ROSE FROM THE DEAD
EASTER - THE
DOOR TO LIFE
Carlos Padilla, Easter, March 2013
Easter, when we celebrate it every year until the coming of
Jesus Christ in His Kingdom, its mainly focused in the Passion of Christ, His
expiatory death for the forgiveness of our sins, by which faith we receive the
salvation for eternal life. Resurrection of the dead, or the change of the
living believers -first when one is born again, and second the day when the Lord
returns- is all fruit of His work on the Cross in Calvary. But this
Easter I will focus in the resurrection of Yahshua and its effect in our lives,
now, and in eternity, because death is the beginning, not the end.
There are two lives to be lived then, here and now, and
eternity. Both begin in Easter. The Easter of Christ is our door to life.
Unfortunately, many think that Easter, and the fruit of the Gospel and salvation,
only have effect after death. But that is the second part of the Gospel. The
true message of the Gospel includes present life, the salvation of our lives
here and now, in our daily living, in our relations, marriages, children,
parents, works and professions, and our Christian life, as part of the Church
and of the local church.
The eternal effects of His resurrection and its impact on us,
not only in our earthly life, but in our eternal life, have their original in
that promise that we know as Eternal Covenant, and the life given by God to His
only begotten Son, as prophecy, that He would be raised on the third day. Today
He lives and is seated at the right hand of the Father, having obtained, by His
work on the Cross, not only our salvation, but all power in Heaven and well as
on Earth. And consequently all who believe in Him, in his heart that Christ
lives and will come to establish the Kingdom of God for eternity, also receives
the power to take the Gospel in His name.
THE FAITHLESS ON RESURRECTION
Do you really believe in resurrection?. There
were apostles and followers of Jesus that were in doubt, others did not believe.
You only need to read the gospels in their last chapters, where they talk about
resurrection to realize how hard it was to the apostles and disciples of Christ
to believe that he had risen. This helps us to be patient with people when they
have problems to believe, as well as our own conversion until we believed.
But the question of resurrection was not
something new to the Jewish culture. Already the Sanhedrin, the council of
priests and doctors of the Law, Torah, was found divided with regard to the
matter of resurrection. As we read in Acts 23:6, when Paul is before the council
finds that one part was of Sadducees and the other of Pharisees - the first did
not believe in resurrection, nor in angles, nor in spirit, but the second did-
using this difference to convince them that Christ rose already from the dead
and lives, and that what he was being accused of was his faith in resurrection,
that of their Messiah, and of all humanity, as it was the hope of Israel.
Amongst them, was also Nicodemus,
another Pharisee disciple of Jesus and part of the Sanhedrin, the same that
appears before Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus to bury it. The same one that
asked Jesus how to be born again, would, no doubt be amongst those who would
rejoice more in the resurrection of the Master.
But without a doubt the most famous unbeliever
was Thomas, to whom Jesus Christ rebuked his unbelief, for blessed are they that
have not seen, and yet have believed. ...But
Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord.
But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands
the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and
thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26And
after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then
came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be
unto you. 27Then saith he to Thomas, Reach
hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust
it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28And
Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast
believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have
believed. John 20:24. We are asking those who hear us preach the Gospel that
they shall believe without seeing, for this is the premise of faith.
Now from this redoubt of time we can talk
of a different resurrection. I mean of yours or mine. Whether you believe you
will rise, and where you believe you will go. This will remain the final matter.
At this point I must commend you to the Holy Spirit. I know I write to
Christians, non Christians and seekers of the Truth, therefore I confront the
reader with the reality of his own faith, so that in solitude, in intimacy
with Christ can ask himself, do I really believe, Lord Jesus Christ that you rose
and are alive?. Do I really believe I will raise, and do I know where I'll spend
eternity?. From what you believe in your heart will depend all your life and
faith in the Gospel. This is the conclusive message for Easter, the resurrection
of Christ and ours. Let's go and preach it.
