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Archive for the 'Easter 2016' Category

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Easter 2016

Part 24: Jesus still meets people today


As we have seen, the good news is that Jesus is still living. The remainder of the four Gospels and the beginning of the book of Acts tell us a little more of what Jesus did before He ascended into the heavens. But Jesus still meets with people at the present time. How does He do this?

Jesus walks with us, where ever we go and in particular in the darkest periods of our life. Just as he did with the two people on the road to Emmaus, he walks with those who proclaim to follow Him (Mark 16:12-13, Luke 24:13-32). Jesus speaks whenever the Bible is faithfully preached and read from, just as He opened the eyes of those on the Emmaus road when He explained the Scriptures (Luke 24:27). Jesus meets us in the Communion or Lord’s Supper, with the bread and wine, which symbolise His flesh and blood as an act of remembrance of what He did for humanity.

But that is not the end, because Jesus has promised that He is coming again. Not as a baby next time, but as an all conquering Son of God in judgment to gather those who follow Him. Are you ready? If you want to follow this Jesus, come on over Here is how… You won’t regret it if you do!

Becoming a Christian

If you want to turn to God there is no need for delay. He is ready and willing to take you as his own – right now. You only have to ask him to forgive you and he will! Being a Christian is a partnership between God and yourself. Deciding to change course in mid-life, is what is called conversion, being born again, or deciding to be a Christian. When you place your faith in Jesus, becoming utterly dependent upon Him, you turn to God.

Once you have made that decision, you leave behind your rebellion against him. As you live each day, becoming more involved with Jesus day by day, you will find yourself changing. You stop doing things which separated you from him and find yourself doing things that develop your relationship with him.

How do you develop this relationship?

Until you enter into that relationship, sin, or that which alienates you from God, controls your rebellion against him in your attitudes and your activities. You develop this relations by allowing God to take control of your life, as he asks you to accept his management and guidance of your life.

God’s point of view and his strength will become your point of view and your source of strength. You turn your mind, will and heart to him for all you do.
If you want to make that decisive step and become a Christian there are three simple steps to take.
  • Firstly, admit that you have done wrong against God and his ways and turn away from those attitudes.
  • Secondly, believe and trust in Jesus as your Saviour from the consequences of the anger of God towards you and your tendency to sin. Call on Him, receive, trust, obey and worship Him, recognizing him for who he is and what he has done.
  • Lastly, accept the Holy Spirit of God into your life as the major motivating force for what you do. Once sin has been confessed, Jesus is believed in and trusted as Saviour and the Holy Spirit has entered your life, then you are a Christian.

All these things happen together in a flash as you turn to God. Now you are ready to grow in grace and knowledge of our Jesus. Welcome to the family of God! God has chosen you; Jesus has paid for you and has put his mark within you through his Spirit (Ephesians 1:1-13).

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Easter 2016

Part 23: Significances of Jesus' Resurrection


Today we look at 3 of the principal significances of Jesus' resurrection from the dead to new life!

Significance 1: The resurrection of Jesus Christ provided the central theme for the sermons and teaching in the early church (Acts 1:22; Acts 4:33, Acts 17:18) and certainly within Paul-ine theology. But what significance is there in Jesus’ resurrection?

1 Corinthians 15:1-8: Now I declare to you, brothers, the Good News which I preached to you, which also you received, in which you also stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold firmly the word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers at once, most of whom remain until now, but some have also fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all, as to the child born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also.

That was the Apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthian church about the Jesus having been raised from the dead – physically!

Significance 2: The resurrection proved and vindicated all Jesus’ teaching and claims as the suffering Servant and attested to His being fully God and the last Judge of all mankind (Isaiah 53:10-12; Acts 2:36; Acts 3:13-15; Romans 1:4). The resurrection, declared God’s approval of Jesus obedient service and the fulfilment of all the Old Testament promises, resulting in forgiveness of sins and salvation being only found in and through Jesus Christ, which was the prime motive for evangelism in the early church (Acts 2:32, Romans 4:24-25). Jesus’ resurrection is a sign of the bodily resurrection for all believers in Him, giving a new attitude to death and transforming hopes (1 Corinthians 15:12-58, Romans 8:10, 2 Corinthians 4:14; 1 Peter 1:3 & 21). As the resurrected King, Jesus now intercedes for us and has perfected the redemption of all those who choose to follow Him (Romans 5:10; Hebrews 6:20; 1 Peter 1:21).

