Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Seeing Easter, not Avoiding It

Seeing Easter, Not Avoiding It 

He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. ISAIAH 53:8 

Look in reverence and awe at God’s Servant who suffered on your behalf and because of your sin . . .  
• He had “no form or comeliness,” no regal bearing. Nothing notable about His physical appearance would draw crowds to Him (v. 2). 
• The Servant was “despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows” (v. 3) who was keenly aware of the devastation caused by sin and the desperate condition of people separated from God. 
• “Smitten by God” indicates that the Romans were not the ultimate cause of Jesus’ death; the heavenly Father was (v. 4). 
• The Servant “opened not His mouth” (v. 7), indicating His serenity and submission to His Father’s will. He did not argue with, condemn, or revile those who were brutally murdering Him. 
• Christ “was stricken”: He suffered death by crucifixion for our sin. Our sin cost Him His life. The cruel, despicable horror of the cross is a powerful reminder of sin’s ugliness.  

Spend time this Easter season meditating on Isaiah’s moving description of the Suffering Servant who endured so much agony to atone for your sins (52:13–53:12).  - Being Still With God - Henry Blackaby and Richard Blackaby 

All too much and all too often Easter is one of two times people feel just guilty enough about avoiding God that they go to Church for a service. The other is Christmas. 

Until a sermon is then preached that a reminder is given concerning just who Jesus was and what He went through. 

My Dear Reader one Sunday isn't enough. It's honestly looking at what Jesus went through as if it were a drive by shooting. You know something grave happened but you don't want to stick around. 

Jesus went through the full judgement of God His Father in His physical and Spiritual self while being beaten, tortured, whipped, scourged and nailed to the cross He still carried to the hill where He was crucified.  He bore the pain of a crown of thorns hammered onto His head.  He took the punches to His face. 

Why would anyone endure all that?  

Charlie Pride had a song many years ago, and although he had a great many other number one hits, this is my favorite song of his or anyone else. "He Took My Place".

There was a man more than a man
Called Jesus Christ of Galilee
There was a place where Jesus prayed
A place that's called Gethsemane

There on a hill called Calvary
There stood a cross of agony
Nailed to that cross where I should be
He took my place at Calvary

Now I'm a child of royalty
And even angels can believe
My Jesus cared so much for me
He took my place at Calvary

Christ Jesus lives He lives today
From sin and debt He set me free
Now hand in hand each place I go
My Jesus Christ He walks with me

And when I ask how could it be
That He could care so much for me
The answer comes so tenderly
He took my place on Calvary

And now my Lord the son of God
I share with everyone I see
I give my best my all to Him
Because He gives so much to me

Now if His own you'll wanna be
Come join His royal family
Let your heart sing joyfully
He took my place on Calvary

Quite often, if not always, at the end of an Easter service, an alter call is given.  My Friend you do not have to wait for Easter to come to Christ.  It can be right here, right now. 

But why? Why did Jesus go through all that for anyone?  Scripture says that He has loved us with a love the began before this world was formed.  He loved you so much that He willingly became you before His Father to take the death sentence that was placed on you so that you could live.  He jumped in front of the wrath headed straight for you and I so that you and I could be spared.  He loves us that much. 

A chorus goes like this:

Oh, how He loves you and me, Oh how He loves you and me. He gave his life, what more could he give?
Oh, how He loves you; Oh, how he loves me; Oh, how he loves you and me.

Jesus to Calvary did go, His love for sinners to show. What He did there brought hope from despair.
Oh, how He loves you; Oh, how he loves me; Oh, how he loves you and me.

My Friend, where ever you are in life, no matter what you have done or what you think about yourself, Jesus stepped in the path of the judgement headed for you. He made the way possible by His Resurrection for you to be saved.  There is a condition. "I knew it!" You exclaim.  It's not what you think.  You must ask Him to be your Savior. It's been done over 2,000 years ago but you must still ask Him to come into your life as Savior and Lord. To forgive you of your sin.  That's the catch. You have to ask. Nothing more than that. 

We can be the most stupid and stubborn of people in the face of danger. We can see it but not see it. We can misinterpret the magnitude of a choice placed in our hands.  Salvation and the need for it can be one of those situations. We can believe the world and its take on it or believe the Savior who stands before us with His arms open beckoning us to come, the price is paid, the debt is covered. 

This world and all its allure is degrading. It's a civilization on the decline. It's not going to get better.  It's heading towards the judgment of God that the Bible says has to happen. 

Your only hope to not endure it is to ask and receive His free gift of Salvation. That's the only way because Jesus said He's the only way.  All other so-called prophets of other religions died and never came back. They are all in Hell. All of them. All of them will stand before Jesus at the Final Judgment and be condemned, tossed into the Lake of Fire. All of them. 

You my Friend have the chance and the choice to be saved.  They can't be.  Once you die the offer expires. There is no second chance. 

Won't you come to Christ today?  Admit that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. Ask Jesus to forgive you and take away your sin.  Ask Him to come into your life and guide you in His Plan for you.  It's not complicated.  It isn't going to be you giving up everything, it's you being willing to give up on things that don't matter to the One who took your place. To live the rest of your life to honor the one who loved you so much to take your place. 

That's what Easter really is. 

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