Enjoy our Savior as we remember His resurrection! Wonderful, wonderful Jesus!!
2 Peter 1:3-4- “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” NKJV
Creator of the Universe
My husband and I took a cruise to Hawaii for our 25th anniversary. It was fabulous! Every morning I would find him sitting on the balcony, reading his Bible or praying. He found it to be so relaxing. Not being an early riser, I would join him and enjoy the serenity of the morning. For some reason, although I believe God is truly omnipresent, He felt closer to me on the waters of the Pacific.
Paul understood the majesty of creation because he wrote:
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuseRomans 1:20 NKJV
As I conclude my discussion on these verses in 2 Peter, I want to look at the remainder of the verse: “partakers of the divine nature”. Peter clearly states that we, believers in Christ, can partake of the divine nature and power of God. Religion persuades us to believe that we are mere mortals, subject to whatever whims God may have because we can never know what He will do. Yet, Peter wrote just the opposite in these verses: we can know God, we can partake of His power, His glory, and His nature, and it is what He wants us to do!
Let us go back to the beginning.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”Genesis 1:26 NKJV
God didn’t make Adam a god, although He made Adam in His image. Adam was a genius. He named all the animals of the garden. He was perfect and without sin. He talked openly and freely with God. He had dominion over everything in the garden. His life was a life of peace, joy, fulfillment, godliness, and holiness. He was like God! Until he allowed sin in. As we choose to become Christians, we are spiritually restored to the state that Adam was in, with the intent for us to be more like God and less like man. Not because man is so horrible, but because God is that good to us!
How can we partake of the divine nature of God? Let’s understand what partaker means. According to the Vine’s, one of my favorite resources, it means “a partner, or sharer”. So we don’t get ownership of His nature, He invites us to share in His nature. Therefore, the first thing we most do is, we must be born again! I know! I keep repeating it, but it is ever so true! We must be born again! Once we are born again, we are able to escape the corruption that is in the world. Peter wrote that when we are born again we are called out of darkness into His marvelous light! Paul penned that we are delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of His dear Son. This is the first step in partaking of His divine nature. If we are going to share in His nature, it starts with salvation!
Going back to other parts of the verse, as we get to know Him and embrace His exceedingly great and precious promises, we can share in His nature. We can forgive, because He is a forgiver by nature, and empowers us to forgive. We can love, because He is love, and His divine power enables us to love the unlovely. How many times have you found yourself loving when others didn’t understand it? It His nature you were partaking! Who did you forgive, that you didn’t think it was possible for you to forgive? It was the Divine Nature of the Almighty (DNA) inside of you!
I was in a situation where I overheard a conversation. There was a misunderstanding that caused several people to be at odds with one another. The person I overheard was expressing the hurt that they felt over the situation, but more importantly, the desire to get things out in the open so they could move on. I heard that person’s wisdom in handling the situation. I heard that person speak of making things right so they could move forward unhindered. Forgiveness was extended, and that person even took responsibility for the mix up. When the conversation was over, I told that person, I had just witnessed Jesus! It was the greatest testimony that individual could have shared with me about the genuineness of the faith she had in Him (the Divine Nature of the Almighty God in operation)!
Sunday I went to visit at my former church. When I got there, one of the members was really excited to see me. She had prayed the night before, telling God that she wished she could see me at church so that I could pray for her. God manifests His healing nature at different times when I pray, especially in the area of pain. Sure enough, I was there. She was so excited! I prayed for her briefly and went my way. Later that night, there was no change. (I generally check up on people I pray for). When she told me that, I just said, “Check yourself in the morning”. Sure enough, the next morning was a different story. Did I heal her? No! But God allowed us to share in His nature as healing was manifested in her body, because He’s the Healer! The Great Physician! (Again, the Divine Nature of the Almighty God working as we laid hold to the exceedingly great and precious promise in regards to healing).
And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”Mark 16:17-18 NKJV
The part of His divine nature we struggle most with is His supernatural power. We fail to realize that anything we do with Him is supernatural. Forgiveness, love, giving, kindness, serving. Therefore, we tend to separate that part of His divine nature from the other part of His divine nature: releasing power!
As we live this life in Christ, and He lives His life in us, I can assure you that He doesn’t want to be stifled. His greatest joy is seeing the kingdom become a reality in our lives. He left us with many precious promises that we might realize the greatness of the love and grace He has for us, the power He has made available to us, that we can partake of Him! It’s really time for us to dare to believe that every promise in His word belongs to us! As we step out in faith and begin to take Him at His word, we will begin to see things happen. When it doesn’t work, trouble shoot and try again; but don’t ever give up! He purposefully shared His divine nature with us that we may know Him more completely!
It’s the Passover/Easter season! A time to rejoice in all that Calvary, and more precisely, the resurrection affords us! I end with Paul’s prayer for every believer:
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come! Amen and Amen! Wonderful Jesus!Ephesians 1:17-21 NKJV
Revelation 1:18 -I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. NKJV
As we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, let’s not get caught up in the fact that we couldn’t go to church, we couldn’t get dressed up in our new clothes, and we couldn’t be with family and friends for dinner. These things are all wonderful traditions that make this time a special time. Especially being in church with people of like precious faith!
Let’s take time to rejoice that He is alive! That’s the most important truth of the Bible. Paul said that if Christ was not raised from the dead, then our faith is a delusion and we are yet in our sins; if in this life only we have hope in Christ, then we are of all people the most miserable! (1 Corinthians 15)
So, let’s rejoice that He is risen and is alive forevermore. And if you have a loved one, friend or family, who has recently left this life because of the coronavirus or for any reason, and that person died in Him, then know that they also have life eternal and you can and will see them again, for He is the Resurrection and the Life!
Rejoice! Our Savior is risen! And He is alive! Wonderful Jesus!
Mark 15:15 – Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. NIV
One day, in my prayer time, I asked the Lord if He could give me a visual of His crucifixion. I had read it for many years, but didn’t really understand what He had gone through, and being a visual learner, I desired to see the crucifixion. In my own mind I think I had envisioned a dream or a vision, or even a clearer picture of what happened to my Lord, but nothing happened.
Then one day I heard about a movie coming out, “The Passion of the Christ,” about the crucifixion and I was excited about it. I felt that the Lord had Mel Gibson had put this movie together, led by God on my behalf, in order for me to see what the crucifixion was like! (I know, it wasn’t because of me, but since it was an answer to my prayer, that’s how I feel!)
I don’t think there are too many Christians alive today who have not seen the movie, and if you haven’t seen it, you should! I promise you from the time they starting beating the actor portraying Jesus, to many hours later, I was completely messed up. I was horrified at the whipping and it broke my heart. I cried uncontrollably and I could not be comforted. They just kept on beating him and beating him and I knew that what my Savior had suffered for me, for mankind was much greater than we could have imagined! Spoiler alert: There was one point when they had beat him so bad, he fell to the ground. But then he picked himself back up for them to continue the beating. I just knew that I knew that the “strength” portrayed was the strength that Jesus would have conveyed through it all! Now that blessed me to no end!!
What is the passion of the Christ? I most certainly did not know the answer to this question, until I asked it after the movie. You have to cut me some slack, as I wasn’t in a “religious” church and this phrase was new to me. Anyway, the Latin word for “passion” is “passionem” and literally means “suffering, enduring”. And therefore, the passion of the Christ is all about the sufferings He had to deal with after the triumphal entry into Jerusalem all the way to the cross.
So what were some of these things:
* He was betrayed by Judas, one of the 12
* In the Garden of Gethsemane, no one prayed with or for Him
* He was arrested in front of His disciples, and they fled the scene
* He was before the Sanhedrin and they falsely accused Him, spit on, and beat on Him
* He was disowned by Peter three times, one of the 12
* He was condemned when a murderer was freed
*He sustained an intense scourging, including a crown of thorns
* He was made to carry His own cross in His weaken state
* And then He was nailed on a cross between two thieves
Let me tell you what I thought it meant! I thought it meant that Jesus was so passionate about saving us, that He was not willing to let anything keep Him from the cross. His passion was revealed in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed so intently that He sweat drops of blood. His passion was revealed when He said that He could have called 12 legions of angels to deliver Him, but He wouldn’t. His passion was revealed, when they beat Him and He said not a word. His passion was revealed as He hung on the cross and extended mercy to the thief! Now that’s passion!!! Not suffering passion but a passion to redeem us from our sins, our diseases, and all that would hold us captive to will of Satan. He was so passionate about dying, because He couldn’t wait to get up out of that grave and return to the Father!! Wonderful Jesus!!!
Which ever view that you have, know that you are special to heart of God! He loves us so much! Since I’ve already mentioned a song this week, I’ll mention another:
Oh, how He loves you and me!
Oh, how He loves you and me!
He gave His life, what more could He give,
Oh, how He loves you, oh, how He loves me,
Oh, how He loves you and me!!
I’m pretty sure that you can find this song in another blog. It’s one of my personal favorites. I’m so glad He loves us and I’m so glad that His passion drove Him straight to Calvary that I might have the opportunity to return that love to Him forever! Wonderful, wonderful Jesus!
Luke 19:30-31- “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ”
Palm Sunday, for centuries, has been considered by the church world, the beginning of Holy Week. Since “Holy Week” is predominantly a Catholic term, it’s not a phrase that I heard until I was a little older in life and the faith. However, having said that, many Christians the world over, celebrate Palm Sunday, as a precursor to the observance of Easter Sunday.
The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is told in every gospel, just as the crucifixion is. Today, I would like to just point out some things that are interesting about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem that we celebrate on Palm Sunday.
Jesus, knowing that the Jewish authorities had plans to kill Him, knowing that His hour had come, did not go into Jerusalem through the back door. He made a grand entrance. Every student of the word knows that He was fulfilling Bible prophecy, but still He showed great strength and courage.
Before entering Jerusalem, Jesus instructs two of His disciples to go into the village and get a donkey. Either He was operating in a word of knowledge, or He had a dream, or God just led Him by His Spirit, for He was able to tell them that the colt would be tied to the post and that it had never been ridden. He goes on to say that if anyone was to ask why they were loosing the colt that they were to respond that the Lord has need of it.
