Easter, from all first accounts, was a startling answer from God to horrible personal tragedy. The trial, sentencing, and capitol punishment of Jesus of Nazareth had been carried out within hours of his sudden arrest, so as not to spoil the traditional Jewish Passover celebration. Accused of being the "King of the Jews", he died between two thieves. Having been so different and so challenging to so many, Jesus was as much a threat to the religious and political balance of power as to the way men and women without power lived life. But he was put to death, buried, and his body even guarded throughout the religious holiday to prevent who knows what. His followers were devastated, his enemies cautious, the crowds curious.
After Jesus died and was buried, Easter was the first day of the next week. Life goes on. Before dawn of the third day, there had been another earthquake and the tomb guards had no clue what had happened to Jesus' body. They had done their job. They had no idea why the body was not there. It had to be there.
Jesus' disappearance was an event that reverberates along, generation after generation. Resurrection is not something man has been able to recreate under scientific conditions to see how it works, or to prove that Jesus came back to life and out of the tomb, resurrected. How it works is that sometimes, for God's own purposes, He demonstrates truth. And we who celebrate Easter, almost 2000 years later, sense that we also have come out of a tomb where, if it weren't for Jesus Christ, we would still be buried alive with no way to know the truth about life. We repent of life without God, and all the trappings that go with it.
We have new life. We have hope.
We discovered some Easter Surprises!
* Witness Christ's resurrection
* Make your own Christian eCards
On-line Christian Easter Sites
the celebration of Passover
- Away With Him!, D. Legge
- Medical Aspects of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, D. Teresaka, MD
- On The Physical Death of Jesus Christ, Wm D Edwards, MD et al
- Crucifixion and Shroud Studies, Medical Aspects of the Crucifixion, Zugibe MD-PhD
- Physical Death of Jesus Christ, Mayo Clinic
- Death by crucifixion (Dr. C. Truman Davis)
- Salvation, L. Chafer
- The Search for the Messiah, M. Eastman
- A Holy Easter (Part I)
- Easter in Cyberspace
- T'was the Night Before Easter
- Christian answers about Easter (Eden Com)
- What Difference Does Easter Make? (Ralph F. Wilson)
- Lenten reflections
- Praying scripture: Psalm 106,
2 Cor 1
- Evidence for Christ's Resurrection
- 10 Reasons to Believe Christ Rose from the Dead
- Is There Life After Death? - evidence for resurrection
- Christian Answers to the Challenges of Islam
* Passover, Jews for Jesus AU|
* Messiah Our Passover, TorahBytes
* Passover, Jewish Encyclopedia
* Passover.net, Chabad.org
* Freedom from Bondage, part 1 and more
* Jewish perspective, Chabad.org
* A Lamb of the First Year
* Jesus' Passover Meal
* Jesus is our Passover Lamb
* Passover and Resurrection
* The Season of our Redemption, Jews for Jesus
* Remember not to forget, TorahBytes
* Passover readings, Aish.com
* Passover Torah Readings
* Passover How To, Chabad.org
* Passover 1941
* Connection Between Moses and Messiah, Chabad.org
* Messianic Teachings, Chabad.org
|OnLine Courses||Torah With Morrie|
- Acts 1 background and Acts 2: the report of what happened at Pentacost
- Acts-L email group
- The Two Covenants and the Second Blessing, A. Murray
- Saint Paul, J. B. Lightfoot
- Baptism of the Holy Spirit J. Brown
- Study Guide for the Holy Spirit, C. Smith
- Plain Papers on the Holy Spirit, C.I. Scofield
- Russian Orthodox Cathedral celebration
- The Fundamentals of the Christian Faith, BlueLetterBible.org
- Biblical Basis for the Doctrine of the Trinity, R. Bowman
- Building the Family of Christ
- Growing in the Grace of God, B. Hoekstra
- Serving as Senders, N. Pirolo
- The 10/40 Window, Africa, and the Sudan, G. Kusunoki
Bloggers joined together to form the
Pentecost Grid Blog,
May 15, 2005
Repentance blog's entry is archived below
Was it the worst of times? Was it the best of times?
