Thursday, October 22, 2020

Raised from the dead

 Resurrection

This essential topic begins in the first book of the Bible. Abraham was willing to obey the command of God knowing that raising the dead was the only way possible  for the great promises could be fulfilled – read Genesis 24 along with Romans 4 and Hebrews 11.

The resurrection of Jesus is foretold in Psalm 16 (connect  with Acts 2). It is implied in Psalm 110. Resurrection was the only way Isaiah 53 could finish with victory.  For Israel to look upon the one whom ‘they had pierced’, the raising of the suffering Messiah was vital. Jesus Himself explained that His sufferings and resurrection were prophesied in the Old Testament(Luke 24)

I come to the teachings of the Lord Jesus himself. We noticed previously that He foretold his death on various occasions. At least three times He stated that He would rise again. This was clarified and emphasized in the communication to the disciples  recorded in John 13 – 17. The statements that ”He was going away” referred to His impending death. Then He said “I will see you again, -- and you will rejoice” – this was a direct reference to His rising from the dead.

The one that has relevance to us is John 10. There He states that God the Father had given Him authority, a command to lay down His life and then take it up again. This is so relevant, because we as wandering sheep need the Good Shepherd to save us. If He is yet in the grave then we have no hope of being saved!

The events of Jesus’s resurrection are recorded by four different persons. The variation in the accounts indicates there was no collusion, but rather different perspectives at different times.

I would like to work backwards from the book of the Revelation. John claims to have had a real vision of the living Lord Jesus. To John He said “ I am He that lives. I was dead but now am alive forevermore”.  This truth was so real to John that he along with the other apostles, was willing to die for it. In our generation, many middle eastern people have visions of the Lord Jesus and do die for believing in Him.

In one of the earliest writings of the new testament (1 Corinthians), Paul calls on any doubters to go speak to the witnesses still alive. He quotes 500 who witnessed the reality of the risen Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul himself had a most significant encounter with the risen Lord. As he travelled to Damascus,  he was blinded by light and heard a voice. The voice responded “ I am Jesus” -    a transformed Saul dedicated the rest of his life to the service of this risen master.

I am always interested to listen to the voice of good angels. Two of these stood on the mount of Olives and said – “This same Jesus whom you have seen go into heaven will so come in like manner.”  - They had no doubt about the reality of Jesus alive and ascended.  Likewise on the resurrection morning the angel announced to the women seeking the body of Jesus. “He is not here, He is risen. Come see the place where they laid Him”.

In the record of the Gospel writers, the risen Jesus appeared to many witnesses, demonstrating He was the same Jesus that had been crucified, with the difference that now He was alive in Spirit dominated humanity – ie the limits of nature did not prevent Him entering locked doors etc

An interesting observation is :- now risen in power, He did not seek revenge on those who had rejected an crucified Him. True their house was left unto them desolate and later destroyed. But rather He commissioned the disciples to take the message of repentance and forgiveness to the whole world! This could only be achieved by the Holy Spirit who was sent down from heaven by the risen exalted Lord!

Of course there were, and still are doubters. Some say the disciples stole the body and made the story – well not likely when the tomb was guarded and sealed with the Roman seal. If the Jews or Romans had stolen the body, they could have quickly stopped this new movement by producing the body.

Now to the millions of Christian across the globe, His resurrection brings the assurance of salvation and the glorious hope of the future. This was captured well by the hymn

 

“And because He lives

I can face tomorrow

Because He lives all fear is gone

Because I know He holds the future

And life is worth the living – just because He lives”

JRM

Sunday, October 4, 2020

He did not die in vain

 

God in control – the death of Jesus Christ

Some think of the death of Jesus as a mistake or tragedy. Looking deeper than the surface tells a very different reality.

God was working through Jesus Christ to achieve a very great thing – reconciling the world to Himself, even by the crucifixion of Jesus. Please ponder some important points.