How did the owners know? Quite possibly through a dream. The only important detail for me, is that the owners did know and that they were glad to release the colt to the disciples for Jesus’ use.
The disciples place their garments on the colt, like one would place a saddle, and then they placed Jesus on the donkey. We know from reading the Bible, that Jesus was quite the walker, He and His disciples. But there’s something different about going to Jerusalem this time. Not only is Jesus riding a colt, but as He enters the city, people begin throwing their garments on the road, creating a “red carpet” effect for the donkey to walk on. They also begin throwing branches, (John’s gospel say they are palm branches) on the ground, all while rejoicing and praising God for His mighty works. (Quite possibly they have heard of the raising of Lazarus from the dead).
Zechariah 9:9- “Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” This could have easily been one of those situations where Jesus said that the scriptures were being fulfilled, for it happened just as Zechariah prophesied.
Just some things to note: Kings usually rode on horses, but this King came on a colt, signifying that He is the Prince of peace and is not coming as a warrior. As He enters into the city in this prophetic manner, the citizens began to rejoice that they could now welcome Him as Messiah, as King. In Matthew and Mark, the crowd is noted as saying, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” But, in Luke and John’s gospels they add King. Whether they shouted it or not, their actions of throwing the garments down and throwing the branches down were actions acknowledging Him as King.
Why palm branches? Palm branches were symbolic of a victory and of a king. In tossing palm branches before Jesus as He entered Jerusalem, they were acknowledging Him as their victorious King! He had come! The Messiah was here!
They were also shouting Hosanna. We use it as a term of worship or praise, but it’s literal meaning is “save now”. It’s interesting to me, that this crowd was “caught up” in the Spirit and didn’t even know it. They were fulfilling or participating in the fulfillment of prophecy and yet they missed the very event they proclaimed. Their King had come!
I want to return to my verse. Jesus was in need of the colt to fulfill His entry into Jerusalem. My thought today is “what do I have that Jesus is in need of to fulfill His kingdom plans today?” I know the things that I am willing to give to Him, but is there something that He is asking me for that I have not “loosed” into His capable hands of yet? I sincerely hope not!
Jesus simply rode the colt of the owners, but once He reached His destination, He was finished with the colt. And yet, the colt was a vital part of the prophesy. What He is asking you for may seem insignificant from your lens and from mine, but this got me to thinking that from His perspective, it is needed and it is not insignificant.
In today’s culture, people would have been fighting over that colt, offering thousands of dollars to the owners for the colt; just so they could say they owned the colt that carried Jesus. There’s no telling what benefits the owners received from having given the colt to Jesus that day. What we can be sure of is that when Jesus asks us for anything, it is not to bring loss into our lives, but to bring increase!
What do you have that the Lord has need of? It could be your talents, your money, your home, your life, your all. What ever it is, if you give it to Him, you will be the better for doing so! Just loose it and trust it to the King! Wonderful Jesus!
Matthew 28:6- “He is not here, for He is risen..!”
How glorious those words were on that day when the disciples ran to the tomb! And they are still glorious even today!
Paul wrote, that if Jesus didn’t rise from the grave, then our preaching and our faith is in vain! (1 Corinthians 15:14) Well, I don’t believe for one second that my faith or my preaching, or my blogging is in vain, for He is risen!!
My first attempt at a blog for today was to talk about the Exodus and the Blood of Jesus! But I decided that I would rather just share from my heart.
I love my Jesus! Because He first loved me.
When I think of Calvary and all that Jesus suffered on His way to the cross, I think, I could have never done that! When I think about the people who had cried out, “Hosanna,” and then later, “Crucify Him” knowing that He died for them also, I think I couldn’t do that! When I think about the whips, the nails, the spitting, the denials, I think, I couldn’t do it! And neither could you!
It wasn’t just that He was the Son of Man and the Son of God that made it possible for Him to do it! It wasn’t just that He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world that made Him do it! No! We find the answer in Romans chapter 5 verse 8. It was a demonstration of His love. His love was so great for us, that He suffered through all of that for us. That we might be saved. That we might be free. That we might be healed! That we might have access to the Father. That we might have eternal life. That we might…
I read in a book last night that there are over a thousand promises in the Bible, all sealed with His Blood! Each and every promise was that we might…!
No, I couldn’t do it! I was not qualified! You were not qualified. No one else was but Jesus, so I am grateful tonight that the One who was qualified, completed the task. He died, He was buried, but He rose again! And He is alive!
We make a big hype at Christmas time. But the biggest hype should be made at this time. Because it wasn’t until He got up out of the grave that our deliverance was complete! Because had He not gotten up, we would still be in our sins. (1 Corinthians 15:17) And that would be most unfortunate!
So on this Resurrection Sunday, I am eternally gratefully that He has risen and my sins are forgiven. I am eternally grateful that He loved me so much, He endured the cross that I might have eternal life! Yes! He is alive, and He lives in me! Wonderful Jesus!!