Was Jesus’ Resurrection real? Is He alive today?

Was Jesus’ Resurrection real? Is He alive today?

Few events in antiquity are as well documented as the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Anointed One. All of Christianity hinges on the answer to this question. If there was no resurrection, there would be no Christianity.

Consider this: there were over 500 witnesses to Jesus’ return to life after being crucified dead and buried. The Romans made no mistakes when they killed someone. They were expert at the art of death. Yet, three days later, Jesus appeared to his disciples, to several women, to two men walking on the road to Emmaus, to a doubting Thomas and two others. Jesus was definitely dead and he was definitely resurrected. But unlike others who were raised from the dead only to die again at a future date, Jesus was very much alive when he departed this earth in front of witnesses. He was and is alive today, but not in the human form in which he lived 2,000 years ago.

Today, Jesus reigns with His father, God, in heaven and is preparing a place for every believer to join Him there. But one doesn’t have to wait for the end of life on earth to encounter Jesus, because when he departed he promised to send his Spirit to serve as advocate, counselor, and comforter to those who believe in the resurrected Jesus and sincerely ask him to be his or her savior.

Jesus, who has the power and authority to hold together every atom in the universe, is the same Jesus who died for the sins of mankind and was resurrected to declare his power to triumph over death. One day Jesus will return to earth just like he left it to rule and reign as King of kings. Are you ready to meet him in this world or the next? If you would like to learn more, please visit our Next Steps page.

Why do we celebrate Palm Sunday

Why do we celebrate Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week in the Christian Calendar and marks the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey as crowds of people cheered and waved palm branches. Almost 600 years had passed since a king in the line of David sat on a Jewish throne in Jerusalem and many were eager for the promised Messiah, or Anointed One, to lead an overthrow of the oppressive Roman occupation. Many also were hoping for an overthrow of the equally oppressive religious leaders who imposed a strict regimen of impossible-to-adhere-to rules and regulations.

That’s why, when Jesus approached the City of David riding on a donkey it seemed to be the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
Zechariah 9:9

As the crowd spread garments before the man they thought would be their physical deliverer, they also waved palm branches and shouted,

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Matthew 21:10

The word Hosanna means save. What the crowd was saying was “save us from the physical and spiritual oppression that controls our lives. Lead us in a rebellion that will set us free.” The people did not understand that the kind of rebellion that Jesus would lead was not going to be a physical one that would provide temporary freedom, but a much more significant spiritual rebellion that would provide eternal freedom for all mankind.

Christians today celebrate Palm Sunday to remind us of King Jesus who, within a week, would turn the world upside down by allowing himself to be killed for the sins of everyone, and to rise from the dead to provide assurance of eternal live to those who accept the sacrifice Jesus made on their behalf.

If you would like to learn more about how you can become intimately connected to God and truly understand his purpose for you, please go to our Next Steps page.

What is a Moral compass?

What is a Moral compass?

A magnetic compass is a tool that helps find your way to a destination and back home again. However, it points to a changing magnetic north, not to the unchanging ‘true north,’ where map lines of longitude converge at the pole. Mariners of old used celestial navigation to locate their position. Their tool was a nautical sextant. Their guiding light was most often the North Star although other celestial bodies were also used. Today, satellites and GPS help travelers navigate on air, land or sea to find their final destination.

moral compass—a set of core values and beliefs—on the other hand is an important tool that guides a person through the challenges, dangers, and temptations of modern life and toward a godly, satisfying future. God has provided that moral compass, the Bible. It is God’s inspired unchanging Word, full of truth and wisdom, interpreted for you by the Holy Spirit. It becomes a person’s moral compass when it is read, studied and internalized and so that in school, the workplace and in relationships it will help you decide right from wrong, truth from lies and lead to the true north, Jesus Christ.

Men and women are created in God’s image with a purpose that gives meaning to life and glory to God. That purpose is to honor God with your life and your work, love your neighbor as yourself and to accomplish the good works God has planned for every follower of Jesus Christ. That means God has a plan to give each believer hope and a fantastic future. The greatest adventure in life is to discover God’s plan and live it to the fullest. God’s moral compass is a tool that will guide the way. Remember, it is only Jesus Christ who can assure that at the end of life you will reach heaven as your final destination.

Photo by Brian Regrut

Does man have a Noble purpose or do we just exist? Part 2

Does man have a Noble purpose or do we just exist? Part 2

Last week we took an overview approach to answer this question focusing on God’s love. This week we have taken an in-depth search of Scriptures to see what else we can discover about whether or not mankind has a noble purpose ordained by its creator, God.

First, what is man that God is mindful of him? (Psalm 8:4). Well, God created man, a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5), with a purpose to rule over the planet Earth (Genesis 1:28). This purpose was in direct conflict with the former most powerful ruler of Earth, Satan.  Satan attacks man even to this day to remove man as ruler and for Satan to try to gain back his rule over Earth and to destroy Israel.

But, Jesus the Lord God takes on flesh of a man (Hebrews 2:9), coming to Earth as the “son of man.” This son of man defeats Satan at the cross, and is crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:9; Psalm 8:5). Jesus raises man to a highly elevated position as a son of God and brother of Jesus, through placement in Christ (Ephesians 2:6) and adoption as sons (Galatians 4:4-5), for those who receive him (John 1:12). Man is thus raised to the highest place of significance far above that of the place of Satan.

Such a work of God brings glory to God revealing his wonderful grace and mercy. Further, after having raised man to a high position in Christ, God then uses man to join with Him in order to carry out God’s will on Earth.

Man’s purpose is thus: To be an instrument used by God in the face of a powerful enemy, wherein God rules planet Earth through man, to accomplish God’s purposes, and so bring glory to God (1Peter 4:11; Ephesians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 10:31). Therefore, we can conclude positively from the Scriptures that man has a noble purpose. A purpose that is good and honorable. A purpose that can be admired due to its impressive value in and through the work and activity of God.

If you would like to learn more about how you can become intimately connected to God and truly understand his purpose for you, please go to our Next Steps page.

(Note: The reference to man refers to mankind and includes both men and women, sons and daughters).

Does Mankind have a Noble purpose or do we just exist?

Does Mankind have a Noble purpose or do we just exist?

Mankind was created in the image of God to rule the earth and to fulfill God’s plan of redemption for the human race. Mankind’s role in this plan seems to point to a noble purpose. There are many ways to answer this question and not everyone will agree with our response but it will cause everyone to think more seriously about why mankind is on planet Earth. So, this question will be answered in two parts in successive weeks to give the reader a broad perspective on the biblical concept of a noble purpose.

Mankind has been around a long time. There are signs in cave drawings, primitive rituals, cities that go back more than 12,000 years.Humans have been living in community for the most of our history, reaching beyond mere existence and survival. A lot of smart people including psychologists, philosophers, historians, theologians and just thoughtful people have affirmed that when we live life with a sense of purpose we are healthier, happier, have better relationships and are likely to be more successful.

So, is there a noble purpose for mankind? There are clues; in fact, an abundance of clues. In spite of many attempts to reduce faith in God to rules and rituals, at the heart of God’s self-disclosure is love. If God is love and if God’s self-disclosure is to encourage and support love, then we have discovered a significant clue about a noble purpose. If love is the basis for sustainable personal relationships, restorative justice, caring for those in need, family and community building, and transformational communication, then we have found a noble purpose that has deep roots, a long track record, and universal application that comes directly from the heart and mind of God.