Category Archives: Easter

The third day he rose again from the dead

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 15:3–6, ESV

Before I continue with today’s blog, I would like to apologize for failing to write at my normal pace recently. Life changes have interfered with my production. My calling to pastor a church will stop (temporarily?) at the end of October. As of November 1, I will be retired, so, I am hoping to do more writing then.

Today, I learned a new term for my identity. Surely, I am way behind the times, but that word is “cisgender.” I always thought I was male, but the liberal segment of our society seemed to need to call me cisgender because they no longer use the only two genders that have ever existed, male and female. I had to look cisgender up and found this definition:

Cisgender (sometimes cissexual, often abbreviated to simply cis) is a term for people whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth[1] For example, someone who identifies as a woman and was assigned female at birth is a cisgender woman. The term cisgender is the opposite of the word transgender.[2][3]

https://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/cisgender
  1. ^ “Definition of Cisgender”http://www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  2. a b Schilt, Kristen; Westbrook, Laurel (August 2009). “Doing Gender, Doing Heteronormativity: ‘Gender Normals,’Transgender People, and the Social Maintenance of Heterosexuality”. Gender & Society23 (4): 440–464 [461].doi:10.1177/0891243209340034. S2CID 145354177.
  3. ^ Blank, Paula. “Will the Word “Cisgender” Ever Go Mainstream?”The Atlantic. Retrieved May 13, 2018.

I would like to thank those of the nominal members of society for ensuring I cannot be confused with those who are transgender. I was worried for a moment. It is interesting, though, that those who claim to be transgender are allowed to adopt their own moniker while finding that my ordained gender can no longer be called male. I kind of like being male. And I love that my wife is female. Things have worked well that way, at least for the past 40 years.

Things have truly been turned on their heads in the past few years. Government has always been problematic as few Presidents, Congress men and women, and Senators have ignored the safeguards of the Constitution. Those who wrote this historic document all agreed that there was no protection in it from unscrupulous politicians who seek to control the populous rather than be controlled by them. Please don’t think I am referring only to President Biden, for there are many names that should be added to a long list of these men. Unfortunately, Biden has become the pinnacle of our loss of liberty and enslavement to irrational socialists. We only have ourselves to blame.

Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10, ESV). Likewise, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45, ESV) I would suggest that any politician who does not govern as Christ came to serve, are immoral leaders deserving of judgment. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” (Romans 1:18, ESV)

How can we survive a society that longs to be enslaved by socialism, that loves handing their children over to Moloch, that changes the very meaning of words so they become the opposite of sense? The obvious way for me is to turn our lives over to the King of all creation and obey all that we are taught in the Scriptures. This, however, can have many meanings, so let me suggest one. Those who are true to Christ know in the deepest recesses of their hearts that on the third day following his burial, Jesus rose from the dead.

I know that churches celebrate this truth on Easter. Yet, the resurrection is far more than a one-day-a-year celebration. As with all of God’s truth, the resurrection must transform us every day. Think about it. What does the resurrection of Christ mean?

First, Christ Jesus was raised from the dead to demonstrate that his work on the cross fulfilled God’s purposes. His sacrifice was accepted by the Father as payment for sin. Second, Jesus’ resurrection provides that those who are his are reconciled to the Father. Third, Jesus’ resurrection was new life. Jesus was different from before. He was also the same, but he now had accomplished his mission of seeking and saving his lost sheep. Fourth, and most importantly for us, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ became our death and new birth in him.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV

Our resurrection is both in the present and in the future. Much of what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15 has to do with this final resurrection when the trumpet shall sound, the dead in Christ shall be raise, and the living in Christ shall be translated. Corruptible become incorruptible. Assuredly, this is the day we most look forward to. This is our hope, our everlasting life, our perfect and continual offering of service to God our Father. It is when we are adorned in white as the Bride of Christ and join him in the wedding feast. O, how we long for that day!

“For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.”

1 Corinthians 15:52–56, ESV

But today is not that day. And Paul quickly reminds us that there is much to do before that day comes: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58, ESV)

Man’s world cannot stand against that no matter how oppressive or how silly. Cisgender and transgender are humanity’s words. Male and Female are God’s Word. There is no question in my mind that humanity’s words will follow the way of humanity’s tower of Babel. We are experiencing the confusion of language even now. God’s answer to those he has called his children is to stand firm and not be moved by the culture in which we live. We are to always flourish doing the Lord’s work. Because, our labor in the Lord is empty. We are victorious in Christ and we are to live as victors even though we may not see immediate success. For the righteous shall live by faith.

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Unprecedented

Thursday night, the NFL Draft began with comments on COVID-19 from the Commissioner.  One of his comments included the oft-heard phrase that we are in unprecedented times.

It may seem that way. None of us have lived through a pandemic before. However, in my lifetime there have been a number of declared pandemics including the Asian Flu, Hong Kong Flu, HIV/AIDS, and the Swine Flu [1]. In the last century, we can also add the Spanish Flu.

Maybe what is unprecedented is the way we are experiencing this particular pandemic. The Federal and State governments have tried to enforce emergency orders restricting movement and association with the laudable intention of minimizing risk. Some of these attempts have been helpful, some maybe not so. All of them, though, rely upon fear. Some of them sound hollow like Washington State’s attempt to prevent fishing.

Even though well-intentioned, some of the moves ordered by the government have a hidden cost of the reduction of liberty [2]. But my question is this, is any of this unprecedented?

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9–11, ESV)

It appears that we have not only forgotten history, but we have forgotten the significance of history too. And this also is not unprecedented as the preacher in Ecclesiastes says.

I believe that the remembrance of history is not the significant thing, though. I believe that what the preacher is saying has been forgotten is much more serious than getting the facts straight. What is most often forgotten is the authority and power of the Most High God. This is the God who went to war against Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt. Have we forgotten how that ended? This is the God who went to war against sin and death. Have we forgotten how that began a new era with a new covenant of life?

Easter is one step in a chain of historical events that together reconcile us to God, establish his kingdom, and enthrone Jesus Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Even over Covid-19. Even over the human efforts to gain control over the sickness and deaths. Let us not forget that our suffering is our joy as we share in the sufferings of our Savior. And if you are reading this and don’t know the truth of it all, pick up your Bible and start reading about the amazing God of the world, bend your knees and bow your back to the ruler of all things, and pray for the faith to believe and live without fear in love.

 

[1]:https://www.visualcapitalist.com/history-of-pandemics-deadliest/

[2]:DeMar, Gary

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Easter

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.” (John 20:1–7, ESV)

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.” (1 Corinthians 15:1–7, ESV)

God of mercy,
we no longer look for Jesus among the dead,
for he is alive and has become the Lord of life.
From the waters of death you raise us with him
and renew your gift of life within us.
Increase in our minds and hearts
the risen life we share with Christ,
and help us to grow as your people
toward the fullness of eternal life with you,
through Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Book of Common Worship, Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 2018.

 

 

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