Easter Eggstra Special


This past, Thursday, when our 3 year old beloved son, Ittai, came home from school, he had with him a beautifully painted egg and I asked him what it was. He said it was an Easter egg. So I asked him, do you know the meaning of Easter? His response was “Eggs and Baskets.” Well, I tried explaining to Ittai, what Easter truly meant – that it was a celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin and death and how he rose from the grave – but I felt extremely inadequate in explaining resurrection to a three year old. I was also a little disappointed and mad at the world system that tries to take out the true meaning of a celebration, replacing it with something that is politically correct (case in point, Happy holidays for Merry Christmas, XMas for Christmas and Easter eggs/bunnies for the Resurrection).

Then on Easter morning after the service at the Austin Christian Fellowship of India, in which Pastor Samuel Madhavaraj preached about how the tomb of Christ was not only open but empty as well, one of the church members pointed Ittai to an Easter egg that was under his chair. Excitedly Ittai ran and picked up the egg, but when he opened it, it was empty. It was probably the remnant of an Easter egg hunt that may have taken place earlier that weekend. I saw the look of disappointment on Ittai’s face and as a father, I melted. Then it struck me. I took the empty egg, picked Ittai up, sat him on my lap and explained – “Ittai, you know how I asked you what Easter is all about?”. He nodded. “See, Easter is like this empty egg. The candy that was within is not there anymore. It has probably been taken out and eaten by someone who must have tasted and experienced how good it was. They must have enjoyed it. As long as the candy was in the egg, nobody could enjoy it. Now that the egg shell is empty and the candy is out, it can be enjoyed.” I continued, “in the same manner, Easter is like an empty egg. The tomb when Jesus was buried is empty. If he remained in the tomb, no one could have enjoyed his sweetness. The Bible says, O taste and see that the Lord is good. We must take Jesus (like candy) and accept him and take him into our lives so that he comes into us and becomes one with us. We can then truly enjoy his presence as a child would enjoy candy. Infact, Easter eggs that are empty is a poignant picture of the empty tomb. This is what Easter is.” I couldn’t tell if he fully understood what I was trying to say, but atleast, I hope that he recognizes, Easter is not about eggs and basket … but about an empty tomb, because Jesus, who was placed in the tomb, is risen – He is risen indeed. Death could not hold him; the grave could not keep him – He is alive.

Points to ponder:
Have you tasted the sweetness of the grace of God? In other words, have you received and believed in Christ Jesus, taking him into your lives so that you can truly relish and enjoy his presence, or, are you leaving Christ in the tomb as a child would leave candy within and Easter egg.

1 Corinthians 15:12-14 (KJV)
12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

Why was Christ Jesus raised from the dead?


We celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ on what is commonly referred to as Easter in most parts of the world, but why Easter? Why was Christ Jesus raised from the dead? The Bible holds the answer to this question and it is recorded in Romans 4:25. Christ was raised from the dead for our justification. In other words, Christ Jesus was resurrected from the dead for making us right with God which some translations of the Bible render as, making as ‘acceptable’ to God.

Those who believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection are imputed the righteousness of Jesus Christ and are justified … These are the ‘just’ who shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4) – a faith that should not be futile but fruitful (1 Corinthians 15: 17; Romans 7:4).

Points to ponder:
Since Christ is risen, we who believe in him are made ‘just’ and accepted by God in his beloved, and we as the just must live by faith. Is our faith futile (vain and dead) or is it fruitful (bring forth fruit) unto God?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, let me live by faith, a faith that bears forth the fruit of the Spirit and not be one in vain, as if you never rose from the dead.

Romans 4:25 (KJV)
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Habakkuk 2:4 (KJV)
Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

1 Corinthians 15:17 (KJV)
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

Romans 7:4 (KJV)
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

If you were to die today, would you be dead?


Jesus cried and prayed to God the Father who was able to save him from death (Hebrews 5:7), that the cup of God’s wrath on him be passed over (Luke 22:42), but God willed for him to be the passover Lamb that takes away and the sin of the world (Isaiah 53:10; John 1:29) and Jesus knew this. He himself had said earlier, that he had come to give his life (to die) as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Then why would Jesus pray and request that God save him from death?

