He Has Risen

 

 

He Has Risen!

 

Would this be a good day to talk about the resurrection of Christ?  Personally, I think every day, is a good day to talk about all things Christ.   The bible talks about the resurrection.  Here’s a few things that it says;

“He is not here, for He has risen..”    Mathew 28, verse 6.   

“He has risen, He is not here..”    Mark 16, verse 6.   

And in  Luke 24, verse 6,  “He is not here, but He has been raised!”  

“Raised from the dead, through the glory of the Father”,  as it says in  Romans 6, verse 4.  

Jesus was a Man whom God has appointed, “having furnished proof to all men, by raising Him from the dead.”  Acts 17, verse 31.  

Acts 2:24  tells us;  “And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in it’s power.”  

And  1 Corinthians 15, verse 17  tells us this;  “And if Christ has NOT been raised, your faith is worthless, you are still in your sins.”  And  verse 20  affirms;  “But now Christ HAS been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who are asleep.”  

It had to be that way;  It couldn’t have been any other way.  Jesus Christ had to die, and He had to be raised from the dead.  There was no other way, that anyone, could be forgiven of their sins.  And so, because God “so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son”,  to die for our sins.  And Jesus died.  And Jesus was resurrected, but He wasn’t resurrected on April 21st.

Not on April 21st, 2019,  and I doubt that Jesus was resurrected on April 21st, in Ad 33 either.   I mean, I don’t know that for a fact, that Jesus wasn’t resurrected on a day which would be the “equivalent” of our 21st day of April.  But the point is, we have no idea what the date was on a calendar, on the day Jesus was resurrected.  But this we do know for sure, that whatever the DATE was, Jesus was resurrected on the first DAY of the week, not on a specific DATE on the calendar, but on a specific day.

The book of Mark confirms that, with these words;  “Now after He had risen, early on the first DAY of the week..”   (Mark 16, verse 9)   And all the other gospel accounts agree, that indeed Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week.  Not necessarily the 21st day of some month, and not the 14th day, or the first day of the month, but on the first day of the week!  Jesus was raised from the dead, through the glory of the Father, on the first day of the week.  And it just so happens, that the bible gives us the example of Christians assembling themselves together for worship, on the first day of the week.  

 

Now, listen to what I’m going to say;  When we assemble for worship, on the first day of every week, it has nothing to do with the fact, that Jesus was raised from the dead on that day, does it?  It’s merely “coincidental” that God has authorized our congregational worship, to be conducted on the same day, that Jesus was resurrected from the dead, right?

I wonder if  you’re all saying to yourselves right now,  “I think Jim must have banged his head on something, and scrambled his brains!  How can he possibly say that our assembling on the first day of the week, has nothing to do with the fact that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead on the first day of the week?  And how could he suggest, that it’s just a “coincidence” that our worship assembly, and Christ’s resurrection, are both on the first day of the week.  Does he think that our God, simply put all the names of the days of the week, in a hat, and randomly pulled one out, to decide which day that we should come together and worship?”

I really hope you’re wondering that right now, because I’m not saying that.  But I wanted to get you to think about it.

To me, it is obvious, that it’s no “coincidence” that our God in heaven, has instructed us to assemble together, to worship  Him, on the very same day that Jesus rose from the grave.  The death AND the resurrection of Christ, was planned from eternity  (Ephesians 3:11)  so that we could have the opportunity, to be forgiven of our sins, and so that we could have the opportunity to be added to His “body”, so that we CAN, come together and worship Him acceptably, on the first day of the week.  Make no mistake about it, it’s no “coincidence”!

 

By inspiration of the Spirit of God, the apostle John calls this day, “the Lord’s day”, in  Revelation 1, verse 10.   The first day of the week, belongs to the Lord, because on this day, the Lord was raised from the dead.  And how do we commemorate, and honor the fact, that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead on the first day of the week?  We do it by assembling ourselves together, on the first day of the week, to worship God, TOGETHER, as a congregation of the saved!  We don’t stay at home and worship privately.  But we come together, and worship, together!

And what else do we honor, and commemorate on the first day of the week?  We commemorate the Lord’s death, as we partake of the Lord’s supper, on the Lord’s day, on the first day of the week, the day that He was resurrected from the dead.  Jesus said as He instructed His apostles to partake of the unleavened bread, which represents His body, and the fruit of the vine, which represents His blood;  “Do this in remembrance of Me”.  (Luke 22:19)   In other words, “commemorate My death”.

As a matter of fact,  1 Corinthians 11, verse 26  tells us;  “For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”  Jesus didn’t say;  Oh just partake of this as often as you feel like it.  No, He said, every time you partake of it, which ought to be every first day of the week, just like Paul and the others did;  Every time you partake of it, you are proclaiming the Lord’s death, and you are commemorating His death.

