Easter week- 9. “HE IS RISEN”…..

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 “I am the resurrection and the life.
He, who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live.”
John 11 : 25

On the Sunday morning the women came to the tomb bringing spices.
As they approached the tomb- the big problem on their mind was-
“Who shall roll away the stone?”
The Romans and the Jewish authorities had taken
special efforts to make the tomb secure.

 But Before that:-
“And, behold there was a great earthquake for the
angel of the Lord descended from heaven.”
“His Countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow”-
With fear the soldiers did shake- and became as dead men.

The angel rolled away the stone and said-
Son of God, come forth; Thy father calls Thee”.
They see Jesus come forth in majesty and glory-
the angel host bow low in adoration before the redeemer,
and welcome Him with songs of praise.

The graves that were opened on Friday when Christ died
– now when Christ rose -many righteous dead- came forth from their graves.
as a witness that He had risen. Those saints came forth glorified-
chosen and holy ones of every age-
from creation down to the time of Jesus.; to testify and declare His glory.
Later these people were seen by many- saying ..”We be raised with Him”.

The women – feared that their enemies had taken away the body;
Suddenly they beheld two angels in white.
They told them the news that Jesus was not there -He had risen,
They instructed them to go and tell the disciples the news.
He would go before them to Galilee.
With fear and great joy the women hurried back to the sorrowing disciples-
to tell them all they had seen and heard.
They ran hastily to the tomb – John and Peter- rushing in-
they saw the tomb empty- so they returned – marveling at what they had seen and heard.

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1mary & J                

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Mary- lingered by the tomb.
She looked again into the sepulcher- and she broke down in bitter weeping.
As she turned away she saw Jesus standing near- but she did not recognize Him.
He spoke to her tenderly inquiring the cause of her weeping.
Thinking He was the gardener she begged Him to tell her where he had laid Him.

Jesus spoke to her- “Mary.”-  Recognizing His voice she said,
“Master”- and wanted to embrace Him.
Jesus said- ” Do not touch Me- I have not yet ascended to my Father-
But go and tell my disciples and ‘Peter ‘ that I go to my Father-
and I will meet them in Galilee,”   – John 20.
Joyfully she hastened to tell them what she had seen and heard.

Angels- surrounded the Son of God.
They lifted the everlasting gates- that the king of Glory might come in.
Jesus was in the presence of His Father- “This is my Son- in whom I am well pleased.”

Then Jesus returned to earth- to meet His disciples as promised. He gave us HOPE.

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Easter week- 8- “The Sabbath Day”…..

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Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils.
And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.”
Luke 23 : 56

So numerous were the events of the Friday of the Crucifixion –
that space for yesterdays reading did not permit-
all that happened on that day.

1. The suns full rays were illuminating the earth at midday-
then suddenly complete darkness covered the cross and around the vicinity. Luke 23:45
The darkness lasted for three hours-
when God turned His face from the ‘sin-bearer’.
Suddenly the darkness lifts- And Jesus cried-
“It is Finished – Father into your hands I commend my spirit.” Luke 23:46

2. At that moment , there were priests ministering in the Temple
before the veil that separated the holy from the most holy places.
Suddenly the earth trembled and the veil was torn from top to bottom.
The earth quake caused a special resurrection to take place.

3. Joseph of Arimathea – went to Pilate and requested the body of Jesus;
He was going to use his own tomb for Jesus’ burial.
Nicodemus, another disciple,  came with a costly mixture of myrrh and aloes.
Along with John the beloved disciple they removed
the broken and pierced body of Jesus from the cross.

They carefully cleaned and bathed His bruised body;
wrapping Him and the spices in a linen sheet.
Then they laid Him in a new sepulcher, where no man had laid before.

4. The women who had followed Jesus went home to prepare for the Sabbath day.
“they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandments”.