1          The death of the Messiah was predicted, not as a matter of fate, but prophesied as a matter of purpose.

eg “ All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”  Isaiah 53:6

2        2   Jesus predicted His own death

Jesus said “ we are going to Jerusalem, and everything written about the Son of man by the prophets will be accomplished. For He will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully entreated and spit upon. After flogging Him they will kill Him and on the third day he will rise again.”  Luke 18:31

3        3   In the Gospel written by John, the Lord Jesus several times speaks of being ‘lifted up’ to achieve a particular purpose. 

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.” John 3.14

4       4    The night before the betrayal, Jesus told His followers so many things that were about to happen. I suggest you read through Luke 22 and mark each one. eg “ a new covenant in My blood”.   Peter “ you will three times deny that you know me”.    “The scripture must be fulfilled - He was numbered with the transgressors.”

5        5   When the guards arrived to arrest Jesus, instead of leaving like He did on other occasions, rather He said to them, “this is your hour and the power of darkness” – identifying Satan’s influence

6       6    When Pilate the governor made claim to power over Jesus, the answer was clear – “You would have no authority over me at all, unless it had been given you from above.” John 19.11

7       7    The habit of the soldiers, to hasten the death of those crucified was to brake their legs so that they could not breath any more. When they came to Jesus they did not break His legs, but pierce His side instead. Why? Because God had said of the sacrificial lamb “a bone of it shall not be broken”!  and again another scripture – “They shall look on Him whom they have pierced”  Zechariah 12

8       8    Even in His burial, God superintended for a rich man to provide a clean tomb for Jesus body – “with the rich in His death”.  Isaiah 53.9

 

Peter summed it up so very well: “This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised Him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it.” Acts 3,29

 

Paul writing by the Holy Spirit wrote  “ The Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself for our sins, to deliver us from this present evil age according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”  Galatians 1,4

 

Indeed He did not die in vain!


johnmckee@internode.on.net


Saturday, September 26, 2020

The words of witnesses

 

The death of Jesus Christ as from witnesses.

So often the historical details of His death are emphasized without considering the spiritual detail. Just now I would like to hear from those who were witnesses.

Peter:

“Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous that He might bring us to God” 1 Peter 3:18

John:

“In this the love of God has been made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

1 John 4:9

Crucified thief:

 “ This man has done nothing wrong” Luke 23:41

Centurion soldier:

“Truly this was the Son of God”  Matthew 27:54

Other voices from that time.

Paul

“ Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, He was buried , He was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3

Hebrews

“ so Christ having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time , not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him”  Hebrews 9:28

In the Old Testament the prophets foretold:

Isaiah

He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities, upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:5

Daniel

“The Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself” Daniel 9:26

 

Many more explanations of the death of Jesus Christ are given in the Old and New Testament. Search and be rewarded.


johnmckee@internode.on.net


Monday, September 7, 2020

The death of Jesus Christ the Lord

 

The Messiah‘s death as mentioned in the Gospel written by John

John wrote to convince people that Jesus was the Christ (Messiah), the Son of God. So it is interesting that he includes so many references to the death of Jesus. His death is not avoided as some unfortunate martyrdom, but repeatedly presented with a distinct purpose and fulfillment.

Chapter 1   - Jesus is announced by John the Baptiser as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Lambs were daily associated with sacrifices for sin.

Chapter 2   -  The Lord Himself refers to His body being a temple that would be pulled down.

Chapter 3   -  In His discussion with Nicodemus, the Lord Jesus speaks of the symbol which Moses put up on a pole. This Jesus said, was the sign that He Himself would be lifted up to die.

Chapter 6   -  The Lord from heaven tells the people that He was going to “give His flesh for the life of the world”.

Chapter 8   - The expression lifted up is used again. “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He”

Chapter 10   - The reference to His death is very clear and is explained.

       1st – the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep

       2nd  - He states that his impending death would happen according to divine command. A distinct purpose was in view and beyond that, He states that He would live again after rising from the dead.

Chapter 11   -  The leaders plot His death

Chapter 12   -  The Lord Jesus refers on this occasion to His burial. More than just death, He verifies that He would lie in a grave. It seems like none of His followers except Mary, understood what He was saying at that time.