Intended to stifle Jesus and to silence his disciples, Jesus's crucifixion at first stunned and devastated his followers. But his resurrection and subsequent appearances continued a change - ok, a transformation - in them. Think about similar changes that continue in His disciples today. From the first time they heard about and then met Jesus, their lives had been changing. Having heard, they realize that they believe what Jesus said. Believing, they want to follow him and learn more and more about all he has to say. His perspective on truth, life, lies, and death are quite different from how others see things. Having encountered Jesus, the Christ and Messiah, we have seen the Lord God of Israel, and are promised the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us completely.
Jesus had kept preparing his original disciples to understand the scriptures as well as the parables and healings and instructions. So now, after the resurrection, Jesus promised to send someone else to them - another comforter, the Holy Spirit - if they would go back, not to their homes, but to Jerusalem, and wait.
But some were impatient, and some flat out doubted and stopped believing what Jesus had said and taught. As they saw the one they thought was the Lord God's promised Messiah suffer rather than conquer, the number of Jesus's disciples dropped from multitudes to a core of 120 men and women. After all, Jesus had talked a lot about another kingdom. He had even promised his disciples special seats near him when he came into his kingdom. His father's house has many mansions, and he was going there to prepare a place for them. He promised them if this wasn't the truth, he would have told them so.
The first chapter of Acts points out that the disciples were still hoping for the promised conquering Messiah. They expected that he would immediately defeat and expel the Roman army from their lives. But Jesus said the next step was not grabbing weapons and gaining physical power. The next part of God's plan was for the disciples to be given - and to receive - power from the Holy Spirit. Rather than swinging their swords, disciples of Jesus would be expected to tell all they had seen and heard from Jesus. He had talked to them and taught them. He had sent them out on field trips of their own. Now it was their turn. They would do even greater things than he had done. And that witnessing and cooperative assignment was to spread worldwide.
That first Pentecost after Christ's resurrection brought an outstanding demonstration of how the Lord transforms His people. They didn't care about being in hiding for personal protection any more. They didn't care about being quiet about Jesus any more. In fact, they cared so much about saying whatever the LORD wanted them to say, that when they began speaking in words and languages they hadn't learned to speak, they didn't quench the Spirit. They had heard a huge wind roar into their meeting room, and what seemed to be fire rested on each of them. But they also had spent the previous few weeks re-studying the prophets in scripture and praying for more and more understanding of the plan. They appeared to be drunk, but it was only 9 in the morning. Peter was not at a loss for words this time, as he explained to the crowds in Jerusalem - and as he explains to us who have followed. For the best account of this event, read
There is no evidence in scriptures that I know of that indictates speaking in and interpreting tongues was ever used to teach people of other languages. Both exault and praise God. 1 Corinthians 12-14 goes into more detail with instructions for the extensive use of tongues in private worship, praise, and prayer, and the disciplined and limited use in public worship. Paul said that tongues are one of the most widespread gifts. Nothing to boast about, tongues communicate between you and God as you praise him. Closer to groaning, tongues make requests of the Lord when you don't have the clarity of word or thought to ask Him for the specific help you - or someone you want to pray for - need. 1 Corinthians 12-14 has more details of instruction.
Just as the disciples found that Jesus' crucifixion had answered the curious message about piercing the Lord God had given Isaiah on the Messiah centuries before, disciples then and now still rely on understanding the writing of prophets,
like Joel, Isaiah, and David's Psalms, to better understand the Lord, his purpose, and his plan.
"Seek the Lord, while he may be found. Call upon him, while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and return to the Lord. For he will have mercy, and abundantly pardon."
"Very well, then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people..."
Can you find those sources?
"Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?"
In those days, under Roman law, convicted thieves were executed along with threats to the empire.
When Jesus was executed by crucifixion, he was between two Jewish thieves.
One of them joined in with the Roman soldiers, mocking the man who was known as the King of the Jews. It was as though he said, "That's stupid." Some people today continue to mock this Jesus, and to misunderstand the God of Israel who sent him on the mission.
The other Jewish thief objected to the mocking. "What has he done to deserve death?" He wanted to know more about Jesus. Some people today continue to ask about Jesus, wanting to understand the plan of the God of Israel and what Jesus' mission was.
Scripture reading calendar, Calendars.net,
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Read Through The Bible In A Year began with the book of MARK on Ash Wednesday, Feb 17, 1999.