EYE WITNESS ACCOUNTS OF JESUS CRUCIFIXION AND RESURRECTION

The EYE WITNESS Bible Series produced by Hatikvah Films is excellent and I would suggest you consider using the one titled EASTER at your Home Group. Ideally, it would have been a study prior to Easter but any time of year it is a powerful message.

The following 14-minute segment shows enough to determine if it is for you. It tells the story of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. It is described in all four gospel accounts. Only Matthew and John were present at the event, and all four gospel writers had different purposes in choosing the details of their storyline. Although the Triumphal Entry is traditionally taken to have happened on the Sunday before the crucifixion of Jesus, experts vary on the exact day it happened. John wrote that Jesus arrived in Bethany six days before the Passover, and indicates the entry happened the next day. John says that people were going to see Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.

What about the pharisees and the sadducees, the religious leaders of the day, what was their reaction to Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead? There were many eye witnesses to that miraculous event.

So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.John 10:11-12

Matthew indicates a donkey and its colt were to be brought to Jesus, while the other three gospels mention only a colt. Luke indicates the colt had more than one owner. Mark and Luke have Jesus saying the colt will be unridden. All of the writers have a common goal of relating the event and the crowd’s reactions to at least two scriptures:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.Zechariah 9:9
https://youtu.be/8ijCwrJVR4A

WALKING IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

What a powerful testimony by Torben Sondergaard on the true meaning of Resurrection Sunday.

People have just been celebrating Passover/Easter all over the world, and we have been hearing the words “He has risen,” and yes, indeed He’s risen, but what does that mean for you?  Many people don’t understand what it truly means that Jesus has risen.  How does that influence your life?

Read Torben’s testimony and watch the video. You will be challenged, encouraged and some even inspired to truly start walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Torben’s Testimony

“I went to an Easter service in America for the first time yesterday.  I had not been to church on Easter in the U.S.A. before, because personally I’m not into all of those traditions, as I know its root, but I love Jesus, and I want to celebrate HIM – and we can ALWAYS celebrate that He has risen!  But yesterday I went, and it became very, very powerful! 

I saw a girl there with crutches, and I knew this was her day.  This was her day!  As soon as the meeting was over, I went down and prayed for her, and she got healed!  She got set free!  She got filled with the Holy Spirit, and her life got changed!  And I got it on video.  At the beginning of the service the priest said, “Walk in the resurrection power!”  But what does that indeed mean? 

There were a few thousand people in the church that day.  Many could have prayed for her.  Many could have set her free.  Many could have helped her, but they didn’t.  Why?  Because many don’t understand what it means to walk in the resurrection power of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We are here to help you out there to walk the life Christ has called you to.  Watch the video.”

EASTER – ALL ABOUT ETERNAL LIFE

During this Passion Week, it’s fitting that we turn our eyes to the cross. No tragedy could be greater than God’s blameless Son being slaughtered without mercy in horrid crucifixion. Yet as a result of His suffering, countless people will spend eternity with God in joyful celebration and endless pleasure. Jesus Himself will be forever exalted, and all will recognize Him as Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Eternal benefits are ours, all because He suffered.

He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:5-7 NIV

When they came to the place called “The Skull,” they crucified Jesus there, and the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left.”  Luke 23:33 GNT

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”  1 Peter 2:24-25 NIV

My entire theology can be condensed into four words, “JESUS DIED FOR ME.”  Charles Spurgeon

THE EASTER STORY

“You don’t create stories like this. It had to be based on reality,” Dr Michael Brown told Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of Greenelines on the Charisma Podcast Network.

The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is overwhelming and there have been many great books testifying to its truth. An excellent book is the one shown here. For me, these facts make Jesus resurrection incontrovertible:

1. Twelve nobodies (fishermen in the main) were able to establish in their lifetime a church that could withstand immense persecution.

2. The disciples were willing to lay down their lives for Jesus and The Gospel.

“People ask, ‘Why should I believe it?’ Well, this book is going to tell you why you should believe it. I’ve said it for many years: You don’t die for a lie. If the disciples made up the idea that He rose and concocted it, then why did they die for it later on?

Listen to this testimony of Dr Michael Brown:

“Jesus demonstrates that He’s alive today by working in our lives. The one that set me free instantly from two years of heavy drug use is the risen Jesus, the one who’s working around the world as we speak. If Jesus didn’t rise, then nobody would know His name today. He would have just been some obscure, ancient, alleged miracle-worker who died. But the fact is, hundreds of millions of people have come to worship God through Him. Islam doesn’t talk about Muhammad rising because he didn’t. Buddhism doesn’t talk about Buddha rising because he didn’t.

Only one rose—Jesus, Yeshua, Messiah of Israel, Savior of the world.”