Then He spoke to the two Greeks who came to question Him. Instead of promoting some philosophical purpose, He told them the He must be “lifted up”. By this means He would gather many people to Himself. This explains why His mission of 33years seemed like a failure, yet after His resurrection multitudes chose to believe in Him.

 

From the beginning of the Bible to the end, the death of the Lord Jesus Christ is most significant. I encourage you to read through John’s writings, noting his explanations about this. (include 1 John)

Sunday, August 23, 2020

The words of the Lord Jesus Christ - so important

 

“My words”  from the teaching of Jesus Christ.

John 8:31   -   “If you abide in My word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

 

John 8:47   -    Whoever is of God hears God’s words. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

 

John 12:48   -   “ the one who rejects Me and does not receive the words has a judge: the words that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.”

 

John 14:23  -  “If anyone loves Me, he will keep my  word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our home with him.”

 

John 17:14     -    I have given them your word, and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world.”

John 20:29   -  “ blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

 

The apostle Paul emphasized the importance of HIS words:

Philippians 3:16   “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

 

The apostle Peter likewise 

1 Peter 2:2   “As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”


Being a Christian without reading the words of the Lord Jesus is like sailing a ship without a compass.


John McKee

Saturday, August 15, 2020

The tough question - who is this?

 

John chapter 6

The significant verse in this chapter is verse 29 – “This is the work of God , that you believe in Him (Jesus)whom He (God) has sent.”

Doing things for God is much easier and appealing than believing in Jesus the Lord from heaven. Someone recently said to me ‘Just tell me what to do, to be Christian’

I observe in Toowoomba many people doing church. Others are busy doing good things. Others are busy helping the poor. But how many spend time alone with God (just like Jesus did) in worship and meditation, discovering who Jesus really is and adoring, honouring Him.

Many people sing self-orientated songs. Some pray for what they want. Bible studies usually teach how a Christian should live. The Lord Jesus had a different perspective. He said “ Work for the bread which brings eternal life which the Son of Man (Jesus) will give.”

The Apostle Paul understood this  - “that I might know Him” ( Philippians 3)

The response of John was – “ we love Him because He first loved us” ( 1 John )

 

In John chapter 6 the teaching of Jesus is linked to the bread which came down to the Israelites via Moses. Jesus then insisted that He was the true bread which came down from heaven. The Jews did not like the claim that He had existed in heaven before He was born of Mary. To be a true Christian, this is what we must believe.

In John chapter 7, His teaching includes a new claim – that he was soon going to return to heaven. This mystified his hearers, but He repeated it several times. Even one of His followers was perplexed so asked – “ we know not where you are going, and how can we know the way?”

Jesus explained that He was going up to the Fathers house (heaven) and said

“I am the way, the truth and the life, no one come to the Father except by Me”  (John 14,6)

We do well to take time to ponder -  where did Jesus come from, and where is Jesus now?

Believing the Bible about this  is so important and also liberating – to be truly free.


Take time to be alone with God today! and write down (Journal) what you learn from Him!


johnmckee@internode.on.net

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Judgement day

Bible  - John Chapter 5

God is holy and in keeping with His character He must and will judge all people.

Under the law given to Moses (10 commandments etc), the judgement was to be carried out by the leaders in the nation. – the king, the elders, the judges.  However this system failed because the leading ones were not qualified. This is the situation recorded in John chapter 8 when Jesus said to the accusers “ He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone” – so they all left.

In John chapter 5, Jesus makes some happy, yet astounding statements.

1         God will judge the world in righteousness. (fair)

2         God will judge the world by Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ will be the judge on judgement day because he has experienced being a human as well as being the Son.

3         All the dead will be raised by the command of Christ.

4         Some will be raised to eternal life. The others will be raised to eternal damnation.

5         A wonderful promise is given by the Lord in verse 24:  Everyone who hears (accepts) the words of Jesus, and believes in God the Father who sent Him, will not be judged, but has passed from death (present condition) into life (born into the family of God).

Please take the time to read this section through. In particular read carefully John chapter 5 verse 24.

 

What a wonderful experience it is to be forgiven by God through the death of the Lord Jesus and no longer live in the fear of the Judgement day.


johnmckee@internode.on.net