ROSE FROM THE DEAD WITH
That power to preach the
Gospel is supernatural, in the sense that the victories that are achieved
evangelizing and treating our neighbor with love of God, is not something that
comes from the natural man, but is part of the Great Co-Mission, the mission of
the Church, and of every Christian in particular, for it is a sacrifice of
praise, fruit of lips that give thanks to His Name, Hebrews 13:15.
This power that we receive
from the High places, is not a power that only focuses on miracles, resurrection
of the dead, healing of the sic, or move a mountain from one place to another,
things that the apostles could well have done. There is a spiritual power for
the war for souls, a battle that is won through faith, by fulfilling the
commandment of giving testimony of Christ, preaching the Gospel, because it is
through faith that can be done, not only to win the people for eternity, but to
feed the Church until Jesus Christ returns, the king that had been dead and
rose, the third day. Therefore in the world, nowadays, in the XXI century
suffer persecution, let's pray for them and do all that is in our hands to help
them and their families.
No doubt that Yahshua could have come down
from the Cross, as He had already proven power over death when He rose his
friend Lazarus. He also proved His power to calm the wind and waves, when He
turned the water into the best wine, or when He fed the multitude multiplying
the bread and the fish. Nor to forget when He gave sight to the blind, healing
to the lame and maimed, etc. But no, He decided to die for us carrying our gilt
until death, and death of Cross, and fulfill the Eternal Covenant with the
Father. And when it seamed that death had victory, He rose from the dead, John
20, according to Biblical prophecies. Then He appeared to Mary Magdalene and to
the twelve apostles. Finally He commanded them the mission of evangelizing the
entire world, to them and to future generations of Christians, not only of the
Jews but of the Gentiles, to form the Church. And said categorically, and for
all believers, before, today and tomorrow: ...Lo, I am with you always, even
to the end of the age... Matthew 28:18.
PART OF THE GOSPEL
Although the Gospel starts with the famous
repent, from the Greek "metanoia", translated as the
change of mind, for the
forgives of sins through the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, the effect is
resurrection for eternal life announcing the Kingdom of God, to which we are
called, and to a new life, here and now with Christ. This is the message that we
must emphasize around us. Resurrection Sunday known to Christianity, is the
culmination of the celebration, after Passover and the Passion, but it is not
emphasized enough. People must hear speak of resurrection because it's something
beyond normal rational thinking of this relativist, faithless and dead society,
so it may be raised, because we do not feel ashamed of the Gospel, because it is
power of God. Also because its the greatest hope for man, that death does not
matter, because it has no power over us, and its temporary apparent power when
we see people die is temporal because the day of the resurrection of the dead is
The key to resurrection is not the fact
that we will be raised, but where does each person go when they raise. Jesus
Christ clearly teaches that when He comes in His glory, will separate them one
from another. Those of Him will go to the resurrection of life, but the enemies
of the faith in Christ, will go to the resurrection of condemnation. This such
relevant point is frequently made relative, even in Christian circles, I mean
eternity of live after death, whether in the Paradise of God, or in Hell. The
Bible is clear in its doctrine about the eternity of the new heavens and new
earth, the Paradise, as well as of the place of torment called Hell, therefore
God in his infinite mercy wanted, together with His Son, and inside the
bosom of the Trinity, to avoid that we go to that terrible
place for eternity. We only need to remember any horrible situation in our lives
and think it would have had no end, to have a mare idea of Hell. Christ made the
Eternal Covenant with the Father for love for us that we could go to the other
beautiful and eternal place, Paradise, where Jesus Christ sais His Father has
many spiritual mansions for us. Let us not let it happen like to the disciples
at the beginning: ...For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must
rise again from the dead. John 20:9.
BECAUSE HE ROSE,
WE WILL ALSO RISE FROM THE DEAD
Easter, as I pointed at the beginning, is
usually focused more to death than to life. But the death of the Passion of
Christ has as purpose: life, of the Lord and of us, reason why God made the
creation and made man and woman to His image and likeness, Genesis 1:27. Is for
us, the Church -all the people in history that have loved God before, and Christ
now, if they have known the Gospel- that
resurrection, for we shall
live for ever and for eternity in a new earth, Revelation 21. And those who are
alive when the Lord Jesus Christ comes, and every eye shall see Him, will be
caught up to Heaven, 1Thesalonian 4:17.
