Saturday, April 22, 2017

REFLECTIONS ON THE RESURRECTION


(Note to readers: The responses were sung to the tune of “O Come All Ye Faithful" Lyrics by myself.}

16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Easter Sunday is where the reality of faith meets he road of doubt. Either Jesus rose from the dead, in which case our faith is grounded in reality; or he did not, in which case our faith is without grounds,and of no value. But we have reason to believe that Jesus DID rise from the dead.
  1. The tomb was empty and the grave clothes vacant. if those who opposed Christ wished to silence His disciples, they had to do was produce a body, but they could not .
  2. Many people saw the resurrected Christ. They looked on His face, touched Him, heard His voice, and saw Him eat (Matt. 28:16-20; Luke 24:13-39; John 20:11-29; John 21:1-9; Acts 1:6-11; 1 Cor. 15:3-8).
  3. The lives of the disciples were revolutionized. Though they fled and even denied Christ at the time of His arrest, they later feared no one in their proclamation of the risen Christ (Matt 26:56, 69-75).6. The resurrection was the central message of the early church. The church grew with an unwavering conviction that Christ had risen and was the Lord of the church (Acts 4:33; 5:30-32; Rom. 5:24).
  4. Men and women today testify that the power of the risen Christ has transformed their lives. We know that Jesus is alive not only because of the historical and biblical evidence but also because He has miraculously touched our lives.
    To this day, the murmurs of doubt are drowned in the victorious acclimation of Easter: “Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed.!
Response
.
Come with the women, Early in the morning
.Come the the tomb and find the stone rolled away.
.Angels in white say: “Seek Him with the living.”

Refrain

From death to life arisen,
From death to life arisen,
From death to life arisen,
Christ, the Lord.


3 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus gave a lesson on the prophecies of the Old Testament which were fulfilled in His death and resurrection. What a lesson that would have been! The Author of the Book explains His work, making connections from Scripture to the events they had recently experienced.

The disciples’ reaction to Jesus’ lesson was one of deep conviction of the truth of what He was teaching. “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked?” they ask each other (verse 32). Their physical eyes were blinded to the identity of Jesus, but their eyes of faith were being opened as Jesus opened the Scriptures to them.

The story of the disciples on the Emmaus Road is important for many reasons. It provides an emphasis on the Old Testament prophecies related to Jesus, evidence regarding an additional appearance of Jesus, and a connection regarding the many eyewitnesses of the resurrected Jesus. Luke 24 is often seen as a model of the journey that Jesus makes with many of us today, as He opens our eyes, points us to the Word, and reveals Himself along life’s walk as the resurrected Savior and Lord.

Following this account, Jesus appears to His other disciples, removing all doubt that He was alive. Jesus had promised that He would show Himself to those who love Him (John 14:21), and this is exactly what He does on the road to Emmaus.

Response
.
Walk to Emmaus, listen to the stranger;
Hear as he opens up what Scriptures all say;
When He breaks bread, you will see the Savior.

From death to life arisen,
From death to life arisen,
From death to life arisen,
Christ, the Lord.

Some of the followers were together: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the two sons of Zebedee, and two other followers. 3 Simon Peter said, “I am going out to fish.”

The others said, “We will go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat. They fished that night but caught nothing.

4 Early the next morning Jesus stood on the shore, but the followers did not know it was Jesus. 5 Then he said to them, “Friends, did you catch any fish?”

They answered, “No.”

6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they did, and they caught so many fish they could not pull the net back into the boat.

7 The follower whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Peter heard him say this, he wrapped his coat around himself. (Peter had taken his clothes off.) Then he jumped into the water. 8 The other followers went to shore in the boat, dragging the net full of fish. They were not very far from shore, only about a hundred yards. 9 When the followers stepped out of the boat and onto the shore, they saw a fire of hot coals. There were fish on the fire, and there was bread.

10 Then Jesus said, “Bring some of. the fish you just caught.”
11 Simon Peter went into the boat and pulled the net to the shore. It was full of big fish, one hundred fifty-three in all, but even though there were so many, the net did not tear. 12 Jesus said to them, “Com e and eat.” None of the followers dared ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, along with the fish.
14 This was now the third time Jesus showed himself to his followers after he was raised from the dead

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus told his followers: 31 Don’t worry and say, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 The people who don’t know God keep trying to get these things, and your Father in heaven knows you need them. 33 Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well. Later he fed the crowds with 5 loaves and two fish. Now he again provides food for his followers; food not just to drive away their hunger, but food to drive away their grief. Food to heal their souls and strengthen them for the task ahead; a task he sets before them when he instructs John:
Feed my lambs.” “Shepherd my sheep.” and “Feed my sheep.” The call to John echoes through the centuries and the task now falls on us.

There on the lake shore, see Him cooking breakfast
While His disciples fish the mourning away.
Care for my lambs and feed my sheep he tells us.”

From death to life arisen,
From death to life arisen,
From death to life arisen,

Christ, the Lord.

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