On Faith: The glory of Christ's resurrectoinPassion Week is over and by now the Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox Churches have celebrated the physical resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. The agony of Good Friday is suddenly transformed into the joy of Resurrection Sunday.
By: Pastor Jim Joseph, Living Waters Fellowship, Two Harbors, Lake County News Chronicle
Passion Week is over and by now the Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox Churches have celebrated the physical resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. The agony of Good Friday is suddenly transformed into the joy of Resurrection Sunday.
On Easter morning members of several congregations as well as out-of-town visitors gathered on the shores of Lake Superior at Flood Bay for the annual Sunrise service. It was a perfect morning. As the sun crested the horizon, we sounded the shofar and sang the familiar hymn, “Christ, the Lord is Risen Today.” Loons and wood ducks swam in the bay while gulls cried overhead. It was as if the Creation itself was rejoicing. Just as we were concluding the service a flight of Canadian geese flew just feet above our heads in a final “fly over” salute. In all the years we have had a sunrise service it has never been more wonderful!
The resurrection of Jesus is the most significant event in all human history. The fact that the Eternal God would take on human flesh in order to suffer and die for us is incomprehendable. Such amazing love and sacrifice is all but unknown to us today. To die to defend those you love, those who are unable to defend themselves, or those who no one else defends- that is heroic and worthy of great praise. To die to save your enemies, those who put you to death, and those whose sins were poured out upon you- that is beyond heroic. It is beyond anything we can imagine. It is LOVE as it is meant to be. And the resurrection is proof that it is true.
Without the physical resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead Christians are:
Still dead in our trespasses and sins
Destined for an eternity apart from God
And as the Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:19 – “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
Because Jesus did rise from the dead we do have a certain and sure hope that if we receive Him as our Lord and Savior believing in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead we will receive eternal salvation as a gift of His grace to us. Salvation is not something we can earn, purchase, or deserve. It is the free gift of God sent to us by grace through faith. It is not just for a select few- it is for ALL who will believe.
Someone once said (and I paraphrase), ‘I like Pastor Joseph, but the trouble is he wants all of Two Harbors to be converted.’ That is true. My heart’s desire is that every person in Two Harbors, Larsmont, Knife River, Brimson, Clover Valley, Silver Creek, and all points around would know the Lord Jesus Christ as I know Him and that every person would have the assurance of eternal salvation though His death and resurrection.
Jesus loves each one of us so much. He died to allow us to live. He paid the price for all of our sins. Someone asked Jesus, “How much do you love me?” Jesus said, “I love you this much.” And He stretched out His hands and they nailed Him to the cross. But death could not keep Him and the grave could not hold Him. He is alive and He reigns forever as King and Lord of all.
The Lord is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed!