Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Taz.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

It All Hinges on the Resurrection

Everything hinges on the resurrection. At Easter time we like to stop and reflect on the resurrection of Jesus, but according to the Apostle Paul, everything hinges on it. Let me give you a little background on this.

On Palm Sunday Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a donkey and being proclaimed the King of the Jews. It is on that day the Jewish national leaders decide that Jesus must die. Jesus spends his week teaching his disciples important things they need to know. Late in the week, the Jewish authorities make a deal with Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus into their hands. Jesus is arrested in the Garden after Judas betrays him with a kiss. Jesus is interviewed several times by the Sanhedrin, the rulers of Israel, and by Pilate and King Herod. Eventually Jesus ends up back in front of Pilate, the Roman governor for Judea. Pilate has Jesus severely beaten, hoping this would appease the Jews and save Jesus' life. But the Jewish leaders threaten Pilate and he gives Jesus to them for them to do whatever they want with him. They want him dead.

So, on Friday, Jesus carries a Roman cross outside the city walls and is crucified (a slow and agonizing death where a person suffocates to death while being tortured for the placement of the nails in their hands and feet). Some records speak of criminals lasting up to three days on a cross. Jesus lasted six hours. That evening, before the beginning of the Sabbath, disciples of Jesus take his body to a hasty burial. Jesus is dead and in the grave. But when the Sabbath was over and the disciples went back to perform a more permanent burial, the grave was open and the body was gone. Jesus was seen by his women disciples, the 12 Apostles, men walking on a road to a nearby town, and to even larger crowds. The way these disciples lived their lives is proof that they believed beyond all doubt that Jesus was alive.

Paul the Apostle says that if Jesus is NOT alive, then we are more miserable than all people. We live holy lives, and sacrifice ourselves (even to the point of death in some cases) and give up everything the world considers valuable in order to follow Jesus. Paul says that if Jesus is not risen, if he is still dead, then our faith is in vain and we are still in our sins. If Jesus is not risen, then everything we believe is a lie. BUT if he IS risen, then we are the most joyful of all people. Our Savior lives and since He lives, we will live too. The ancient Christians would greet each other like this ... one would say "He is risen." and the other would reply "He is risen indeed." Let the truth of Easter settle into your soul. Forget the eggs and the rabbits and the candy. Remember Christ, our God, King and Savior! He is alive! Hallelujah! He is alive!

Have a Happy Easter.


Blogger Matthew Hoffman said...

Question: If Christians don't have a physical communion with Christ's body, how does his resurrection affect us?

10:33 AM  
Blogger Dr. Paul W. Foltz said...

his resurrection guarantees ours. if he be not risen, his death meant nothing.

12:21 AM  
Blogger Dr. Paul W. Foltz said...

his resurrection guarantees ours. if he be not risen, his death meant nothing.

12:21 AM  
Anonymous Matthew Hoffman said...

That doesn't seem to answer my question. My question is: how does his resurrection guarantee ours if we have no physical connection with his body? And why would his lack of resurrection make his crucifixion void?

In John 6, Jesus connects a communion with his body ("eat my flesh and drink my blood") with the resurrection of the Christian. Without a physical connection with his body I don't see how the resurrection of Christ would have any bearing on the resurrection of others.

4:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Same Spirit that raised jesus from the dead in a glorified body, will raise that of every believer in a glorified form.
The connection is that we, as Him , have the Spirit indwelling us.

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Matthew Hoffman said...

Again, that doesn't answer my question. The resurrection did not affect the spirit of Christ (neither his human soul, nor his divinity). The resurrection affected his body. If we have no connection to Christ's body, how can his resurrection affect us?

11:09 AM  

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