Friday, April 6, 2012

Resurrection Extravaganza!

Well, everyone, we're approaching Easter (or Resurrection Sunday, if you prefer) this weekend.  This celebration commemorates the greatest event ever to happen on this earth.  So, on the itenerary for today: (1) a dramatic reading taking us through Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection, (2) my commentary on a few reasons why the resurrection is so utterly critical, and (3) a string of narrative songs walking us through the story again.  Enjoy! :-)
Mark 14 - Death Plot, Last Supper, Gethsemane, Arrest
Or read the account here

Mark 15 - Trials, Crucifixion, Burial
Or read the account here

Mark 16 - Resurrection, Commission, Ascencion
Or read the account here
So, we know why Jesus had to die on the cross - the pay the penalty for our sins - but why did He have to rise from the dead?  I mean, it's cool, but was it an equally necessary act for our redemption, or just a nifty add-on to display His power?  The answer - TOTALLY NECESSARY!  Consider the following:
- If Jesus had not physically rose from the dead, yes, He would have demonstrated authority over the power over sin (spiritual death), but not authority over the power over (physical) death.  The Bible states that at the End of Days, our souls will have thier physical bodies restored to us - remember, it was God's original plan for mankind to never die, for them to walk with Him in physical bodies for eternity.  So, in order for a complete restoration to occur, Jesus had to pave the way for our physical redemption, as well.
- Jesus rising from the dead is the ultimate proof that He is God - the ultimate validation for His claims.  If He had not risen from the dead, sure, some would believe in Him, but not many.
- Believing in the resurrection is actually one of requirements for salvation (see Romans 10:9).  It makes complete sense that in order for us to believe that He can truly save us from our sins and is truly Lord of all, we have to believe that He is all-powerful.
- To not rise from the dead would have meant that Satan would have been victorious.  I mean, Satan didn't realize that God wanted His Son to die - otherwise, he wouldn't have worked so hard to bring it about.  So, if Jesus had stayed dead, Satan would have had what he percieved as "proof" that he was more powerful than God...and that just can't happen, you know?  On a side note, I often wonder at what poing Satan realized what was actually going on.  Was it when Jesus was hanging on the cross and told the thief hanging next to Him, "Today you will be with me in paradise"?  Was it the moment Jesus died, when a massive shift happened both on earth and in eternity, with the curtain in the temple blocking the Holy of Holies split in two and dead believers burst from their tombs?  Or was it at the resurrection itself?

And now, a musical journey with Jesus from Gethsemanae through the Resurrection:

Carry My Cross by Third Day (Jesus's perspective)

How Love Wins by Steve Curtis Chapman from The Story collection (Thief's perspective)

Passion by Kutless (Perspective of the saved - us)

Alive by Natalie Grant from The Story collection (Mary Magdalene's perspective)

Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) by Casting Crowns (Our perspective)

Have a very blessed celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord, everyone.

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