We must be careful to recognize that when Jesus prayed for being saved from death, he prayed for being saved from the midst of death, and not necessarily to be spared from dying. In other words, Jesus prayed that from the midst of death, God save him, by resurrecting him from the dead and God heard (answered) this prayer of Jesus as we see from the account of the Resurrection, recorded in the Scripture (Matthew 28:6).

Points to ponder:
The Scripture affirms that we are all appointed once to die (Hebrews 9:27), but we are not appointed unto death (spiritual/second death) and all who believe in Jesus Christ, whom God heard and saved from the midst of death, resurrecting him, will also be resurrected from being dead in sin, to being dead to sin and to walking in the newness of life (Romans 6:4). If you were to die today, would you be dead?

Hebrews 5:7 (KJV)
Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

Romans 6:3-11 (KJV)
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Post Resurrection :: Appearance of Jesus


Following his resurrection, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9-11), two on the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:12-13), his disciples (Mark 16:14), a gathering of 500 (1 Corinthians 15:6), and all of the apostles (1 Corinthians 15:7), but what is interesting to note, is that while some who saw the risen Christ worshipped him, there were others who doubted (Matthew 28:17).

Points to ponder:
Jesus said to Thomas, because you have seen, you have believed, but blessed are they who believe in me even if they have not seen me (John 20:29). For when we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of all mankind, the end result would be ascribing unto him worship. Today, if the risen Lord appears to you and the eyes of your heart sees him, will you worship him or will you doubt? Don’t be a doubter!

Matthew 28:17 (KJV)
 17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

John 20:29 (KJV)
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 

The true meaning of the Resurrection


What is the resurrection? On Easter Sunday, all of Christendom celebrates the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, commemorating his victory over sin and the power of the devil, which is death (Hebrews 2:14), but let us be careful not to miss out on the true meaning of Resurrection.

While Easter to many in the faith may mean one or more of the following:
The day that the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead (and/or)
The day that the tomb in which Jesus was laid after his death became empty (and/or)
The day that the sting and bondage of the grave was loosened (and/or)
The day when the devil was destroyed and the power of death vanquished …
let us be careful to not miss out on the true meaning of Resurrection.

When Jesus told Martha that Lazarus, her dead brother, shall rise again; Martha responds by saying, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day”, but Jesus asserts to her that “He indeed is the resurrection, and the life”.
Resurrection is more than just an event. It is a person. It is Jesus Christ.
So the correct question to ask is not “What is the Resurrection?” but “Who is the Resurrection?”

Points to ponder: 
Jesus Christ said, “I AM the Resurrection and the Life, if anyone believes in me, though he shall die, yet he shall live and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” and then questioned, “Do you believe this?” Do you?

John 11:21-27 (KJV)
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

What is Easter? Easter Acrostics


It is Easter morn and as my darling wife Sangeetha, beloved son Reuben and I view the Harbor from our hotel in Hong Kong, I can’t help but wonder the beauty of God’ provision of life unto mankind. Just as the sun rises over the clouds in the Harbour, Jesus Christ rose on Easter day by the resurrection Power of God defeating the power of death, over the cloud of sin and death to give each of us a spectacular view of His beauty.

What is Easter? Easter in essence is death abolished and Life abundant.

Death – Erased, Abolished, Slayed, Terminated, Eliminated, Rescinded (EASTER)
Life – Enlivened, Abundant, Sprung, Teeming, Enlightened, Renewed (EASTER)

May you all have a God blessed Easter. Happy Easter 2011.

Living among the Dead


It’s Easter (Passover), the day where people worldwide, celebrate the fact that Jesus, who was killed had risen from the dead and is Alive today.

The question that the two men posed to those who sought the body of Jesus in the tomb where they had laid Him, after they had taken Him down from the Cross, was “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” and then they exclaimed, He is not here, He is risen.

Because He is risen (alive), all who come to accept Him (Jesus) as Lord and Savior will have eternal life and not perish (die the second death).
We are commissioned to reach out (seek) souls that don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior (dead souls), among those who do (living souls).

This Easter, the question is not just “Why seek we Jesus, the living among the dead?” but the real question must be
Why aren’t we seeking the dead among the living?“. Think about it!

Luke2 4:1-8

1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
2
And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
3
And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4
And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5
And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6
He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
7
Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
8 And they remembered his words