Celebrating the Resurrection

Happy Easter!

Today, we celebrate the victory and truth of Jesus’ resurrection. May these verses resonate deeply within you as they are within me. For, as Paul says below, without the resurrection from the dead this whole faith thing is useless.

The resurrection did happen, though! As the eyewitnesses testified (below and elsewhere), Jesus rose from the dead as was predicted in the Scriptures and what a glorious day that was.

The Faithful Women Are the First Witnesses of the Resurrection
But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.” (Luke 24:1-7 NLT)

The Message Passed Down
And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things. (Luke 24:46-48 NLT)

Why the Gospels (Eyewitness Accounts) Were Written
The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. (John 20:30, 31 NLT)

Why Is the Resurrection So Important
And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! (1 Corinthians 15:14-18 NLT)

Jesus: Emmanuel

Merry Christmas!

In the beginning the Word (Jesus) already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.

God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn – not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:1-14, emphasis and parenthetical note are mine

Trust In Him

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

A few days ago a few guys from my fire station and I watched the video taken during The Station nightclub fire. I watched the video years ago when the fire happened, but watching it this time gave me new perspective.

In case you never heard or have forgotten, The Station nightclub fire occurred about six years ago when Great White was playing a concert. Pyrotechnics inside the club started a blaze that engulfed the building in under ten minutes. 100 people died in the fire.

What made watching this video different than before was seeing the people stacked up at the entrance trying to get out. Once panic set in, people from the back pushed the people in the front over. As more concert-goers got pushed down the entrance became blocked preventing anyone from leaving.

Watching the people jammed up in the entrance, not able to leave, was powerful. I felt for those people; I could feel their pain, their fear, their panic. It tore at my heart a little. At that moment, I needed to be reminded of how much I trust the Lord. Through a little searching, I found the verses you see in this post. I hope they are able to provide some support for you one day when you might need them.

Also, if you have never seen the video, you might want to check it out. It really gives you perspective on how fast and powerful fire can be.

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done.” Psalm 9:9-11

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” John 14:1-3

Seeing is Believing and Believing Is Seeing

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

I have been reading A.W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God, over these past few weeks. This is my first venture into the vast array of Tozer-authored books and I am glad to have found him. Tozer’s words flow out of the book like poetry. In that way, he reminds me of C.S. Lewis. (As a side note, maybe you have to use the initials to become a incredible author. Perhaps I will start going by L.C. Wurschmidt and see what happens.)

Tozer brings up a “dramatic story in the Book of Numbers [where] faith is seen in action.” After a series of events, God instructed Moses to create a bronze replica of the poisonous snakes that were killing the Israelites. If any Israelite was bitten by a snake they only had to look upon the bronze replica and they would live (Numbers 21:4-9).

Jesus then aligns this passage for us with how we can be saved (John 3:14-15).

14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.

Tozer continues by stating that looking and believing are synonymous terms.

Looking‘ on the Old Testament serpent is identical with ‘believing‘ on the New Testament Christ… [and] while Israel looked with their external eyes, believing is done with the heart.

Through this, here is one definition of faith: it “is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God.”

Wow, what a great description of faith! Based on the aforementioned text, faith is not something we do just one time and then let it rest. Faith is continually looking at our saving and merciful God and Savior with fixed and adoring eyes.

This is a great definition of faith, but I know there are more definitions. What are some that you have discovered? If you do not have a good working definition of faith then would suggest checking out Hebrews 11.

Until next time, may the Lord be with you and give you continual peace and joy. – LW