Significance 3: Finally, the resurrection of Jesus’ physical body is a sure victory over satan, sin and death. All three are conquered and squashed. Satan is a defeated creature and will do anything to drag people into defeat with him. The power of sin is conquered, and sin’s grip is overcome if you are a believer in Jesus Christ. Finally, as I said earlier, death has been beaten, because those who believe and trust in Jesus Christ will live forever with him – death is not the end but a beginning.

If Jesus Christ did not physically rise from the dead then as Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 “Now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised. If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith also is in vain.

Yes, we are found false witnesses of God, because we testified about God that he raised up Christ, whom he didn’t raise up, if it is so that the dead are not raised. For if the dead aren’t raised, neither has Christ been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. Then they also who are fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all people most pitiable.”

Or let me put it in my own words - if Jesus Christ did not physically rise from the dead, we as Christians are the product of the greatest delusional lie and are the most foolish of all people.


Tomorrow we conclude our Easter 2016 with Jesus still meeting people today.
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Easter 2016

Part 22: Alternative theories for the resurrection


Yet people still doubt. Let us say Jesus didn’t rise from the dead. Surely the authorities, both Jewish and Roman, would have produced his dead body in order to quench this new movement! But they didn’t, and the reason they didn’t is because there was no body to produce! Would the disciples have really risked death for telling and maintaining a lie about the risen Jesus? They were beaten, confused, defeated and dispersed men until they saw Jesus truly did rise from the dead. After seeing Him, they were transformed and victorious people.

I have had people say to me that somebody (even the disciples) stole the body. Hardly likely, and if that had occurred, for what reason? How would they have got past the Roman Guard and moved the stone a great distance from the tomb? This very reason is what the Jewish authorities tried to perpetuate by way of a bribe, in Matthew 28:11-15 “Now while the disciples of Jesus were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city, and told the chief priests all the things that had happened. When they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave a large amount of silver to the soldiers, saying, “Say that his disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him and make you free of worry.” So they took the money and did as they were told. This saying was spread abroad among the Jews, and continues until this day.”

Then we have the swoon theory. Jesus didn’t die but merely fainted and recovered consciousness in the tomb. Even the sceptics disagree with this theory, one of whom said “It is impossible that a being who had stolen half-dead out of the sepulchre, who crept about weak and ill, wanting medical treatment, who required bandaging, strengthening and indulgence, and who still at last yielded to His sufferings, could have given to the disciples the impression that He was a Conqueror over death and the grave, the Prince of Life”.

Or perhaps, they all went to the wrong tomb. That’s it – they went to the wrong tomb. Whilst one person may have gone to a wrong tomb, not everyone would have done. Besides, the gospel accounts tell us that people were waiting outside the tomb where Jesus was buried! Surely Joseph would know which tomb Jesus was buried in, seeing as Joseph owned it!

Lastly, Jesus didn’t die on the cross but somebody was substituted for him. This is certainly untenable, given the rigidity and strict record keeping of Roman rule and with the eyes of the Jewish hierarchy watching. This conjecture is a lie of satan, because he knows the significance of Jesus having risen physically from the dead.

All of these theories are incorrect... Jesus really did rise from the dead to new life. Tomorrow we look at some of the significances of this historical event.

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Easter 2016

Part 20: Jesus is alive! WOW!


Jesus is sealed within an unused and guarded tomb. Or is he? The historical records say differently...All four Gospels, part of the historical record, Matthew, Mark Luke and John, tell us that Jesus was crucified, died and was buried in a tomb. What do these four historical Gospels say about the Jesus’ resurrection or rising from the dead?

Let us first look at the sequence of events over the period of time after Jesus death till He ascended. Now remember, the Gospels are documents which have recorded historical events.