And when we assemble together, on the first day of the week, just like Paul and the others did,  we are commemorating Christ’s resurrection from the dead!  And we’re doing it, “as often” as we assemble!  We commemorate the resurrection of Christ, EVERY time we assemble for worship, on the first day of the week.

Now the scriptures don’t tell us to “Remember the first day, to keep it holy”, like it told the Jews to do with the Seventh day of the week.  But rather, the scriptures tell us;  “And on the first day of the week, when we gathered together..”  Instead of giving us a command, God has given us an example.  And God has also given us a command, to follow His examples, which He has given to us in the scriptures.   For example, Jesus said in  John 13, verse 15;  “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I did to you.”  

Now that particular example that Jesus spoke of, was an example of humility and servitude.  But we have many, many examples in the new testament, that we need to be following.  And one of those examples is worshipping God on the first day of the week, and commemorating Christ’s resurrection on that day.

 

Now you might want to know where the scripture is, that says that when we gather for worship, on the first day of the week, we are “commemorating” the resurrection of Christ.  Well, I can’t give you one specific verse that tells us that.  But what I can give you, is what I’ve already given you..

Jesus was raised from the dead on “the first day of the week”.  And the first day of the week is “the Lord’s day”, because He was resurrected on that day.   And Christians assemble for worship on “the Lord’s day”.

The very fact that we assemble on the same day of the week, that Jesus was resurrected, attests to the fact that we are commemorating His resurrection.   I don’t need a specific verse of scripture to tell me, that when God instructs me to assemble to for worship, on the very day that Jesus was raised from the dead, that I’m commemorating His resurrection.  It’s obvious to me, that’s what I’m doing!  I’m assembling on “the Lord’s DAY, the day He was resurrected.  Of course I’m celebrating His resurrection on that day!  And I’m also celebrating His death on that same day, when I partake of the Lord’s supper.

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, are commemorated EVERY first day of the week, when we assemble as we’re instructed to do.

 

But in addition to all of that, isn’t there one very special day of the year, that we should celebrate the risen Christ?  The answer is NO!  There is no other day, besides the first day of the week, in which God has authorized us to commemorate the resurrection of Christ.  Much of the world is celebrating Christ’s resurrection, today, on April 21st, in an extremely secularized fashion, which is completely and utterly, in disregard for the words of scripture.

Last year they celebrated it on April 1st.  Next year they’ll celebrate it on April 12th.  Did you know that when the “Gregorian” calendar, which our present day calendar is based upon, first came out, in 1582, and that the celebration of “Easter” was always held on March 21st?  The reason for that was the fact that march 21st marks the spring equinox.  But then people decided, (I have no idea which people decided this, I think they were Catholic people) but people decided that they would celebrate Christ’s resurrection on the first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the March 21st, spring equinox.  That sounds pretty reasonable I suppose.  I don’t know what in the world a full moon has to do with anything, but whatever.

But the fact is, we have “zero” authority from God, to celebrate one particular DATE on the calendar, as the day Christ was resurrected.  We have no idea what DATE Jesus was crucified, or what DATE He was raised.  But we sure do know the DAY, don’t we?  It was the FIRST day, of the week.   And we sure know the DAY when Christians all came together to worship God, don’t we?  It was the FIRST day, of the week.  The Lord’s day;  And here we are.

And I hope and pray that you’ll commemorate Christ’s resurrection on the next Lord’s day, and on the next one, and the next one after that, and the next one after that, until all your days are gone.  That’s how we obey God’s will.

You know..  If a person only celebrates Christ’s resurrection once a year, they haven’t done the will of God.  And if they celebrate Christ’s resurrection because of the DATE on the calendar, they haven’t done the will of God.  And if we, as Christians, only celebrate the resurrection of Christ, some first days, of some weeks, we haven’t done the will of God either.  We can only do God’s will, by assembling with the congregation, every first day of the week, in celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  And of course while we are assembled, we must partake of the unleavened bread, and the fruit of the vine, in remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ.  So then the death, and the resurrection, must be commemorated, and celebrated, and remembered, and proclaimed, every first day, of every week, as long as we are physically, and mentally able.  And that is how we do God’s will, on this subject.

 

It’s God’s will that all souls, would hear His word, and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And that we would openly confess that faith.  Here’s what the bible says in  1 John 4, verses 2 & 3;  “By this you know the Spirit of god;  Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is from God.  And every spirit that does not confess Jesus, is not from God.  And this is the spirit of the anti-Christ, of which you heard, that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.”  

The anti-Christ has been in the world for almost 2,000 years, and will always be in the world, as long as the world exists.   The anti-Christ is simply the spirit of anyone, who does not confess that Jesus is the Christ, and that He has come into the world in the flesh, and that He has died, and has been resurrected, and has established His kingdom.

And it’s also God’s will that we should repent of our sins, and be baptized for the forgiveness of our sins, and that we should live faithfully unto death.

The invitation is yours, to do the will of God today, and every day.

 

 

 

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