My Dear God, how hard life is, how easy life is, how great life is for Us, sinners one and all. Our blessings great and small come to us by Your hand, and our punishments too. You are great and we are small.
Men, women and children all revel in the wonders that abound in this magnificent creation of Yours, and we rejoice in the miracle of our salvation that we have received through the Blood of the Lamb and the sacrifice Jesus performed upon the Cross.
The holy time of Easter Sunday is upon us once more, and millions of Christians worldwide are preparing to celebrate the most significant part of our faith and God’s promise of “Life everlasting” for those who profess their faith in Jesus, as the Son of God, God come to earth in the flesh, and his death upon the Cross and his resurrection three days later. Upon our deaths we will be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Let’s also recall that Easter coincides with the Jewish Passover holiday. The Last Supper was essentially a Passover feast. However, it has been given new significance by the New Testament and Jesus’s sharing his “body”, the bread, and his “blood”, the wine, in a symbolic ritual that marked the sacrifice Jesus was about to make through his death: This has become a bedrock of the Christian faith.
Just as the Apostle Paul so clearly states in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, there would be no salvation from our sins without the resurrection of Jesus:
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins … And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day … that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: … he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. … that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”
As many around the globe prepare for the Easter Vigil, let us all rejoice and celebrate in the love and happiness we have found through our own individual faith and personal relationship with our God. Remember the joy of Jesus’s followers as he entered Jerusalem and they greeted him with palm leaves laid across the road.
To quote one of the best preachers I’ve ever heard, during a sermon in 1976 in Detroit, Dr Shadrach Meshach Lockridge observed that Jesus is “the King of the Jews … the King of Israel … the King of Righteousness … the King of the Ages … the King of Heaven … the King of Glory … the King of Kings and He is the Lord of Lords … Now that’s my King”. And then he asked, “Well I wonder if you know Him. Do You know Him?
No barriers can prevent Him from delivering His blessings to us all. Our God — the One True God — is enduringly strong, completely sincere, eternally steadfast, immortally graceful, imperially powerful and impartially merciful.
In a strong and certain voice, Dr Lockridge declares unequivocally:
“God supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. … He heals the sick. He cleanses the lepers. He forgives sinners. … He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek.”
Will You be prepared when the Man [God] comes around “takin’ names … [deciding] who to free and who to blame”, as my dear Ol’ Friend Johnny Cash used to ask by way of song?
Just as all men’s days are numbered here on Earth, so too are the days numbered until the Last days, the Final Confrontation between Good and Evil and Armageddon.
Revelations 6:7-8 tells us: “And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed him. And power was given unto them over the part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
There’s a clear division between those who are saved and those who are not. Nicodemus was afraid and ashamed to be seen with Jesus; and during a conversation, found in John 3:3, “Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily [truthfully], I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
In its madness the world opposes and harasses the righteous, because the atheistic, secular humanist world seems to hate us. The world resists us and resents us revealing its sins against His teachings. The Righteous condemn the evil of the world. Merely to watch the ungodly and heathens is a hardship; their own wickedness betrays them, and so they cannot hear the hidden counsels of God.
Daniel 5:27 tells us, “…Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.”
St. Augustine left this truth: “… our hearts are restless until they rest on God.”
The Pharisees hated Jesus, but they couldn’t stop Him. Pilate found no fault in Him. The false witnesses were obviously false. Herod couldn’t kill Him. The grave opened its doors to Him and Death couldn’t hold Him.
Do You know my King?
If one wants Life Everlasting, do not embrace the potter’s ground [Matthew 27:3-8] when the Man comes around. See not “the terror in each sip and in each sup” [and] “partake of that last offered cup“. “And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:27-28
Say it with me. Oh God, Thine is the kingdom the power and the glory. All the power belongs to my King. People can speak of black power, red power, yellow power and white power, but there’s only power through Our God and His power. Thine is the power; Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Justin O. Smith ~ Easter Sunday, 2019