Saturday, July 20, 2024
Easter

Easter/Resurrection Sunday: Same Message Told a Different Way

Most lessons concerning Easter Resurrection Sunday start with Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, and Jesus’ trial before Caiaphus or Pontius Pilate. Some go straight to the Crucifixion. This lesson is going to start long before these events and look to a war: a war in Heaven. You may remember the name Lucifer. Lucifer, also known as Satan, is described in the Bible, before his betrayal of God, as the most beautiful of all the angels and the leader of the heavenly choir but Lucifer was not

Lucifer in Heaven

happy with being one of the top angels – Lucifer wanted to be God. Lucifer was not happy. God, like He did with man, gave the angels free will. The freedom to accept God and His rule or reject God’s rule and be cast out of Heaven. Lucifer, also known as Satan, chose to put a clique of angels together who, with Lucifer as their leader, attempted to overthrow God and take God’s position as the Ruler of all. There are 72 Bible verses that deal with Lucifer and his fallen angels. Check Revelation 12:7-9 for a quick look at Satan starting a war in Heaven and being cast out to earth with his followers: the fallen angels. This is the very first occurrence of sin. Jesus was present and saw Satan cast to earth.

SATAN LOST IT ALL!

Satan appears to have two options available:

A) Seek God’s mercy and hopefully be reunited with God in Heaven;
B) Decide to wage war on God by bringing sin into earth – the choice Satan chose.

Lucifer knows his days are numbered because he continues to rebel against God by attacking us, by separating us from God through sin.

Let’s look at Adam and Eve: the first man created by God and the first woman whom God created from the rib of man. The story of Creation and the fall of man is found in Genesis chapters 1-4. Simply stated God created a perfect world which was to be maintained and populated by a man and woman that He, God, created with free will. They were in charge of everything. No animal attacks, plenty of food, perfect working conditions, never too hot or cold, and they were in charge. There was one condition. Two trees grew in the middle of the garden. One tree was the Tree of Life and the other was the Tree of the Lucifer tempts EveKnowledge of Good and Evil. God told Adam not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. (Genesis 2:8 -17) The consequence of eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was death. Lucifer, in the form of a serpent, comes to Eve one day and manipulates the envy within her to pick, eat, and feed her husband fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve was jealous of God, just like Lucifer, while Adam on the other hand chose to deliberately disobey God and follow his wife. (Genesis 3:1-7) Upon Adam’s disobedience to God, eating of the fruit, exercising the free will God gave them (Adam and Eve), the world went into chaos. From eternal life to chaos – after sin’s pleasure chaos ensures. When you get to heaven ask Adam and Eve.

What’s Satan doing? Lucifer knows that he cannot overcome God so Lucifer has chosen to destroy you – God’s creation. Adam and Eve brought sin into the world and now they would die as God had told them. The harmony of the earth which God had created was cast into the chaos of sin. Lucifer, also known as Satan, had not won but most certainly added troubles and sorrows to the lives to follow. All lives, human and otherwise. That one selfish act of Adam and Eve forever changed this earth. Unforeseen and unintended consequence of sin. The aftermath of sin should be a concern to all.

Redemption from sin comes from the shedding of blood. So the Jewish nation was granted the honor of safeguarding God’s word and carrying forth the sacrifice of animals to redeem the sinner of their sins. This was an ongoing sacrifice of animals. During a person’s lifetime, they would be required to make many sacrifices. God informs the Jewish nation that He is going to send a Messiah (Jesus) to redeem them if they accept Him as their Savior. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and started His ministry of Salvation when He was about 30 years of age. Jesus’ message was simple but required mankind to make a choice, Jesus or sin to rule their life. Repent of your sins and believe in Me with all your heart, soul, and mind. (Mark 1:14-15)

Jesus’ ministry on this earth lasted between 3 and 4 years and it was not what the Jewish nation expected. They believed that the Messiah’s, Jesus’, purpose was to make them rulers of the world. In fact, Jesus’s mission, the Messiah’s mission, the Son of God’s mission was to offer Redemption for sin granting eternal life to all who repented of their sin and believed in the only Son of God, Jesus the Christ.

Lucifer tempts JesusLucifer, also known as Satan, came to Jesus at the start of His ministry and tried to bribe Jesus to betray His Father, God. (Matthew 4:1-11). Lucifer offered Jesus everything, everything, if Jesus would merely bow down and worship Lucifer. Jesus hadn’t eaten in 40 days and as God/Man was weary and hungry, but nothing could shake Jesus’ resolve to bring Redemption to the sinners. Lucifer offered nothing that Jesus couldn’t have offered up for Himself. The difference is Jesus is here to save us from our sin and Lucifer is here to destroy us through our sin.

Jesus wasn’t the Messiah the leaders of the Jewish Nation expected or wanted. They especially didn’t like it when Jesus pointed out to them that they were misusing God’s word to manipulate and control people of the Jewish nation. Jesus was a threat to these leaders so they plotted to have Jesus killed.

This lesson is now approaching Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus had finished the meal in the upper room, it is Thursday evening. Jesus wanted to go pray to His Father. It is Passover. Jesus and His disciples go to Gethsemane where Jesus prays intently. Jesus knows what’s coming and asks His Father if there is another way to redeem the sinners of this world. “The wages of sin is death …” Romans 6.23. The answer: to redeem this world of its’ sin Jesus, you must die for every sinner. Only Jesus can comprehend the pain which He had surrendered Himself to endure on Good Friday so that all who chose to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior shall be granted an eternal home in heaven.

Later that evening Jesus is taken into custody by the Jewish Nation where Caiaphas, the high priest, and the Sanhedrin find Jesus guilty of blasphemy. That didn’t warrant a Roman death penalty, so they accused Jesus of attempting to overthrow Rome by claiming to be King of the Jews. The Sanhedrin takes Jesus to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor who acknowledges that Jesus committed no crime but allows Jesus to be crucified to avoid a riot, which may cost him his position.

From the moment Jesus is taken into custody chaos ensues. (Matthew 26 -28)

Before Jesus is crucified, He is humiliated, berated, and tortured but Jesus’ love for us doesn’t dim. Jesus hanging on the cross of crucifixion doesn’t waiver, offering Salvation to the two robbers hanging on either side of Him. (Luke 23:34, 39-43). Jesus died for us all offering forgiveness of sin to all who believe in Him.

Jesus rose from death on Sunday (Easter/Resurrection Sunday) paying the penalty of sin for all who believe in Him.

Lucifer had a choice and he rejected God. Adam and Eve had a choice and they chose to be disobedient to God. Jesus, God’s only Son, had a choice and He chose to be obedient and pay the price for all sin by accepting your penalty through death on the cross. Jesus rose from the dead making salvation available to all. It doesn’t end at the resurrection. It ends with you. Lucifer is still taking souls. It is your choice: Lucifer or Jesus? God won’t choose for you.

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