This Week

  • Today: 10:00 Worship – We’re saving you a seat!
  • Monday @ 5:30 p.m.: Girl Scouts
  • Tuesday Bible Study: @ Jeremiah’s, 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Spiritual Council @ 11; Church Events, 1 p.m.,
  • AA Meetings: in the Parish Hall:
    • Tuesdays, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. – Discussion
    • Wednesdays, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Big Book
    • Fridays 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Discussion

Making Peace Seminar Today!

Canceled today. 12-week video series by Jim Van Yperen based on his book, Making Peace: A Guide to Overcoming Church Conflict. Meetings will be Sunday mornings, 11:00 a.m.

He’s Not Here

The women had come seeking Jesus because they knew that Jesus had been crucified. The “gardener” they met knew that He had risen from the dead. He then invited them to see for themselves that He was not there. The young man told them the gospel of Jesus Christ in one verse.

“Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen!” (Mark 16: 6).

He spoke of four elements of gospel truth.

First, don’t be afraid. Christians are called to overcome or transcend their fears. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). In Christ there is nothing to be afraid of. Nothing is more secure than the love of Christ. Nothing is more powerful than the power of God. In Christ, in God, in salvation there is nothing to fear.

Second, Christians seek Jesus. They desire Him. They crave Him. But theirs is not a desperate craving as if they are addicted to something that they do not possess. Rather, Christians seek to know Jesus more fully. They have tasted the goodness of the Lord and crave to know and to experience Him more fully. Thus, Christians eagerly engage in worship, Bible study, and prayer. They can’t wait to learn more, to sing more, to pray more, to fellowship more. This kind of seeking is the essence of faithfulness.

Third, the hinge or key to salvation is the fact of Jesus’ crucifixion. Christians must come to the point that they can see the most unjust action the world has ever known—the crucifixion of the Son of God—in a positive light. Jesus’ death, as awful and horrible as it was, served as the propitiation for the sins of God’s people. The death of Christ satisfied the justice of God—not for Jesus’ sake, but for God’s. Here we see that the story of humanity’s sin and desperate need of salvation, coupled with the story of the death of Christ is indeed the most positive story the world has ever known—positive because His death is the means of eternal life.

For Christians the preaching of sin and human depravity, coupled with the death and resurrection of Christ is “the aroma of life leading to life” (2 Corinthians 2:16). Proverbs tells us that

“A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet” (Proverbs 27:7).

While well-fed children find that they don’t like this or that at the dinner table, hungry children delight in what others consider to be the most awful things. Similarly, in the light of Christ the doctrines of sin, depravity, and damnation are understood as undeniable evidences of God’s grace and mercy. We deserve death, yet He gives us life. Those who don’t understand their own willing complicity in sin and depravity cannot appreciate the gift of salvation. The better you understand that you don’t deserve it, the better you understand God’s amazing grace.

The fourth element of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that “He is risen” (v. 6). While Christ’s crucifixion provided the necessary punishment for our sin, satisfying the justice of God, His resurrection provided the foundation upon which salvation is received—faith. “Christ suffered for us in the flesh” (1 Peter 4:1), He took on our sins that we may take on His righteousness. He took on our guilt that we may take on His forgiveness. His suffering and death is the historic event that fulfills the promises of God’s justice.

His resurrection then is the historic event that fulfills the promises of God’s mercy. His crucifixion was for God’s sake, His resu rrection was for our sake. His resurrection must be taken on faith. There is no proof, only an empty tomb and the testimony of witnesses.

From: Marking God’s Word—Understanding Jesus, Phillip A. Ross, Pilgrim Platform, Marietta, Ohio.

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