Jesus taught us that the question is where
will we go when we raise, not whether there is resurrection, because there is,
because He proved to be the resurrection, when He rose, as when He rose dead,
like Lazarus. Therefore we read Jesus in John 5:24-28: ...Verily,
verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent
me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation;
but is passed from death unto life. 25Verily,
verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear
the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26For as
the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in
himself; 27And hath given him authority to execute judgment also,
because he is the Son of man. 28Marvel not at this: for the hour is
coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29And
shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and
they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
And we are not only talking of raising
after death, but of being already raised spiritually, having died to sin and
being born again through faith, as Yahshua teaches in verse 24 of the previous
Text, as well as the apostle Paul teaches in Colossians: 2:12 and 3:1:
...buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were
raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him
from the dead. - ...If then you were raised with Christ,
seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of
God. Set your mind on the things above, not on those on the earth.
For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in
God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear
with Him in glory.
AND HE ROSE FROM
THE DEAD IN EASTER
Easter is, then, the beginning of a new
era in God's mission for humanity, a mission agreed by the Father and the Son in
the Eternal Covenant, and that God fulfills in the promise of the covenant with
Abraham, from whom all believers in the Messiah are children in the faith.
Therefore, this dispensation that we have before us, the one that opens the door
to evangelization, because God is who makes it possible, not us with our own
efforts, and own resources, nor through our own mercy, but through God's,
through His power, through His capacity and because He does it in us, through
His Spirit. Remember Simon of
Cyrene who did not choose to carry the Cross of Christ to Calvary during a
part of the journey, it was given him. We now equally carry the cross of the
Gospel to the world.
All the work that we do is for the glory
of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit. The Trine God is
always doing and directing the work of salvation, and the Church is the
instrument through which He does it, once He came to earth the Son to fulfill
all justice and give His life for us on the Cross. And rose from the dead in
Easter. Since then, Resurrection Sunday, the end of that Shabbat, would become
the beginning of a new life for everyone who believes in God, because Jesus
Christ is the resurrection and the life.
Jesus makes the question, and Martha
said: I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus
said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He
who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live.
And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do
you believe this?. She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that you
are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world." John 11:25.
The question is to us like Jesus to
Martha: Do you really believe in resurrection?, not only in the resurrection
after death but in the life of born again. If you are a brother in the faith and
know Jesus personally, and pray and talk with Him daily and share your life with
Him, you know what I mean, because you understand the first part of
resurrection, because you have died to your old life and are born to a new life
Now only the faith in resurrection after
death is pending. If we believe that Christ ascended to the right hand of the
Father, if we talk to Him every day, we believe this. If we believe this, we
know that Jesus is alive and that He tells us the truth, that He will raise us
for eternal life when He returns in His Kingdom in the last day. With this hope
in our heart through faith, we ought, first for His glory, and second for our
neighbors' sake, to announce the Gospel to those we love and to every person
that we have the chance, because like that, God is glorified and they might also
live in eternity in the Kingdom of God, in the new heavens and new earth,
announced in Revelation 21. This is our mission towards our neighbor, this is
God's mission to which He sends us, that the salvation of people's lives, now
and for ever, may reach all the world.
...For I am not ashamed of the
Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to
salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is
written, "The just shall live by faith".
Romans 1:16 & 17.
There for, brethren, people need to hear
about resurrection and of being born again by faith in Jesus Christ. The hear
about death every day in the news, in films, in hospitals, in daily life, and in
Easter. Let's talk life, resurrection and the victory of Christ over death,
about eternal life, the one of Christ and of us, and of a new life here and now
on earth through the power of God in us, through His Spirit in us. Christ lives!
must be in our mouths towards everyone, lets announce it this Easter and always.