Over the past few weeks we've been talking about the walls in life we build around ourselves. We just had Easter, the very event which broke down the final wall between us and our God. That's the biggest deal of all; not having any fear of death, as it has absolutely no control over us who entrust our lives to and in our Living Lord. Emphasis on Living.
Death, not so much! One of the things that irritates me about common criticisms or notions that scripture is just a compilation of oral traditions, reverse engineering of history, or just plain fabrications is the fact that professional researchers of historical documents, regardless of their bias, will all concur that the prophetic books of Hosea and Isaiah were written and compiled long before the time of Jesus. And yet both predicted something that not even the best of scholars of their day could anticipate: The permanent removal of death.
It's Easter. Again. And maybe that's why. We're so used to the Easter story of Jesus rising from the dead, so common, so repetitive. And on top of that most folks these days don't believe in Him anyhow. They treat Christianity as just another "religion", just another theology of so many others.
But Here's the deal. He's real. The resurrection of a man who just happened also to be the creator of the entire universe, down to every subatomic particle. So this whole business of forgiveness really is a big deal. It's the biggest of deals, so we need to listen to the story. Yes, again, one more time.
For almost everyone, when life's circumstances seem overwhelming the question usually arises, 'Why is God allowing this to happen?' Hopefully this series might help in getting some perspective.
We're looking at Isaiah 53 today. There are way too many zero's you have to add to the probability that Isaiah's prophecy could ever be fulfilled. But it did. And there's so much to learn.
We are continuing our discussion from last week in Isaiah in our effort to understand the full impact of what Jesus has done for us on the cross.
Many of us remember the exact incident when we "gave our life to the Lord". We now had our guaranteed security, on our way to heaven for sure and certain. It's a scary proposition. I've heard so many say, "It doesn't matter what I do, what sin or sins I commit. From now on I'm guaranteed my salvation". That kind of attitude frightens me beyond description. A one time "prayer of confession" is the beginning of a lifetime commitment of love and obedience. It's the beginning of a journey, not an end in and of itself. We've been guaranteed that Jesus paid the price on the cross. He did the work of bringing peace between sinful man and Himself, and Jesus continues to do the work, every day, every moment. We yield and He gives us the continued ability. Yes, we may fail from time to time, but He stands ready to wash us clean, every moment, every day.
For those of us who have lived long enough, most have had some event occur which toppled the expected routine of life as we knew it. We had to completely readjust to a new normal. There is never a reason for hopelessness in our lives.
...about the fact of the resurrection. The historical evidence is overwhelming and easily stands up under the scrutiny of our modern legal standards in any court of law. The only other needed element is intellectual honesty. A rare item in our modern world. For the skeptic, consider it. For the believer, do more than consider it. People's eternal lives are at stake.
There are a number of dynamics of Jesus' prayer to His Father in John 17. We find that He is completely clear on the fact that He existed with the Father before anything in existence was created. By default Jesus is God, as He acknowledges that the Father shared His glory with Jesus, something that the Father shares with no man. Last week Nancy talked about Jesus' request that the Father now glorify Him and what that meant. But the end game of His prayer, and the reason He arrived on this planet, is to save us. He prayed for our salvation and our protection all the way through our individual lives right into His presence. That is the end game, the ultimate end game; life forever and ever with the One Who created us. The extra bonus is the peace that we can have regardless of our circumstances while we're still on our journey home. This week we continue in John 17.
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