Ask our Heavenly Father for opportunities to share the good news of Jesus this Easter. He will answer that prayer.

For He (Our Heavenly Father) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.2 Corinthians 5:21

Significance of Jesus wearing a crown of thorns?

Symbolism of thorns in Scripture

pictures-of-jesus-crown-thorns-1127729-gallery

As well as thorns and thistles being a very real physical component of the cursed world that we all now live in, they carry further symbolic negative overtones throughout the Bible, firmly pointing back to the Curse in Genesis. Their symbolic meaning also creates problems for those who do not read Genesis as a true historical account, as the negative biblical overtones associated with thorns and thistles are integral to their historical origin at the time of the Curse. Without the connection to their historical origin, their symbolic meaning becomes empty and vague.

The numerous references to thorns and thistles throughout the Bible remind us of the historical Original Sin and Curse that followed. The negative biblical overtones associated with thorns and thistles after Genesis 3:18 are demonstrated in their representation as obstacles, punishment, or serving as a reminder of sin and its consequences. For example:

  • In Numbers 33:55, God warned the Israelites that if they did not drive out the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, allowing them to remain, the Canaanites would be an obstacle to them. They would be, “thorns in your sides”. Proverbs 15:19 again uses the imagery of thorns as obstacles, saying, “The way of the sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.”
  • The New Testament also uses thorns and thistles in reference to the inner workings of the worldly heart, corrupted by sin. In the parable of the sower, Matthew 13:3-8 some seeds “fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them” (v. 7). Also, the outward expression of that worldly heart which apostatizes from Christ is likened to a barren wasteland, which, “if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned” (Hebrews 6:8).

The ultimate fulfilment of the symbolism that thorns and thistles have in the Bible is found in Matthew 27:29:

“And twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ ”

Here the governor’s soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head, to mock him as the King of the Jews. Oh, if only they had known both what they were doing and the symbolism that their actions entailed! Thorns were not present in the original very good world, but the Roman soldiers didn’t have any trouble finding thorns to place on Jesus head. Thorns that were a direct result of man’s original sin are now found in abundance in a world that is steeped in sin. What the soldiers unwittingly did was hugely significant. There is nothing random in the Bible; every word that has been written in its pages is significant. The crown of thorns vividly symbolised the curse of sin being placed on Jesus’s head. It immediately takes the reader back to Genesis, reminding us of why Jesus went to the cross, to take the penalty for sin on our behalf. He died as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, so that the Curse that God had pronounced upon this earth because of sin, can be removed for those that believe in him, and that ultimately creation itself can be redeemed. “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” Romans 8;20-21. Christ’s actions will blunt every sharply pointed thistle and thorn as well as the other effects of the curse. The Christian can shout, “O death, where is your sting?”

extract from article Why did Jesus wear a Crown of Thorns by and  www.creation.com

Christianity – a religion of RESURRECTION

Jesus on Cross

 

EASTER is the time when we remember our Saviour’s resurrection which makes our own resurrection sure.

“JESUS answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”          John 2:19

Jesus knew He was going to die in Jerusalem, but He also knew he was going to be raised from the dead. He knew the Messianic Psalms were about Him:

“For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”          Psalm 16:10         (Prophesy is proof the Bible is God’s Word)

Jesus knew nothing could separate Him from the Father’s love and we have been given the same promise in Romans 8: 38-39. And we have been given the same promise of resurrection Jesus was given.

” Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection from the dead? But if there is no resurrection from the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is in vain and your faith also vain ……………………….. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”   But now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.       1 Corinthians 15: 12 -20

“For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with a voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will arise first.”           1 Thessalonians 4: 15-16

Paul says to comfort one another with these words and so we should, what a wonderful God we serve.

 

The most momentous event in history

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ETERNAL LIFE – Take the time this Easter to consider what JESUS (second person of the Trinity) did for humanity just 2014 years ago.

His perfect LOVE, His perfect OBEDIENCE enabled His perfect OFFERING for my sins and yours. GOD the Father FORGIVES those who repent of their sins and acknowledge JESUS as their Lord and Saviour.

The evidence for the resurrection of JESUS is irrefutable. The inability of the Jewish Religious leaders to produce Christ’s body. Many people saw Christ appear (500). Many saw him not individually but together. They saw him appear not once but many times. They not only saw him but touched him, conversed with him and ate with him. Following JESUS ascension to heaven the disciples were miraculously empowered by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (third person of the Trinity) as told by Jesus to take the GOOD NEWS to the world. The sincerity of the disciples was attested to by their suffering and death. If the disciples had not zealously done as JESUS had instructed them Christianity would have died at its birth.

Have you accepted JESUS free gift of Eternal Life? You can be empowered by the Holy Spirit to start living eternally now.