Sequence of events

  • The tomb is empty
  • Two Marys watch the burial: (Matthew27:61, Mark 15:47, Luke23:54-55)
  • Roman soldiers guard the tomb and place an official Roman seal upon it: (Matthew 27:62-66)
  • Women prepare burial spices then rest: (Luke 23:56)
  • An angel rolls the stone away: (Matthew 28:2-4)
  • Women arrive at dawn with spices: (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1-4, Luke 24:1-3, John 20:1)
  • Angels appear to women: (Matthew 28:5-7, Mark 16:5-7, Luke 24:4-8)
  • The women dart back to tell disciples: (Matthew 28:8, Mark 16:8, Luke 24:9-11, John 20:2)
  • Peter and John investigate the empty tomb: (Luke 24:12, John 20:3-9)
  • Peter and John go home: (Luke 24:12, John 20:10)
  • Mary Magdalene weeps by the tomb: (John 20:11)
  • Mary sees two angels: (John 20:12-13)

Jesus’ appearances

  • Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene: (Mark 16:9, John 20:14-17)
  • Jesus appears to the other women: (Matthew 28:9-10)
  • Women report to the disciples: (Mark 16:10-11, John 20:18)
  • Guards testify to the priests: (Matthew 28:11-15)
  • Jesus meets two people on the Emmaus Road: (Mark 16:12-13, Luke 24:13-32)
  • Jesus appears to Simon Peter: (1 Corinthians 15:5, Luke 24:34)
  • Two men on the Emmaus Road report to disciples in Jerusalem: (Luke 24:33-35)
  • Jesus appears to the Disciples less Thomas: (Luke 24:36-43, John 20:19-24)
  • Disciples report to Thomas: (John 20:25)
  • Jesus appears to the Disciples and Thomas: (Mark 16:14, John 20:26-29)
  • Jesus appears to seven people: (John 21:1-14)
  • Jesus questions Peter 3 times: (John 21:15-23)
  • Jesus appears to 500 people: (1 Corinthians 15:6)
  • Jesus appears to James: (1 Corinthians 15:7)


In our Podcast tomorrow, we go to look at further evidence for Jesus' resurrection from the dead.

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Easter 2016

Part 19: Why did Jesus go to the Cross? what relevance for us today?


So we have the events of what we call Easter... But why did Jesus Christ have to die on the cross and how is that fact possibly relevant to you and I in the 21st century, some 2000 years after the event... Come and listen to the how and why...

The problem!

The solution!

  • Substitution
  • Propitiation
  • Redemption
  • Victory over satan, sin and death.

Our response...

We then go on to see what our response to this momentous occasion in history is to be - both for those who are Christians and those who are not yet...

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Easter 2016

Part 18: Jesus' Trial, Death and Burial

See, my servant will act wisely he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness (Isaiah 52:13-14)

Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:10-11)

Those words were spoken about the coming Messiah, by the prophet Isaiah centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ. Together, so far we have looked at during this Easter series, Jesus’ mission and identity and have placed Him as the Messiah spoken about throughout the Old Testament, including Isaiah. We have looked at Jesus’ last teaching, last prayers and the events of his last night. Following his betrayal, he is now facing trial in a Roman court, being interrogated by Pontius Pilate.
Now, as we look together briefly today at John 19, let us see what happened to Jesus Christ:
  • His condemnation,
  • His crucifixion
  • His death
  • His burial.


