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Posts tagged ‘resurrection’

Jesus I AM 2

78. Christian Disciple and Jesus’ I AM statements 2

The prophet Isaiah writing in Isaiah 5v1-7

I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it.” The vineyard of the LORD Almighty is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are the garden of his delight. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.

We have already seen that Jesus is the bread of life, the light of the world, the gate and the shepherd – all the things the nation of Israel was to be but failed to do so. This passage in Isaiah starts out as a love song between God and His chosen people, Israel. Israel was to be a vineyard, and despite all the love God had given tending to her, she had only produced bitter, sour fruit. This bitter sour fruit is described in Isaiah 5v8-25. Therefore, God will abandon her. So if this vineyard is abandoned, will God raise a new vineyard? What of the other of Jesus’ “I AM” statements.

 

Our next one is

 

John 11v25: Jesus said to her, “I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

 

This exclamation by Jesus is highlight of this passage of Scripture. Lazarus has died (John 11v15) and will be raised back to life again (John 11v43-44). Why does Jesus say that He is the resurrection and the life? He is the giver of life itself. He gives eternal life to all who will believe in him. Resurrection and life are inextricably tied together. Resurrection and life harmonize each other because resurrection precedes life and the new life of a Christian disciple is the result of resurrection. Remember Jesus mission was to go to his death on the cross and be resurrected three days later. Not a resurrection like that of Lazarus, who would later physically die again. No, Jesus’ resurrection as we will look at in a later study is one where death is ultimately conquered and Jesus has a glorious new body. Those who choose to be Christian Disciples by faith in the risen Christ, only have new life because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after His death on the Cross. That is why Jesus can exclaim with authority “I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11v25). Moreover, this resurrected life is not just for the future but it is also for the present, and only through the risen Jesus Christ.

 

John 14v6: Jesus said to him, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

 

When Jesus issued this statement, the stress of the sentence automatically falls on the words “the way”. This is because Jesus is answering a question posed by Thomas (John 14v5). Jesus Christ has exposed the barrier of sin and death, which prevents a person from entering God’s presence. He explodes this same barrier when a person entrusts in Him for their eternal salvation. He is as he claims in Matthew 7v14 “the road that leads to life”. Not only is He the way, but He is also the truth and the life. All of God’s truth is embodied in Jesus Christ who as both fully God and fully human was also the ever-living God. Nobody can claim access to God the Father, except through Jesus Himself. Other religions and other so-called paths to God may contain some element of truth about God, but there is no other way to God but through Jesus Christ. He is the means of access to God for all people of all cultures and all backgrounds. Jesus welcomes all, so that in His singular exclusive claims is an inclusive embrace of all. As Jesus goes on to say in John 14v7, because we know Him we also know God the Father.

 

John 15v1: “I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was to be a vine or vineyard (Isaiah 5v1-7, Ezekiel 15v1-6). Juxtaposed against Israel’s failure to be a vine, Jesus states that he is the true vine. Jesus was the reality, whereas Israel was the symbol. As the purpose of a vine is to produce fruit, the focal point is on what it takes to produce fruit (John 15v2). As Christian Disciples, we are to bear fruit by remaining close to Jesus, as He is the vine and we are the branches. And why is the Christian Disciple to bear fruit? As a means of bringing glory to God the Father (John 15v8) and thereby proving their Discipleship. As part of the ultimate mission of Jesus to glorify God the Father (John 12v28, John 17v4), it is imperative that Jesus’ disciples be fruit-bearers. This means that all Christian Disciple are to be His witnesses and therefore a commitment to mission and evangelisation is necessary. That is why the Christian Disciple prays in the Lord’s Prayer “your kingdom come” (Matthew 6v10)

