Happy Easter to all!
Even though the coronavirus (COVID-19) has crippled and stifled normal activities everywhere, Christians around the entire world will still take time today to enthusiastically celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from His grave. He is King and Creator of the Universe, Lord and Savior of all who believe and trust in Him alone for salvation to eternal life. “On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:16 – NIV)
Easter Sunday truly is “The Greatest Day On Earth” for those who believe Jesus Christ is who He claims He is. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'” (John 14:6 – NIV)
Through the blood Jesus shed on the cross our sins are forgiven once and for all. And, because Jesus defeated death when He arose from the grave, He also promised that all of His followers, past, present, and future, would also be raised from the grave to eternal life with Him and God the Father. “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2)
Sadly, many today still believe He was a liar and/or a lunatic when He walked the earth more than 2000 years ago. Along with the biblical proof there is additional historical proof that He is who He says He is. You can read Josephus-Complete Works to learn more about his accounts of the historical Jesus.
Josephus was born in 37 A.D., about three or four years after Jesus was crucified. I think it’s safe to say that by the time Josephus was a young teenager he certainly would have heard about Jesus’ grotesque death and miraculous resurrection from many people still living in Jerusalem. Josephus visited many of the same cities and towns that Jesus spent time in, and he spent a great deal of time in Jerusalem.
It is said that historical scholars down through the centuries continue to look up to his writings as the only contemporary reference in history containing valid references to Christ, with a description of Him in minute detail.
In the third paragraph of the eighth book of Antiquity of the Jews, Josephus writes, “Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ (Messiah, God’s Anointed One – my words, not Josephus’ – nevertheless accurate); and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”
Yes, by the grace and power of God, that “tribe of Christians” is still not extinct, and has been growing by the millions ever since Christ left this earth to prepare a place for us. In fact, some of the largest numbers of conversions to Christianity today can be found in places where the persecution and death of Christians is running rampant. Especially in Muslim and atheist countries on the continents of Africa and Asia.
Why would anyone be willing to suffer, and even die, for expressing an unrelenting faith in a liar or lunatic?
Whether or not the coronavirus is the beginning of the end for this fallen world we live in, Christians and non-Christians alike should do their part to help defeat this invisible enemy we are fighting against.
However, Christians know that humankind can only do so much. Although we are all rooting for doctors and scientists to come up with a cure for this virus, Christians also know that the final outcome of all things and all events are ultimately in God’s hands.
We may not understand it or like it but we place our faith in the One who created the entire universe and all that is in it and on it. And, we trust God for the outcome because His way, His will, and His timing is always perfect. “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:40 – NIV)
This is what Christian faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and our risen Savior, Jesus Christ, looks like.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:1,2,13-16 – NIV)
He Is Risen! THANK YOU JESUS!!!
During this Easter celebration, may the Grace, Mercy, and Peace of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit be with you and your families now and forever.
See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!