The Best News Ever in a World Filled with Bad News

Much of the world will be celebrating Easter this week. Unfortunately, in the West, secular humanism has relegated the Christian Easter to mere “Easter bunnies” and “Easter eggs.”

That degeneration can be closely linked to Western society’s replacement of “thinking” with “feeling.” We have replaced the thermostat with the thermometer. We have given up on rigorous intellectual debate of facts and irrefutable truth and replaced it with “that’s fine if that’s how you feel about it.”

Perhaps the trend is no clearer than when the media—and consequently, the man on the street—expresses an opinion on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In the past, people either accepted or rejected Christ’s resurrection as a fact of history. But in today’s post-modern culture—where most of the “thinking” takes place between the nose and the chin—people are apt to say, “Jesus rose from the dead? So what?”

That attitude perpetuates apathy about the most important event in human history, which in turn causes people to miss out on the greatest news they could ever personally experience—news that brought about Western civilization itself.

For the thinking person, Christ’s resurrection is the best news ever because the evidence for it is overwhelming:

It was recorded by four independent accounts, which accurately reported many small details, such as the number of angels at the tomb, the number of women who went to the tomb, the time of their arrival, and the overall sequence of events. All the accounts are easily harmonized.
The removal of the tombstone and the presence of the grave cloth proved that Jesus’ body was no longer in the tomb. In the culture of that day, and with such a dense population, it would have been impossible to hide a body if it were stolen. The authorities could have easily produced it.
After Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to not just a few women in the garden, but to a wide variety of people, including a group of 500. Surely 500 people could not have suffered a hallucination at the same time.
The resurrection changed things in dramatic ways, such as the change in the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. But the greatest evidence of all might be how it changed the disciples and instilled in them a willingness to die a martyr’s death. Surely they would not have been willing to die a decade or two later for a lie or hallucination.

As English educator and historian Thomas Arnold once said: “I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort . . . than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.”

In fact, some of the best books on the resurrection were written by lawyers (Frank Morison, Gilbert West, J.N.D. Anderson, among others)—some of whom had originally set out to disprove the resurrection.

Sir Edward Clark, another English jurist, once wrote: “As a lawyer I have made a prolonged study of the evidences of the first Easter day. To me the evidence is conclusive and over and over again in the high court, I secured the verdict on evidence not nearly as compelling…”

That’s why the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest news of all—it is indeed great news, not just a great story. It is the ultimate truth, not just an opportunity to eat chocolate bunnies.

And because it is true, every human on the face of the earth must respond to it one way or another. Our individual eternal future, and the future of civilization, depends on it.

http://www.michaelyoussef.com/michaels-blogs/the-best-news-ever-in-a-world-filled-with-bad-news.html

His Resurrection Destiny

Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? —Luke 24:26

Our Lord’s Cross is the gateway into His life. His resurrection means that He has the power to convey His life to me. When I was born again, I received the very life of the risen Lord from Jesus Himself.

Christ’s resurrection destiny— His foreordained purpose— was to bring “many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10). The fulfilling of His destiny gives Him the right to make us sons and daughters of God. We never have exactly the same relationship to God that the Son of God has, but we are brought by the Son into the relation of sonship. When our Lord rose from the dead, He rose to an absolutely new life— a life He had never lived before He was God Incarnate. He rose to a life that had never been before. And what His resurrection means for us is that we are raised to His risen life, not to our old life. One day we will have a body like His glorious body, but we can know here and now the power and effectiveness of His resurrection and can “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). Paul’s determined purpose was to “know Him and the power of His resurrection” (Philippians 3:10).

Jesus prayed, “. . . as You have given Him authority over all flesh that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him” (John 17:2). The term Holy Spirit is actually another name for the experience of eternal life working in human beings here and now. The Holy Spirit is the deity of God who continues to apply the power of the atonement by the Cross of Christ to our lives. Thank God for the glorious and majestic truth that His Spirit can work the very nature of Jesus into us, if we will only obey Him.

http://utmost.org/his-resurrection-destiny/

This is the land which ye shall inherit. Num 34:13

It is important that we should know the limits and possibilities of our lives. We must beat the bounds, first to know how far we may go; and secondly where we must stop, in our inheritance.

