Easter: What’s Left?

475EF8AB-342D-4D51-885D-64659421391BWhen the last Easter egg has been found and eaten, and the kids have said “good-bye” to their sugar high.  What remains?  I hope it is more than chocolate stains and a few extra pounds that were added by way of the calorie-packed candy, and other Easter delights.

One thing that will always remain is God’s Word, and it is a unique book.  The uniqueness of the Bible is seen in its unity. This book is a collection of 66 ancient documents that were originally written in 3 languages: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Even though 40 different authors, wrote over a span of 1,500 years the theme and message of the Bible is consistent.

In my Easter sermon yesterday, I mentioned Jesus’ encounter with two disheartened disciples as they walked down the Emmaus road.  To help them understand the events surrounding His crucifixion, Jesus, began “at Moses and all the Prophets, and He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27).”

The life of Jesus fulfilled multiple prophecies.  Long before He was born, it was predicted that He would be flogged; die with the wicked; and, He would be buried like a rich man.

Prophecy is important because it confirms the claims of Jesus.  Here are just a few of the many He fulfilled:

  • Messiah would be from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10)
  • He would be from the line of King David (2 Samuel 7:12-13)
  • He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
  • 700 years before Jesus was born, the Prophet Isaiah predicted in graphic detail the manner in which Jesus would die (Is. 53).

The Bible has stood the test of time; and, when it comes time for you to be tested, it will stand with you.

Is It Who or Which?

For sake of clarity, some new verisons of the Bible have made their appearance on the shelves of bookstores.  An example of this is the New Kings James Version (NJKV).  It is an update of the King James Version(KJV) that was printed in 1611.  The KJV had quite a few archaic words that were updated in the NKJV.

This attempt at clarity has muddied the waters in a few places.  Phillipians 4:13 is one such case:  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (KJV).  In the NKJV which has been updated and changed to who (Christ who strengthens me).

While there is truth to both the KJV and the NKJV, I believe the use of who misses the point of Paul’s teachings.  No one doubts that we find strength in the who of Jesus Christ; however, the point is we are strengthened in the which or the doing of the Christian experience.

Case in point is the time Jesus went to the mountain to pray and the disciples went to the sea of Galilee to fish.  While He was engaging in prayer, the raging sea was about to swamp their boat.  This was a learning lab that involved 9 hours of whiching that would prepare them for future endeavors.

The design of the lesson was to teach them that Jesus is present even in the storms of life.  As He was drawing near to the boat, He saw them cowering in fear.  He quieted their fears, and calmed the sea with a few words:  Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.

Notice that Jesus said, It is I–present tense.  He is not a has-been-god of the past, or a hope-so-god of the future.  As Pslam 23 says, He is present–The Lord is my shepherd . . .

Here is a thought to keep you thinking.  It is the heartache of the past and the trials of the present that which you into shape to face the future.