Easter

As I was on my way to the church, a young woman said: Today is All Fools Day. I corrected: No, it is the Day of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. After attending an Easter service, I felt compelled to write this article about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some Chinese churches are like Buddhists temples, the former is spiritually dead, ritually dead without the living message of the Risen Christ. Without offense, does anyone really believe Buddhist temples have any living message?

1Cr 12:2,“You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led.”

Note: Apostle Paul says that pagans were led astray to the mute idols. Pagan in Greek is ethnos which means heathen, people not worshipping the true God; - it occurs 164 times in the New Testament. The leader of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou was wrong to worship idols because he claimed to be a Christian. Christians worship the true God, not idols. No one can claim to be a Christian and an idol worshiper at the same time. I do not know whether Mr. Ma has stopped worshipping idols or not. Idolatry is a grave sin against God. If Mr. Ma wants to worship idols, there is religious freedom, but he cannot claim to be a Christian. If Mr. Ma wants to be a Christian, he cannot worship idols. He must come clean one way or another, just as a woman can be married only to one man, not two men at the same time.

Psa 115:4-8, “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man's hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak; they have eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but they cannot hear; they have noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but they cannot feel; they have feet, but they cannot walk; they cannot make a sound with their throat. Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trusts in them.”

Note: The psalmist has a classical description of idols. Peoples have advanced civilization do not worship idols. However, in America most people worship the idols of money, power and sex. Primitive peoples tend to be superstitious, and superstitious people tend to worship idols.

The sins of those who cannot preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ but forbid others to preach are heavy indeed.

The word “Easter” does not exist in the Bible. Our purpose here is not to trace the origin of the word and its etymology. For the purpose of this article we use Easter to mean a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ on the third day after His crucifixion as written in the New Testament. We do not accept any connotation or denotation from any church tradition or history. We repudiate and reject the Roman Catholic Church tradition as un-Biblical. We only accept and believe in the teaching of the New Testament on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We do not accept Easter as a part of the commemoration of martyrs, or customs include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades whatever their origin or meaning maybe.

It needs to be said; the death of Jesus Christ is closely linked or tied to His resurrection. Every time Jesus predicted about His death, He invariably stressed that He would rise again on the third day. 

Mat 16:21, “From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.” 

Crucifixion has to do with the death of Christ, please see CRUCIFIXION.

I.    Jesus was physically dead and His resurrection was bodily.

There are some unbelievers who spread the false gospel that Jesus Christ did not really die, He only fainted. This was a lie and not a historical fact.

Jhn 19:30-42, “Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, "NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN." And again another Scripture says, "THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED." After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.”

Note: the death of Jesus Christ was real, He was buried in a tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus brought a hundred pounds of a mixture of myrrh and aloes for body of Jesus.

II.    The Resurrection of Jesus Christ was with incorruptible body. 

Rom 1:2-4,“Which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of Holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Note: God promised the coming of Messiah through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures. Jesus Christ was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of Holiness.

Rom 6:4-11, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

Note: Through the death and resurrection of Christ, the salvation of God is accomplished for all who have become united with Christ. 

III.   There were witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Act 2:22-24, “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.”

Act 2:31-33, “He (David) looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY. This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.”

Note: Witness in Greek is martys which means one who is mindful, a spectator in a historical sense, in a legal sense; - it occurs 34 times in the New Testament. The apostles and early disciples were all witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. That was the motive and power of their preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the face of persecution, imprisonment and even death.

Act 3:14-15, “But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.”

Jhn 20:24-31, “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe. After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you. Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing." Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God! Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed. Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”

Note: The apostles and early disciples had seen the Lord and believed. Blessed are they who did not see and yet believed.

1Cr 15:5-11, “and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me (Paul) also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.” 

IV. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is NOT according to man. 

Gal 1:11-24, “For I would have you know, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions. But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother. Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying. Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; but only, they kept hearing, "He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy. And they were glorifying God because of me.” 

