Archives For Easter

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Jesus said… “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

As I write this today I am thinking about three people I am very much looking forward to seeing again.

The first is my good friend and former Seminary professor, Pastor Fran Monseth. He was honestly a father figure in my life, and he loved me and all of our family like we were his own. Fran transferred residence from his earthly shell to the presence of the Lord one year ago today. One year. It’s still hard to believe I can’t call him for advice, can’t pray with him, can’t endure his dry jokes.

Second, I miss my friend Jeremy. He never really leaves my mind, to be honest. We worshipped together, made music together, discussed theology over eggs benedict, laughed and cried and prayed together through his cancer diagnosis and treatment, and through the bone marrow transplant that took his life. Jeremy knew my heart, and I knew his. Jeremy went home to Jesus in June of 2012. There are still days when the tears come, unexpected.

And third, I want to give my Grandma Arona a hug. Grandma went to heaven just this last October. I miss her cinnamon rolls with the peanut butter frosting, and her potato dumplings, and the way she would say “It’s probably not any good” after you had just taken thirds of whatever deliciousness she happened to be serving that evening. I miss hearing her vibrato, as she sang hymns to Jesus. After having lived the last several years of her life in a wheelchair following a stroke, Grandma walked into Jesus’ arms. She’s singing again, too.

We’re drawing near to EASTER now, and our eyes and thoughts are on Jesus’ death and resurrection. The Church is preparing to celebrate. But today, as I remember Pastor Monseth, and Jeremy, and Grandma, the reality and power of the HOPE of RESURRECTION shakes me again. Because Jesus rose FIRST, you see – the firstfruits, He is called – we who know Him as our own carry the assurance with us that death is not an end. Death has lost its sting. Now it is a relocation, a joyful transfer to freedom. And we will rise again.

That’s why I can’t intone the Apostle’s Creed every week in our worship services with my heart and brain disengaged. In fact, the joyful reality of the certain resurrection we look forward to can probably be seen splashed on my face as we agree together what we believe in… “The holy Christian Church, the communion of the saints, the resurrection of the body…”

Really since Jeremy left us, this resurrection we look forward to has become so much more real for many of his loved ones. His friends here below were and are unusually close to him and to each other. We assume he’s working out a housing arrangement with the Lord whereby our mansions are all on the same cul-de-sac. Since Jeremy’s departure, thoughts of resurrection are always swirling through my theology, and it affects my everyday reality. Like Paul, I hang my everything on the hope of resurrection.

Paul said that he had given up everything else in life in order that he might live in relationship with Jesus. And to what end? “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11)

For me, this is tangible. Not just theological speculation. Keeping my eyes on the reality of resurrection in Jesus is changing my tastes. Jesus is making my heart new, and refashioning my mind. He puts my mouth out of taste for the poison of sin, and reminds me of the sweetness of knowing Him. Finding my delight in Him leads to LIFE, and a complete and soul-satisfying joy that lasts forever. (Psalm 16:11) And communion with Him. And ongoing relationship with Fran, and Jeremy, and Grandma again.

The Church will celebrate Easter in a few short weeks. Don’t allow your family traditions and familiar ceremony to inoculate you to the wonder of this moment. The resurrection is for YOU. That should astound you. It astounds me. And it means that those loved ones in Jesus who have gone on before us are together now with the Lord, and they will rise again. Death is not final. It’s just a relocation, a renewal, a rebirthing process. Jesus said that everyone who lives and believes in Him shall never die.

Do you believe this?

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“the resurrection of the body” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

May 1, 2011. Living Hope Church in St. Michael-Albertville, MN.  This message picks up where we left off last week, Easter morning, with the account of Jesus walking with two of His disciples on the way to Emmaus later that day.  The principle text is Luke 24:13-35.

Core ideas:

(1)  Jesus crucified, buried, and risen again is our only hope of freedom from sin and an abundant life with God.

(2)  Jesus meets us and walks with us in our low places.

(3)  Incomplete understanding and wrong expectations of God lead to discouragement.

(4)  Jesus reveals Himself to us through His Word and in real relationship with us.

(5)  When Jesus’ disciples see Him revealed, the natural response is a burning heart.