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Easter 2016

Part 17: Jesus' Prepares and Serves


Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.”
So they said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare?”
And He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters. 11 Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’
Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready.”
So they went and found it just as He had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.
When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve[a] apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
(Luke 22:7-20)

~~~~

So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (John 13:12-17)

Today we look at Jesus preparing and serving on His last night before He goes to the cross.


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Easter 2016

Part 16: Jesus' Last Night Plans


"He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He entered, as was his custom, into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He opened the book, and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began to tell them, “Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” All testified about him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth, and they said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” Luke 4:16-22

That took place now some 3 years ago. From that time till his last night, during His 3 years of ministry, Jesus has preached the good news of God’s salvation to reconcile people back into relationship with Almighty God. Through the cross, His mission will be fulfilled.

1c. Passover, Pentecost and Feast of Tabernacles were the three most important feasts on the Jewish calendar (Leviticus 21). All Jewish men were expected to visit Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 16:16). The Passover Feast was to commemorate the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and it was a time for remembering and rejoicing (Exodus 11-12).

Today we look at Jesus plans on His last night. Play or download the audio mp3 to find out more about this Jesus, his final prayer what that means for you today!!

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Easter 2016

Part 13: Jesus' Final Prayer - Part 3


John 17:24-26: Father, I want those you gave me To be with me, right where I am, So they can see my glory, the splendour you gave me, Having loved me Long before there ever was a world. Righteous Father, the world has never known you, but I have known you, and these disciples know that you sent me on this mission. I have made your very being known to them — Who you are and what you do — And continue to make it known, so that your love for me Might be in them Exactly as I am in them.


We are now looking together at Jesus' final prayer. This prayer is probably the pinnacle of revelation in John’s gospel. Here we see Jesus’ very words, revealing an unparalleled intimacy with His Father. Now Jesus prays for all those who, through the work of the disciples, will become His followers. As such, it brings all Christian disciples into intimacy with Jesus and a part of a dynamic relationship with Him.


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Easter 2016

Part 13: Jesus' Final Prayer - Part 2


John 17:6-8: I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place; then you gave them to me, and they have now done what you said. They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is first hand from you, for the message you gave me, I gave them; and they took it, and were convinced that I came from you. They believed that you sent me.

We are now looking together at Jesus' final prayer. This prayer is probably the pinnacle of revelation in John’s gospel. Here we see Jesus’ very words, revealing an unparalleled intimacy with His Father. Today we see and reflect on the prayer Jesus prayed for his disciples.


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Easter 2016

Part 13: Jesus' Final Prayer - Part 1


John 17:1-5: Jesus said these things. Then, raising his eyes in prayer, he said: Father, it's time. Display the bright splendour of your Son So the Son in turn may show your bright splendour. You put him in charge of everything human so he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge. And this is the real and eternal life: That they know you, the one and only true God, And Jesus Christ, whom you sent. I glorified you on earth by completing down to the last detail what you assigned me to do. And now, Father, glorify me with your very own splendour, the very splendour I had in your presence before there was a world.


We now look together at Jesus' final prayer.
This prayer is probably the pinnacle of revelation in John’s gospel. Here we see Jesus’ very words, revealing an unparalleled intimacy with His Father.  Firstly, Jesus prays for Himself, then for His twelve disciples and then finally for all disciples of all generations to follow, the church. Today we are looking at Jesus' prayer for himself.

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Easter 2016

Part 12: Jesus' Final Teaching - Part 3


John 16:1-4: “I am telling you this now so that your faith in me may not be shaken. They will excommunicate you from their synagogues. Yes, the time is coming when a man who kills you will think he is thereby serving God! They will act like this because they have never had any true knowledge of the Father or of me, but I have told you all this so that when the time comes for it to happen you may remember that I told you about it. I have not spoken like this to you before, because I have been with you;
5-11 but now the time has come for me to go away to the one who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ That is because you are so distressed at what I have told you. Yet I am telling you the simple truth when I assure you that it is a good thing for you that I should go away. For if I did not go away, the divine helper would not come to you. But if I go, then I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convince the world of the meaning of sin, of true goodness and of judgement. He will expose their sin because they do not believe in me; he will reveal true goodness for I am going away to the Father and you will see me no longer; and he will show them the meaning of judgement, for the spirit which rules this world will have been judged.

12-15 “I have much more to tell you but you cannot bear it now. Yet when that one I have spoken to you about comes—the Spirit of truth—he will guide you into everything that is true. For he will not be speaking of his own accord but exactly as he hears, and he will inform you about what is to come. He will bring glory to me for he will draw on my truth and reveal it to you. Whatever the Father possesses is also mine; that is why I tell you that he will draw on my truth and will show it to you.

16 “In a little while you will not see me any longer, and again, in a little while you will see me.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Here in John 16, Jesus goes on to reveal to His Disciples about the resources they will have in the Kingdom - the Holy Spirit and Himself!

  1. Holy Spirit - The first resource that Christian Disciples have is, as we have already seen, the Holy Spirit. After all, He is the real evangelist. In conjunction with Him, the Christian Disciple has three resources to use: proclaiming, counselling and discipling.
  2. Jesus - Jesus' presence, provision and position.


Play or download the audio to hear how and what the Holy Spirit and Jesus Himself do to help the Christian Disciple day to day.

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