Friday, April 3, 2015

Looking Back and Looking Forward

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. The Hebrew and Greek meaning of the words mentioned are from Strong's Hebrew Greek Dictionary.
This coming Sunday is Easter Sunday. It is the commemoration of our Lord Jesus' resurrection from the dead. I want to celebrate the true meaning of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul said in 1st Corinthians 11:23-26, "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." Someone might say "what has that have to do with Easter?" Well lets look!

In Acts 12:1-4 the Bible says, "Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people." This is the only place in the Bible that uses the term, "Easter." However I might ask, "what has Easter to do with the resurrection?" I remember when I first started to follow the Lord Jesus, the Bible teacher made mention that the term Easter had a pagan origin and referred to a pagan goddess called Estre. I recently googled the origination of the term Easter and found the following, The term Easter is synonymous with  Ishtar, or Ashtaroth , etc, ancient pagan goddesses.

According to Strong's Hebrew Greek Dictionary, the word Easter is translated from the Greek in Acts 12:4 as "πάσχα pascha (pronouced) pas'-khah Of Chaldee origin (compare [H6453]); the Passover (the meal, the day, the festival or the special sacrifices connected with it): - Easter, Passover." It was the Friday before Passover that the Lord Jesus was crucified. It was Sunday when He rose again from the dead. The word Easter in our King James Bible rightfully should have been translated Passover. The gravest crime ever committed was when Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, was put to death on the cross by sinful men for sinful mankind. Did humanity deserve to die? The answer is yes! The Bible says in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God..." But the Lord Jesus from the cross prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (See Luke 23:34) It was His prayer that caused the death angel to truly pass over mankind.

My friend, you and I are alive today because of the intercession of Jesus Christ at Calvary. It could have been different! The Bible says in Matthew 26:53-54, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" Some of the words to a song I wrote many years ago are as follows;
     It was for you my friend, Jesus suffered and died.
     Because He loved you so, He was crucified.
     You life was sold in sin, Jesus bought it back again,
     It was for you my friend, and it was for me.

If you have never repented of you sins, I encourage you to do it now. (See Acts 17:30) It doesn't make any difference to God how grievous your sin may have been. Jesus purchased your pardon at Calvary. If you have repented and turned your heart and life to the Lord but have never been baptized in Jesus name, I encourage you to find someone who will baptize you in the only name that can save you, the name of Jesus Christ. (See Acts 2:38 and Acts 4:12)  If you will do so, God has promised to fill you with His Holy Spirit just like He filled His disciples on the Day of Pentecost. (See Acts 2:1-4

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