5. Then the heavy stone was rolled in front of the tomb and Roman Guards stood in front of it.

6. At creation God blessed the Seventh day – he called it a ‘day of rest’
– and now even in His death- Jesus spent it resting  in the grave-awaiting His resurrection.
Jesus told the disciples and the Jews that He will rise again on the 3rd day.
Even though the disciples forgot- The Jews remembered and they went to
Pilate and demanded a seal be put across the tomb.

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John

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The action of the women certainly did not imply –
the Sabbath was more important than Jesus-
Only that Christ Himself had blessed that day and made it holy-
They were showing their respect to the lawgiver.

While the followers of Christ were quietly resting on the Sabbath day-
the priests and Pharisees demanded that Pilate made the tomb secure-
sealing the tomb and setting a guard.

What a climax to this Easter week –
The Son of man – asleep on the Sabbath-
awaiting the call of His Father.

Thank you Jesus for the suffering and shame you went through for me and mankind.

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Easter week. 7. “The Ultimate SACRIFICE”- Friday.

Easter 1

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Whoever therefore shall confess Me before men,
him , will I confess also before My Father,
which is in Heaven.”
Matthew 10 : 32

The events on  Day of Pentecost- Thursday night and Friday ~

1. In Gethsemane- The sleeping disciples awakened by a light surrounding Jesus.
They saw an angel ministering to Jesus.
They heard words spoken like sweet music- speaking words of comfort and hope.

2. The Betrayal – Roman soldiers, the priests and Judas meet Jesus and the disciples-
A divine light shone from His face and the mop fell down as dead men to the ground.
When they arose-Judas the betrayer did not forget the part he had to play.
When they entered the garden , Judas  takes Jesus’ hand as a friend and kisses Him.
“Whoever I shall kiss- the same is He”-
{Matthew 26:48}

3. Taken before Annas and Caiaphas – It was after midnight when the mob led
Jesus to the palace of Annas- the ex- high priest.
And then before Caiaphas.  He was accused of ‘blasphemy and sedition’.
This would cause Him to be guilty and worthy of death.

4. Sentenced-  But only the Roman authority -could sentence him to death-
So he was taken before Pilate and Herod.
Finally Pilate placed the responsibility on the people-
To choose between a criminal- Barabbas and Jesus –
The mob cried out- “Crucify Him”.
The choice was made – Barabbas was set free and Jesus was led to Calvary.

5. There  was a time to be silent and a time to speak.
A heavenly light illuminated His face.
“Nevertheless I say unto you- you shall see the heavens open
and the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power,
and coming in the clouds of heaven”.

John

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6.  Prophecy according to Isaiah 53-  The crowds like wild beasts dragged Jesus away;
They stripped Him;  Mocked and scourged Him:
They put a purple robe on Him and a crown of thorns on His head
and a reed in His hand. They spat on Him and bowed the knee before Him saying-
“Hail King of the Jews”
Then they put His own clothes on Him and placed a cross upon Him
and led Him to Calvary.
When He could not carry it -Simon of Cyrene , was compelled to carry it.

7. Jesus Crucified – They brought Him to a place called Golgotha –
and there they Crucified Him  –
Nailed to a cross- between two thieves.
They cast lots and divided His garments-
And above His head they put a sign up-“This is the King of the Jews.”
It was about 9 o’clock in the morning- Jesus had had no sleep all night..

8.. Seven times Jesus spoke from the cross
~To the Jews and Roman Soldiers who condemned Him He said-
*” Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

~To the penitent thief on the cross –
*”Assuredly, I say to you today, you will be with Me in paradise.”

~ To His Mother and then to John-
*”Woman, behold your son”!  And to John– ” Behold  your mother.”

~ Feeling His separation from his Father – He said,
*”My God, My God- Why have you forsaken Me”?

~ According to Scripture, Jesus said-* “I thirst”

~ After refusing the vinegar they gave Him. – Jesus announced- *“It is finished.”

~ After six hours on the cross- Jesus said-
*”Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.

“The thief said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into your kingdom”
Luke 23 : 42.