V.     The Core and Content of the Gospel. 

1Cr 15:1-4, “Now I make known to you, brethren, the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which 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 according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

Note: The first importance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that Christ died for our sins according the Scriptures. Jesus Christ did not die because He was a good man persecuted. Jesus Christ did not die as a victim. Jesus Christ did not as a martyr. Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures – for your sins and for my sins and for sins of the world. Not only Jesus died for our sins, He was buried. It was not the spirit of Jesus who died, you cannot bury a spirit. Jesus was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. Jesus was raised by the power of God to be declared the Son of God. The core and content of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ died for our sins in order to atone for our sins and to redeem us from our sins. Jesus Christ rose from the dead for our justification. Because Jesus Christ died for our sins so we may have forgiveness of sins. Because Jesus Christ rose from the dead so that we are counted by God as righteous. God justifies believers on account of the sinlessness of Christ and on account He is the Son of God, our Lord and Savior.

1Cr 15:13-28, “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the Kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, "All things are put in subjection," it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.”

Note: The resurrection of Jesus Christ insures He is able to destroy the last enemy that will be abolished is death. Jesus Christ reigns when He puts all His enemies under His feet. All things shall be put in subjection to Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. 

VI. The Ultimate Victory. 

1Cr 15:44-58, “It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about 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; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”

Note: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ insures the spiritual will triumph over the natural, the heavenly over the earthly, the imperishable over the perishable, and the immortal over the mortal – the Victory. 

On March 30, 2013, Obama says the Easter and Passover holidays give millions of Christians, Jews and people of other faiths a chance to slow down and recommit themselves to loving their neighbors and seeing everyone as a child of God. On the surface, it sounds nice and plausible. In fact, it is a big lie.

(1). The Easter and Passover holidays do not give millions of Christians, Jews and people of other faiths a chance to slow down and recommit themselves to loving their neighbors and seeing everyone as a child of God. It is up to you to love your neighbors. 

Mar 12:31, “The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these.” Since the infamous Opium Wars to the present time, the United States has oppressed and suppressed China and wronged China too many times. If Obama practices what he says, his pivot to Asia policy should be pivot to mainland America home. In 1971 the U.S. illegally and unlawfully gave administrative control of China’s Diaoyu Islands to the unconditionally surrendered war crime nation of Japan. Instead of righting the wrong, adding insult to injury the U.S. declares to defend the evil empire of Japan militarily if China wants to recover China’s territories by force. The U.S. has many overseas military bases encircling China and Russia, with most advanced weaponry and radar systems, fleets and aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and war planes and thousands of troops stationed at China’s doorsteps while China does not even have a single overseas military base and never conducts a military exercise near America east or west coast. Do you call all this loving your neighbor? Since 1949 the U.S. violated China’s sovereignty by sending the 7th Fleet to protect Chiang Kai-shek regime and prevented Taiwan from reunification with China. The U.S. passed the illegal and unconstitutional US-Taiwan Relations Act in order to force selling costly and deadly weapons to Taiwan so that the Chinese may kill each other in fulfilling the American strategy of “divide and destroy” China. Does Obama call this loving your neighbor? In fact, the U.S. is not required to love China, it is required not to violate China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity or start a war of aggression with its allies against China which may cause a global nuclear holocaust.

(2). Not everyone is a child of God. 

Jhn 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” When Jesus was on earth the Jews claimed and thought they were children of God, but Jesus clearly called the devil their father. Jesus clearly defines people who lie and kill as children of the devil. Obama supports same-sex marriage and homosexuality. Those who practice homosexuality and same-sex marriage are definitely not children of God. Who says this? God says so. God sent down fire from heaven to burn Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes. Doesn’t Obama know Sodomites are descendants of Sodom and Gomorrah who committed the abominable practices of homosexuality? 

1Cr 6:9-10,“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the Kingdom of God.”

The right way to have a joyful Easter and to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ is to repent of our sins and believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and obey God and do what is right. It is for America to give up pursuit of world domination and seek peace and harmony in the world. It is right for America to withdraw all troops abroad and close all overseas military bases. It is right for America to be a law-abiding nation and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations. Humanly speaking, it would be enough for the world if American leaders respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other nations. 

Such is the perfect condition as described in 1Cr 15:44-58 that children of God will be with the Lord and reign with the Lord for eternity in the Kingdom of God.

Do you want to inherit the Kingdom of God? All you have to do is to believe and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Will you come and do it now?

 

March 16, 2017

Willie Wong

Christian Faith: Home

http://wongwillie.synthasite.com/

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Founded on January 4, 2013

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