So there are the seven “I AM” statements. As well as equating Himself as God with the “I AM”, Jesus is also promoting his exclusivity as the only Saviour. He does not say I am a true vine; a way, a truth and a life. Nor does He say I am a resurrection and a life. He does not say I am a door to life, just as He does not say I am a shepherd, a door, a light or a bread of life. No – Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only life. Jesus is the one great shepherd and the only door to life. Jesus is the only light of the world and the only true bread of life. As His disciples currently in the Western world, we get shouted at and criticized for holding such exclusive views. But if Jesus was not God and He was only one path to God, would Jesus have needed to go through the agony of the cross, as payment for the sins of the world? Of course he wouldn’t have needed to. That He did shows that He is the only path and only means of access to God. It is only through the resurrected Jesus that salvation can be assured and then only by a childlike faith and not by any other means. That is why we should not capitulate to current trends to unite all religions, which says that all paths lead to God. Jesus Christ Himself as we have seen has said that He and He alone is the way to God and salvation is only through His work on the cross for all those who trust and believe in Him.

For more to think about please do read John 15v1-27. Ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.

 

Q1. How is my inward relationship with Jesus reflected and shown to those who do not know Him?

Q2. How do I as a Christian Disciple, stay close to Jesus as my Master and my King?

Q3. Is there any correlation between Jesus’ exclusive claims and why the world hates His disciples?

As ever, if you have any comments to make on this, please do contact me at partakes(at) googlemail.com. Thank you.

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Easter Sunday – Jesus Rises as Firstborn from the Dead

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Sunday – Jesus Rises as Firstborn from the Dead!

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We start not in the Gospels, but from the writings of the Apostle Paul in

1 Corinthians 15v1-8: Now I declare to you, brothers, the Good News which I preached to you, which also you received, in which you also stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold firmly the word which I preached to you-unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers at once, most of whom remain until now, but some have also fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all, as to the child born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also.

That was the Apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthian church about the Jesus having been raised from the dead – physically! All four Gospels, Matthew, Mark Luke and John, tell us that Jesus was crucified, died and was buried in a tomb. What do these four Gospels say about the Jesus’ resurrection or rising from the dead?

Let us first look at the sequence of events over the period of time after Jesus death till He ascended. Now remember, the Gospels are documents which have recorded historical events.

(more…)

WISE – Resurrection

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Resurrection

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Resurrection means rising or raising up. It certainly means more than coming back to life as some people think. Jesus raised three people from the dead, but that was more a resuscitation than a resurrection – those three people would die again! So lets start by looking at Jesus’ resurrection.

Jesus’ Resurrection

The resurrection of Jesus Christ provides the central theme for the sermons and teaching in the early church (Acts 1v22; Acts 4v33, Acts 17v18). But what significance is there in Jesus’ resurrection?

Jesus’ resurrection proves and vindicates all of His teaching. It certifies His claims to be the suffering Servant, just as it attests to His being fully God and the last Judge of all mankind (Isaiah 53v10-12; Acts 2v36; Acts 3v13-15; Romans 1v4).

God’s approval of Jesus obedient service and the fulfilment of all the Old Testament promises is declared through the resurrection. The result of which, is forgiveness of sins and salvation being only found in and through Jesus Christ. In the early church this was the prime motive for evangelism (Acts 2v32, Romans 4v24-25)

As the resurrected King, Jesus now intercedes for us. More than that, He has perfected the redemption of all those who choose to follow Him (Romans 5v10; Hebrews 6v20, 1 Peter 1v21).

These facts remain for Jesus’ resurrection, despite what some people say including Islam and other detractors of historical Christianity.

The changed attitude of the disciples after seeing the risen Jesus. The disciples changed from defeated, cowardly people into victorious, brave and bold people. Nobody who could have produced the dead body of Jesus did so. This led to the survival and inordinate growth and impact of the early church. If there was no bodily resurrection of Jesus’ would people really have risked persecution and death for a known lie? Finally, there were multiple appearances of Jesus! These appearances were to various numbers of individuals and groups of people, at various times of the day and in differing circumstances.

