Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Lord is risen

"He is risen indeed"

Try counting the number of people who saw Him after He rose out from death

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A good day or a bad day?

People might well ask why a bad Friday is now called ‘Good Friday”

The narrative of Jesus of Nazareth being judged by the Jewish leadership and the Roman governor does not create any joyful feelings. The injustice, the violence, the mockery and then the cruelty of the crucifixion, all point to a very bad day.

 How is it then that Christians all over the world find something good from what seemed so bad and tragic .  If logic were our compass we would be lost for an answer. If the Bible is our compass, we have answers abundant.
One way to understand the meaning of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, is to remember links to it in the Old Testament. The Israelites were commanded to bring animal sacrifices to atone for their sins. After many years of practising this, the prophet Isaiah announced that the Messiah would come as a servant, and that His soul would be made an offering for sin (Isaiah 53). By means of His sufferings and resurrection, He would justify many. The Lord Jesus himself referred to these Old Testament scriptures to explain His sufferings. (Luke 24).

Another way to consider the purpose of the cross, is to ponder the words of the Lord Jesus Himself, before and after the event. He said He would ‘give His life a ransom for many’ (Mark 10.45). As a shepherd, He said He would “lay down His life for the sheep”  (John 10). He emphasised that this would be done according to the commandment of the Father. He gave His disciples detailed predictions of His impending death – rejected, spit on, killed etc. When it came to the night He was betrayed, He said to the apostles, “ this is my blood shed for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26.28). Thus we can see that His going to the cross was not accidental or unfortunate. After the resurrection, He said “ It was necessary that Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His Name”. 
(Luke 24)

Peter was a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and he put it this way   –“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit.” (1 Peter 3.18)

Paul, who met the Lord Jesus Christ after the resurrection and ascension, commented on the cross as – the Son of God who “gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.” (Galations1).
We could continue on this subject for a long time because so much of the Bible is occupied with the meaning and effects of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even in heaven, the song of the redeemed will refer back to the “Blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 5).

How we rejoice that it is God who turned the evil of mankind (at the cross), into a good outcome.
For Jesus Christ it was pain, aloneness, reproach, shame and death, but for those who believe in Him, it is the means of freedom, forgiveness and eternal life (and so much more).

‘Praise Him, Praise Him, Jesus our blessed redeemer
For our sins He suffered and bled and died
He’s our Rock our hope of eternal salvation

Hail Him, Hail Him, Jesus the crucified’

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The King

The king arrived at the city gate. How disappointed he was to discover that almost no one recognised him. He had built the city and with great detail and precision and had set up it’s walls, it’s towers along with the beautiful gardens. The streets had been laid out in order and the market place established for the convenience of all. But now all was in disarray. Worst of all was the state of the people. They were preoccupied with selfish gains, distracted in worship by other attractions, seeking to attain their own independence by their own ingenuity.
The intriguing thing is how the king now comes to them. Not presenting himself as a  king, but as a servant to all. He connects with the gardener as a gardener. He connects with the shepherds as a shepherd for he is more interested in restoring the people than he is in restoring the structures and the environment. Love does compel him to expose the pride and disobedience of the people, but his compassion brings healing and recovery. But how does he bring God’s favour upon this rebellious people? How can true enduring peace be restored?

He died for them!

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Miracles

Jesus of Nazareth certainly did many mighty miracles. 

John the apostle summarized them this way - “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples which are not written in this book, but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His Name” (John 20.31).

The miracles were spectacular and undeniable. He changed water into wine, stilled the storm, multiplied five loaves of bread to feed 5000, healed the sick, walked on water, raised the dead to life again.

Some critics questioned the power source (since the magicians of Egypt could do certain miracles), but the Lord Jesus himself restated that the power to do these miracles was by the Holy Spirit, in accord with the commandment of the Father.

  • The reason why He did these signs was important.
  • They were done as the works of the Father.
  • The signs vindicated the authority of Jesus as the Son of God
  • The signs and wonders confirmed the words of Jesus as the words of God.
  • The character of the miracles was an expression of God’s caring love for a broken humanity.
Note that these miracles were not something worked up – so often healing was instant, seldom done in the synagogue, and not limited to certain psychological conditions. The final sign, which worried the rulers of the Jews, was the raising of Lazarus from the dead. This ultimate sign of His ultimate authority, was indicative of His final authority on the day of judgement, when all the dead will be raised  to face Him as the judge.

How important it is that we believe in Him, to be delivered  from the condemnation of judgement (John 5.24) , and instead find the full meaning of ‘eternal life’

It is not the thrill of miracles that counts, but the thrill of knowing Him whose name is "Wonderful" (wonder worker)

John McKee

Monday, March 7, 2016

Born of a virgin? A sinless life?

The baby - the Boy - the Man - Jesus 

My meditations on the Lord Jesus Christ are progressing slowly. We do well to pause in this busy world, to check the foundations, to be sure of the validity of our hope in Jesus Christ our Lord.
John the Apostle pointed to Jesus when he wrote “the Word (Logos) became flesh and lived among us”  (John 1.14)
We do well to ask then ‘if God came to live among us, how did He come and what was He like? Human reasoning might suggest that He should suddenly appear in dazzling light or as a superstar leader.