You can stream the audio here >>

I concluded the message with a list of just a few of the pictures of Jesus we see in the Old Testament.  I’ve included that list below.

Types of Christ in the Old Testament

Jesus is Adam: firstborn son of God representing all men, with headship over a new creation.

Jesus is Noah: the only righteous one, rescuing all mankind in an ark of wood, pointing to the cross that will save mankind.

Jesus is Abraham: father of all the family of God.

Jesus is Melchizedek: whose name means “King of Justice” the great high priest who intercedes for us before the Father.

Jesus is Isaac: long-awaited promised only son of Abraham, taken to be sacrificed on the mountaintop.

Jesus is the Ram in the thicket: God’s provision, and the blood sacrifice that took Isaac’s place.

Jesus is Joseph: Hated without a cause, ridiculed, plotted against, stripped of his robe, sold for silver, lied about, placed in captivity with two guilty men, unrecognized by his own people.

Jesus is Moses: the prophet of God and servant leader of Israel.

Jesus is the Pillar of Cloud and the Pillar of Fire: in the midst of His people, leading them out of slavery.

Jesus is Joshua: the victorious warrior, leading His people into the Promised Land.

Jesus is David: Reigning on the throne of Israel, born in Bethlehem, a prophet and a king, returning to reign in Jerusalem gaining victory over his enemies in the name of God.

Jesus is Solomon: son of David, ruling in wisdom.

Jesus is Jonah in the belly of a whale: swallowed by death for three days before his resurrection.

Jesus is Jeremiah: a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

Jesus is Daniel: accepted by the Father, silent before the lions.

Jesus is Nehemiah: passionate about the Holy City and the reputation of God.

Jesus is the Dove: sacrificed as a sin offering on the altar in the Tabernacle.

Jesus is the Eagle: carrying Israel safely to God’s presence in Exodus 19.

Jesus is the Lion in Hosea roaring in victory, and the Lion of Judah in Revelation, victorious champion of heaven.

Jesus is the Sheep without blemish: sacrificed in Leviticus.

Jesus is the Lamb led to slaughter: silent before its shearers in Isaiah.

Jesus is the Scapegoat in Leviticus 16: sent away bearing the sins of the people so that they will not bear it anymore.

Jesus became sin for us as the serpent – the symbol of sin and death – lifted up on a pole in the midst of a tormented people, that all who look to him will be saved from death.

“And 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)

Jesus is the garments of skin for Adam and Eve: given by God, covering our shame.

Jesus is our sacrifice on the Day of Atonement.

Jesus is Manna in the wilderness: God’s provision, the Bread of Life.

Jesus is our passage through the Red Sea: our escape route from slavery to sin, and our entrance to the Promised Land.

Jesus is the burnt offering, which points to Christ’s willingly offering himself.

Jesus is the meal offering, which points to his purity and sinlessness.

Jesus is the peace offering, which points to his accomplishments on the cross.

Jesus is the sin offering, which points to his dealing with sin’s guilt.

Jesus is the trespass offering, which points to his dealing with sin’s injury.

Jesus is the Passover Feast, which points to Calvary.

Jesus is the Firstborn son, who belonged to God and died in all the homes of Egypt because of their sin

Jesus is the blood on the doorposts of Israel: a covering and a protection, proclaiming our debt paid and our belonging to God as His chosen people.

Jesus is the Passover Lamb who was slain: whose blood paid the price for my sin, and for your sin.

Jesus is the rebuilding of the temple in three days.

Jesus is the indwelling Presence of God in the new temple, His Church.

He is JESUS CHRIST, the LAMB of GOD, the KING of KINGS, the Kinsman Redeemer, the Champion of God, the Lord of Hosts, and the Resurrected Savior.


Creative Commons License
“burning hearts inside us” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

NOTE: The message artwork above was done by the great team at gracewaymedia.com.  If you are not familiar with their work, I highly recommend them for worship background images and PowerPoint support for messages.  Living Hope Church has been a subscriber for years.

God bless you with a thermo-nuclear blast of Easter hope…

 

(To download this video or purchase a DVD for use in your church, visit ignitermedia.com.)

Have the best Easter of your whole life.  God bless.