Jesus- was that Passover Lamb – Dying for mankind.

itis finished

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Before sunset on Friday – Jesus was laid to rest in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.

There are more events that happened that day-{Shall be noted next time
– Let us ponder all these things that Christ suffered and died for you and me.

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Easter week- 6- “In remembrance of ME….”

last day

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“Take eat; this is My body,  which is broken for you;
this do in remembrance of Me.—
This cup is the new testament in My blood;
This do ye, as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup,
ye do show the Lord’s death till He come.”
 1 Corinthians  11 :23-26.

Thursday- Nisan 13- on the Jewish Calendar.
That morning the disciples asked Jesus where they should prepare the Passover.
Jesus told them to go to the city and follow a man carrying a pitcher of water.
They were to tell the man, “The Master needs your guest room for the Passover.”-
That’s amazing-!
The Passover was- a commemoration of the deliverance of Israel from Egypt.

At the upper room- Christ was there with His disciples.
His heart was heavy- this showed on his face;
and they knew that something weighed heavily on Him.

There was another problem.
At a feast it was customary for a servant to wash the feet of the guests,
and on this occasion this service was not been prepared.
The pitcher, water and towel was provided –
but none of the proud disciples were willing to act as a servant.

Jesus takes the towel and wraps it round his waist-
takes up the basin and kneels before each one of them – unlaces sandals
-and one by one lifts each grimy foot one after another-
washing and drying them.
He knows what these men are about- And when they leave,
He wants them to remember what He did taking the place of a humble servant,
giving them an example to do likewise.

As they sit at the table- John sits on one side of Jesus and Judas on the other,
After the Passover supper- using the symbols of ‘bread and wine
to represent His body and blood-‘
He said– ‘Do this in remembrance of Me.

Judas got up and went out to meet with the Jewish leaders.
Jesus stayed with the twelve –
He gave them many “Promises” as recorded in John 14.

Then Jesus led the way to the Garden of Gethsemane.
He asked Peter, James and John to spend time with Him praying for them and for Jesus.
Then Jesus went a little way and fell on His face.
There Jesus felt the separation from His Father-
caused by mankind’s sin upon Him.
He was so heavy with grief- that He sweat and cried tears of blood-
When He went to His friends three times He found them asleep through His agony.

He went a little further and fell on His face and prayed saying,
“O  My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me:
nevertheless, not as I will, but  as you will.
Matthew 26:39.

In the Upper Room: – Jesus washing the disciples feet;  In the Garden of Gethsemane.

E gets

feet wash C

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Easter week. 5. “On the Mount of Olives.”

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And Jesus said to them –
“Do you not see all theses things? Assuredly I say to you,
not one stone shall be left here upon another,
that shall not be thrown down.”  Matthew 24 : 2

Jesus was talking about the Temple in Jerusalem –
He said this with sadness- in the hearing of many.

It was still Tuesday – which was an eventful day.
Jesus and His disciples left the Temple and went to the Mount of Olives.
When there, some of them asked Jesus –
“Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be sign of Thy coming,
and the end of the world”?

He spoke the words recorded in Matthew Chs. 24-25

1.”Take heed that no one deceive you.
Many shall come in my name- saying I am Christ:  and shall deceive many”.
{Between His death and the siege of Jerusalem –
many false messiahs appeared.}

2. “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars –
see that ye be not troubled – for all these things must come to pass-
but the end is not yet”

3. “They shall deliver you up to be afflicted- and shall kill you:
and ye shall be hated for my names sake”.
{ All this the Christians suffered;
The persecutors did this by killing Steven and James}

4.”Pray ye that your flight be not in winter-
neither on the Sabbath day.

5. Christ spoke about His 2nd Advent- ” If any one shall say unto you-
Lo, here is Christ- or there. Believe it not.”

6. After the tribulations – there shall be signs  in the – sun moon and the stars-
and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.
There will be tempests, earthquakes, floods, fires, famine-
and murders of every kind.”
“Because iniquity shall abound- the love of many shall wax cold.”

