But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. -- 1 Corinthians 15:20
Take a tissue box, one that is open. Take a tissue from out of the box and put it aside. Another one follows out of the top of the box.
You can pull and pull and pull and every time you do, another tissue appears. My box says it has 200 tissues. That means for 200 times I can put out one tissue and another one appears. That’s good because you never know when you will have a cold and need tissues. You can always have a lot of them.
But look at these tissues and think about the Easter message. The Easter message is that Jesus rose from the dead. He had died and been put into a grave. He was like a tissue in a box. But he came out of the grave. He popped right up and was alive.
That’s an exiting story! Someone was dead but now is alive. But it gets better. Our reading says, But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. – 1 Corinthians 15:20
See, when Jesus came back from the dead, he opened the door to every grave. Because he died and returned to life, we can also come back to life after we die. We are like the tissues in a box. Jesus is the first one. Jesus’ resurrection is the guarantee that we will also be raised from the dead. Because his death paid for the sin that causes our death, we don’t have to stay dead anymore.
We will all probably die someday, hopefully someday when we are very old. We will be buried. Jesus also died and was buried. But we won’t have to stay dead. Because he rose from the dead, so will we.
Each time you take out a tissue, check what happens when you pull it from the box. As you take out one, it pulls the second one up ready to be used. Then remember Easter. Jesus came out of the grave. When he died and rose again, he made you like the second tissue. You too will be able to come out of the grave and live in heaven with Jesus forever. Amen.
From the Editor’s Desk
We had a different editorial prepared for today’s issue. But the news of the events of yesterday changed our plans.
With great interest we had followed the capture, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. After He was buried on Friday, we turned to other things. But early yesterday morning word came to us that Jesus had returned to life.
What the events of the past weekend will mean to the world is rather difficult to ascertain on the day after Christ’s resurrection. From this vantage point it appears that we can expect great things. Some of the faithful followers of Christ remember the many prophecies concerning the Messiah’s coming. Yesterday’s events, according to reliable reports, indicate that the Messiah is none other than the risen Christ.
We are told that over two thousand years ago the Lord reminded Abraham that the members of the Lord’s church would be as numerous as sands upon the seashore. Does that mean that the message of the Messiah would cover the whole earth?
It is reported that, on last Thursday night as Christ met privately with His disciples in the upper room, He prayed to God saying, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message.”
Could it be that the news of Christ’s resurrection will be proclaimed throughout the world?
Will the message of Jesus Christ invade the powerful strongholds of Greece and Rome?
Is it possible that the risen Christ will become more important than the god Jupiter, or that Socrates and Plato will fade before this One who said, “I am the Son of God”?
It might be well that we all heed the words of the angel, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”
The above is presented with the prayer that the blessings of Easter may continue in your life and that you may also take this message to others that they, too, may know the joy of the Easter good news.
Pastor William Balza
Most Christians know that Easter is the most important day of the entire church year. Every other Sunday revolves around Easter. That is why each Sunday is sometimes referred to as a “mini-Easter”.
Easter, of course, is the day Jesus rose from the dead. The Bible states that “(Jesus) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25). We might compare what happened to Jesus to what we do when we go to a grocery store. After we pick up our groceries and take them to the check-out counter, the cashier scans our groceries and tells us how much we owe. That is the PRICE for our groceries. We pay the cashier what we owe. That is the PAYMENT that we make. But after the payment is made, the cashier may give us our change and our groceries. But there is one more thing we want to have. That is our receipt. The receipt is our PROOF OF PURCHASE .
On Good Friday Jesus died on the cross. His suffering and death and the shedding of His innocent blood was the PAYMENT for all our sins. Because Jesus made the payment on our behalf, for our sins, there is nothing more that we need to pay. There is nothing that we can pay. Jesus did it all for us.
On the third day Jesus rose from the dead. His resurrection was God’s way of demonstrating that He had accepted the payment that Jesus made for us. In other words, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is our PROOF OF PURCHASE. Jesus redeemed (bought us back) from our sin, from death and from the power of the devil. Because of that payment that Jesus made for us, God has now “justified” us or declared us to be “not guilty”. We are forgiven. And that means we have the certainty of eternal life through Jesus. “Whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
No wonder Easter means so much to the Christian. It is our day of victory. “Because I (Jesus) lives, you (we) also will live” (John 14:19).
On Easter we decorate our church with flowers, most of which are white (the Easter lily). White is the color of joy and celebration. It is also the color of purity or holiness. Because Jesus died and rose again, all our sins are forgiven and, through faith in Him, we are cleansed, purified, of all sin.
Easter is also the symbol of new life from the dead. As believers in Jesus, we have a new life. It is the life we live by faith in Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. Each day of our lives, we want to live for Him to show our love and gratitude for all that He has done for us.
May our Easter celebration again this year bring renewed joy, celebration and life through our risen and glorified Savior – JESUS CHRIST!