Jesus’ resurrection is a sign of the bodily resurrection for all those who believe and trust in Him during their earthly life! This should give you a new attitude to death and the transforming of hopes (1 Corinthians 15v12-58, Romans 8v10, 2 Corinthians 4v14; 1 Peter 1v3 & 21)

Believers Resurrection

The bodily resurrection of the dead, those who are saved and those who are unsaved, is clearly taught in Bible (John 5v28-29; Acts 24v15). Christ’s resurrection is the guarantee of our resurrection (1 Corinthians 15v20-22)

Christian Disciples resurrected body will be:

  • Like Christ’s glorious body (1 Corinthians 15v49; Philippians 3v21; 1 John 3v2)
  • Not flesh and blood (1 Corinthians 15v50ff)
  • Not partly spiritual (Luke 24v39; 1 Corinthians 15v42, 53)

Those who are or were non-believers will be resurrected (John 5v28-29), but not entered into heaven but rather cast into the lake of fire. It makes the work of evangelism for all Christian Disciples, all the more imperative. Go tell somebody today, the good news about what Jesus resurrection means to them.

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WISE – Resurrection

Partake – Words In Scripture Explored -Resurrection

Resurrection means rising or raising up. It certainly means more than coming back to life as some people think. Jesus raised three people from the dead, but that was more a resuscitation than a resurrection – those three people would die again! So lets start by looking at Jesus’ resurrection.

Jesus’ Resurrection

The resurrection of Jesus Christ provides the central theme for the sermons and teaching in the early church (Acts 1v22; Acts 4v33, Acts 17v18). But what significance is there in Jesus’ resurrection?

Jesus’ resurrection proves and vindicates all of His teaching. It certifies His claims to be the suffering Servant, just as it attests to His being fully God and the last Judge of all mankind (Isaiah 53v10-12; Acts 2v36; Acts 3v13-15; Romans 1v4).

God’s approval of Jesus obedient service and the fulfilment of all the Old Testament promises is declared through the resurrection. The result of which, is forgiveness of sins and salvation being only found in and through Jesus Christ. In the early church this was the prime motive for evangelism (Acts 2v32, Romans 4v24-25)

As the resurrected King, Jesus now intercedes for us. More than that, He has perfected the redemption of all those who choose to follow Him (Romans 5v10; Hebrews 6v20, 1 Peter 1v21).

These facts remain for Jesus’ resurrection, despite what some people say including Islam and other detractors of historical Christianity.

The changed attitude of the disciples after seeing the risen Jesus. The disciples changed from defeated, cowardly people into victorious, brave and bold people. Nobody who could have produced the dead body of Jesus did so. This led to the survival and inordinate growth and impact of the early church. If there was no bodily resurrection of Jesus’ would people really have risked persecution and death for a known lie? Finally, there were multiple appearances of Jesus! These appearances were to various numbers of individuals and groups of people, at various times of the day and in differing circumstances.

Jesus’ resurrection is a sign of the bodily resurrection for all those who believe and trust in Him during their earthly life! This should give you a new attitude to death and the transforming of hopes (1 Corinthians 15v12-58, Romans 8v10, 2 Corinthians 4v14; 1 Peter 1v3 & 21)

Believers Resurrection

The bodily resurrection of the dead, those who are saved and those who are unsaved, is clearly taught in Bible (John 5v28-29; Acts 24v15). Christ’s resurrection is the guarantee of our resurrection (1 Corinthians 15v20-22)

Christian Disciples resurrected body will be:

  • Like Christ’s glorious body (1 Corinthians 15v49; Philippians 3v21; 1 John 3v2)
  • Not flesh and blood (1 Corinthians 15v50ff)
  • Not partly spiritual (Luke 24v39; 1 Corinthians 15v42, 53)

Those who are or were non-believers will be resurrected (John 5v28-29), but not entered into heaven but rather cast into the lake of fire. It makes the work of evangelism for all Christian Disciples, all the more imperative. Go tell somebody today, the good news about what Jesus resurrection means to them.

Download this Podcast (right click and save)

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