7.”When you see these things come to pass
know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.”

Jesus gave His disciples a panoramic picture of events from His ascension
to His second coming- including many prophetic signs.

“Watch ye therefore,and pray always
that ye may escape all these things that may came to pass-
and to stand before the Son of man”.
Jesus spoke in parables – to explain what would happen before His 2nd Coming.

By reliving this last eventful week in the life of our Lord-
may we truly experience  – what He went through.

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Easter week – 4. ” We would see Jesus”……

direct way

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Certain Greeks came up to the Temple to worship at the feast;
and asked Philip … “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
John 12 : 20-21

Jesus and His disciples returned to Jerusalem from Bethany –
It was Tuesday morning before the Passover.
Jesus went into the Temple to teach to the people.
The chief council of the Jews came to the Temple with a plan to accuse and condemn Him.
They approached Him with a challenge- “By what authority are You doing these things?”
{Matthew 21:23]
They asked Him several questions- but Jesus wisely countered them with a question
that faced them with a dilemma whichever way they might have answered it.

On this day He spoke to the people in Parables recorded in Matthew 21-25.
The two sons;  The wicked husbandman;
The Kings banquet for his son’s wedding;
The Fig Tree; The 10 Virgins;  and The Talents;

It was on this Tuesday- Christ’ last day in the Temple-
that the Greeks’ came seeking Jesus saying- “We would see Jesus”
They came from the West at the close of His ministry
just as the wise men came from the East at the beginning.
They had heard of the events of the last few days and they longed to hear the truth.
Jesus went into the outer court – and spent time talking with them.

The Greeks represented the nations from the western world,
from which many would come to know Jesus.
The gathering of the Gentiles- greatly encouraged Jesus,
at the very time when so many of His own people were rejecting Him.

Even today people are searching and asking the same thing- “We want to see Jesus.”

We may be the only ones  some people may see- May they see Jesus in us.

***********The 10 Virgins

P10 V

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Easter week.. 3- “Fig Tree- without fruit”…

 

“And seeing a  fig tree by the road,  He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves,
and said to it,  – “Let no fruit grow on you again”
And immediately the fig tree withered away.”  
Matthew 21 : 19

{The barren fig tree}

Faithful

A fig tree normally has fruit beginning to develop  before the leaves appear.
On the Monday morning of the Passion Week, as Jesus was returning to the Temple-
He saw a fig tree with leaves and no fruit.
Jesus the sustainer of life, withdrew life from the barren fig- as an acted parable.

That tree with its promising foliage, symbolized many in the Jewish nation.
Like the fig tree, they were impressive to outward appearance,
with its magnificent Temple and solemn ceremonies;
but it lacked the spiritual fruit it should be producing.

The same day- that Jesus cursed the barren fig tree-
He also drove the money changers out of the Temple;
-just as He had done once before earlier in His ministry.
The priests and money changers were greedily taking advantage
of the people’s need for Temple coins and animals for sacrifice.
They exploited the pilgrims who had come to worship.

moneey

As Jesus forced the money changers out of the Temple,
others were entering the Temple in search of the Healer,
and the blind, deaf, and crippled found healing.
They remained and were blessed.

It was on this Monday-{the 10th day of the Jewish month – Ex, 12:3}
that the Jew’s selected the Passover lamb.
It had to be a male without blemish – representing Jesus.
They kept the little lamb in their homes as a pet until it was sacrificed.

As evening came, Jesus once again left Jerusalem and returned to Bethany.
Try to imagine His thoughts as He reflected on the events of the day.
His people – the Jewish nation’s lack of spiritual fruit;
The merciless money changers;
And the sincere people who came seeking Him for healing and blessings;
And the spotless lamb.

God expects us to be spiritually fruitful for Him-
Telling others about His love ans sacrifice for us.
Fruit on this fig tree-

blessed

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