How far we may go. – It is our privilege to know God and the hope of His calling, and the riches of the glory of His indwelling in our hearts, and the power of the Resurrection throbbing within us, lifting us to share the risen life of Jesus. Day by day we may be kept from yielding to known sin; day by day, though keenly conscious of temptation, we may be more than conquerors; day by day, the Holy Spirit may work in us perfect love toward God and man, to the limit of our light; day by day the Lord Jesus may be more perfectly formed within us.

Where we must stop. – We may expect to be blameless, but not faultless, till He present us to Himself: to be delivered from temptation, but not freed from its assaults: to be kept in perfect peace, but not secured from the pressure of adversity: to be dead to sin and self, but not daring to say that either is dead within us: to be delivered from this present evil world, as to spirit and temper, though still called to inhabit it as its salt and light. Take possession of every inch of God-given territory in Jesus, but beware of going beyond it.

It is a solemn question to all who have been appointed leaders in God’s hosts, whether they are rightly dividing their heritage. We must hold back nothing that is profitable: nor must we shun to declare the whole counsel of God. Let our preaching and teaching include all God’s provision for His children.

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/f-b-meyer-devotional.shtml

 

Why We Lack Understanding

He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead —Mark 9:9

As the disciples were commanded, you should also say nothing until the Son of Man has risen in you— until the life of the risen Christ so dominates you that you truly understand what He taught while here on earth. When you grow and develop the right condition inwardly, the words Jesus spoke become so clear that you are amazed you did not grasp them before. In fact, you were not able to understand them before because you had not yet developed the proper spiritual condition to deal with them.

Our Lord doesn’t hide these things from us, but we are not prepared to receive them until we are in the right condition in our spiritual life. Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). We must have a oneness with His risen life before we are prepared to bear any particular truth from Him. Do we really know anything about the indwelling of the risen life of Jesus? The evidence that we do is that His Word is becoming understandable to us. God cannot reveal anything to us if we don’t have His Spirit. And our own unyielding and headstrong opinions will effectively prevent God from revealing anything to us. But our insensible thinking will end immediately once His resurrection life has its way with us.

“. . . tell no one . . . .” But so many people do tell what they saw on the Mount of Transfiguration— their mountaintop experience. They have seen a vision and they testify to it, but there is no connection between what they say and how they live. Their lives don’t add up because the Son of Man has not yet risen in them. How long will it be before His resurrection life is formed and evident in you and in me?

http://utmost.org/why-we-lack-understanding/

Esau cried with an exceeding great and bitter Cry. Genesis 27:34

On this incident the writer to the Hebrews founds the impressive lesson, that the choices of the past may cast a bitter and irrevocable shadow on all our future. When he afterward desired to inherit blessing he was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears (Heb 12:16, Heb 12:17, R. V.).

Beware of the cravings of appetite. – In an evil moment Esau yielded to these, and sold his birthright to secure their gratification; he found afterward that the choice made in that hour was irrevocable. How needful that we watch and pray, lest we fall into temptation!

There are four facts which, when borne in mind, guard us against the sudden oversetting of passionate appetite.

We were once dead in sins. – Surely we do not want to go back again to the charnel-house with its corruption.

We died for sins in the person of Christ our Representative. – In Him we have met the demands of God‘s holy law; but surely that must be an awful thing which cost our Saviour so dearly.

We died to sin with the Lord Jesus. – We have passed with Him on to Resurrection ground; so that we belong to the new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

We are called on to reckon ourselves dead in sin. – The nearer we live to God, the more sensitive we shall be to the most distant suggestion of evil, closing doors and windows against its entrance, reckoning ourselves “not at home” to it, and yielding our members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/f-b-meyer-devotional.shtml