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Archive for April, 2012

He is Risen!

“The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.'” (Matthew 28:5-6a)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything! He has risen! He has risen indeed!

 

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I Wonder?

Today being “Holy Saturday,” I wonder what the first disciples of Jesus were thinking on this particular day 1,980 years ago?

As one of them – Peter – said to Jesus at one point, “We have left everything to follow you,” and they had. They had each given up their old lives in order to learn at the feet of the Master. They were with Him for three years – every day, every night, everywhere. They saw Him heal people, exorcise demons, feed multitudes with next to nothing, teach with authority, confound the Jewish religious and political leaders, explain Scripture, walk on water, calm storms,  make God’s character and nature visible, and say things they had a very hard time understanding.They also saw Him challenged, hated, arrested, beaten, tried, and mocked.

They saw Him die.

Maybe they thought all of their hopes and dreams died with Him, especially the dream of the coming of the kingdom of God. In the space of three hours on Friday, it was all gone. They scattered (except for John) and went back to their old lives. The memories of Jesus’s words and deeds must have filled their minds on that Saturday. I wonder if the phrase “now what?” went through their minds?

Even though He had told them at least four times He would be raised from the dead, I’m certain they didn’t expect a resurrection.

 

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Sometimes the thought goes through your head, “Why bother?” It happened to me last week in, of all places a Costco parking lot.

We went on a Saturday, which was probably a mistake, to pick up a few things. After driving around the parking lot for some time looking for a spot to park (not a spot right next to the door, mind you, just a place to park), we saw backup lights! It was a close spot, even though we weren’t looking for one. We stopped and I put on my turn signal, making it known to any and all that I would be taking this spot. So far, so good.

As we were waiting, I saw a man and woman walking up the aisle of cars toward the store. Even though they weren’t right in front of us, I decided to let them keep walking before taking the spot. What’s an extra 10 or 15 seconds?

On that day in the Costco parking lot, 10 or 15 seconds proved to be enough time for another car to take the spot. While we were waiting – doing a good thing – someone took advantage of it. I thought, “I had my turn signal on! They had to see it. I was doing something good here and this is what happens?”  Then I thought, “Why bother?” We drove off and found another spot, this time in the far reaches of the lot. At least it wasn’t raining.

So, why bother? Why do the right and good thing when you run the risk of getting taking advantage of for doing it? Because I know that doing good glorifies God and I’ve been commanded to do it. In Galatians 6:9-10, Paul writes, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Hopefully, the next parking lot experience will be different. My attitude, that is.

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This morning, I had the privilege of preaching on Genesis 4:1-26. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Depravity, with the aid of the flesh and the world, increases over time – but so does the grace of God.

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