Celebration of His Love and Life
He is risen! He is risen indeed! As Isaiah’s prophecy foretold, His days were prolonged!
My prayer today is that the living God would we adored for who He is and what He has done in His Son, Jesus Christ, for all those who have turned from themselves and clung to Him in faith for mercy, and for forgiveness, and for life. Today, and every day from now throughout eternity belongs to Him. It is our chief end in life to forever glorify Him and to enjoy Him with the totality of our being, for He is worthy to be loved with all of our hearts, and our souls, and our minds; and lived for with all of our strength.
He is worthy purely for Who He is! He is the faithful witness. He is the first-born of the dead. He is the ruler of the kings of the earth; He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is worthy for what He has done! He loved us and gave Himself for us. He released us from our sins by His blood. He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God.
What is Easter, but a celebration of the living God, and His love and life that is found only in the Christ who was crucified and risen again for His people.
Worthy of Wrath and Death
We rejoice over these things because we deserve neither of them. We are not worthy of God’s love. He does not owe it to us to lavish us with it. Adam is our federal head. It is through him that sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death has spread to all men because all have sinned. By the transgression of him, sin and death has reigned in us. Through him there resulted condemnation to all men. Through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners. In sin our mothers conceived us. We are by nature children of wrath. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s beautiful glory. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way. As it is written in the Scripture:
“There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”
The testimony of the Word of God is clear, in Adam we all die.
Truly, we do not deserve the love of God. Since we do not deserve His love, we, therefore, do not deserve His life. We are worthy of wrath and death, for that is the wage of our sin. Our just penalty is to suffer forever under His good and holy hatred.
Yes, God is:
“Compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth; who keeps loving kindness for thousands, who forgives sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.”
In other words, He is just. According to God’s holy standard, we are the guilty. God measures us all to Himself by His Law which is an expression of His holy glory.
Based on that standard we all fall far short. We all are eclipsed by Him and left wanting and condemned before the One who always does that which is right without perverting justice. We all are left guilty and deserving of eternal death, and in need of complete forgiveness and life. We are all left in a dire situation. We are in need of a way to God. We are in need of the truth. We are in need of a life that is not our own. We are in need of a hope which acts as a sure and steady anchor for our souls.
The Gospel of God
This is what makes the gospel of God so astounding! It is that while we were yet helpless, and ungodly sinners opposed to Him, He willingly chose to demonstrate His love toward us by giving His Son to die for us. He has given us the Way, the Truth, and the Life necessary to come to Him. As the famous portion of Scripture goes:
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
1 John 4:9-10 tells us that:
“God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Just as Abraham willingly offered up Isaac, his only son whom he loved, so did God willingly offer His, yet without restraining the knife. As Isaiah says:
“The Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief.”
Now, this is not speaking about some sadistic pleasure that the Father found in putting to death His only begotten Son. Instead, the Lord found pleasure in what the crushing of His Son accomplished.
In Christ, God is both just and the justifier of the one who has faith. To justify is the act whereby God judicially declares a believing sinner to be righteous and acceptable before Him. Simply put, justification is God regarding sinners as if they had never sinned and granting them righteousness.
For God, therefore, to be just in justifying a person, the penalty for their sin needs to be satisfied and the righteousness of another needs to be imputed to their account. The problem is that the just penalty for our sin is our experiencing the wrath of God upon our individual persons. In other words, divine justice demands you be forever crushed under the weight of God’s wrath. This then brings up the paradoxical question that only the gospel can sufficiently answer, how can God actually punish sin without crushing the guilty party, and how can He genuinely forgive sin without corrupting His justice? The answer is Jesus Christ!
It is through the person and work of Jesus, that God satisfied His just penalty for sin. Isaiah said that He, “Caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” This is to say that the sin of all who believe was imputed to His account so that He would be pierced through for their transgressions and crushed for their iniquities. The chastening for their well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging they are healed. He tasted death for those that deserve it. As Isaiah says:
“He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due.”
“ 11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.”
Let us never forget that the Father did not send His Son to be crushed against His will. Just as Isaac willingly laid down his life to be offered by his father, so did the Son willingly lay down His. Isaiah tells us that “He rendered Himself as a guilt offering.” He tells us that “He poured out Himself to death.” The New Testament is abundantly clear that Jesus Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost of His own volition. He came to give His life as a ransom for many. He came to lay down His life for His sheep.
Although He has always existed in the form of God, Jesus did not regard equality with God a thing to be held on to, but laid aside His divine prerogatives as God’s equal by taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. The eternal Son of God took on flesh and dwelt among us.He subjected Himself to the limitations of His own creation by being conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin, thus making Him truly God and truly Man, yet without sin.
Being found in appearance as a Man, He did what we could not. He loved the Lord His God with all of His heart, soul, mind, and strength. He loved His neighbor as Himself without flaw. In other words, Jesus Christ lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father. He lived according to the Law of God without fail. He was, therefore, innocent in the sight of God and man. What this means is that as a Man, He lived a righteous life, yet He hung upon a tree as if He were unrighteous. He was nailed to two beams of wood as if He had never loved God in His life.
Being found in appearance as a Man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. He was nailed to this cruel contraption at the hands of godless men, and upon it He had become a curse for us. He Himself bore our sins in His body on it and suffered the full weight of the Father’s fury for sin. He was crushed and forsaken in the stead of sinners. Justice towards sin, therefore, was satisfied. He shed His eternal, infinite, and precious blood to cover sins. As Peter says:
“18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God.”
The wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. Through one offense the result was condemnation to all mankind, so also through one act of righteousness the result was justification of life to all mankind. By the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
To sum it up, God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s trespasses against Him because He made Him who know no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Understand that the only reason reconciliation with God is possible is because the One whom the Lord caused the iniquity of us all to fall onto, and put to death, and was pleased to crush, is the very One whose days He prolonged. In other words, the very One He killed in the place of sinners, is the very One He made alive again. As Isaiah says:
“If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.”
Just as Isaac came down from the mountain alive, so did Jesus Christ arise from the dead. The Father did not allow His Son, His only Son whom He loved, to undergo decomposition in the grave. He raised Him back to life never to die again. Death could not hold Him. The grave could not contain Him. It had no power or effect over Him. Just as Jesus had the authority to lay His life down, so He had the authority to take it up again. He said, “I lay down My life that I may take it again.” He who died, now lives!
What the Prolonging Proves
There are several things that God has proven by prolonging the days of Jesus:
- Because He prolonged His days, God has declared Jesus Christ to be more than just His Suffering Servant, He has declared Him to be His Son.
Romans 1:4 teaches us that Jesus:
“Was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.”
Because His days were prolonged, we know that God become flesh and dwelt among us. We know that the Creator of heaven and earth condescended and took upon Himself the limitations of His creation. We know that the Infinite wrapped Himself in the finite, and that the Maker of man lived as one.
Because He lives, we know that Jesus of Nazareth, is one with the Father. We that He is the I AM. We know that He is the image of the invisible God, and that all the fulness of the Godhead dwells in Him, and that He explains the Father, and that He is truly the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature.
Because He lives, we know that Jesus Christ has a name that is above every name, to which every knee will bow and every tongue will one day confess as Lord. The resurrection vindicates Him as the eternal Son of God!
- Because He prolonged His days, God has proven that Jesus’ atoning work for sin was acceptable to Him.
“25 He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”
Because His days were prolonged, we know for certain that He who knew no sin became our sin on our behalf, and as the sinless and perfect Lamb of God, bore our sin on His body on the cross. We know that He became a curse for us, and that He was pierced through for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquity, and that He truly poured out Himself to death bearing the sin of many.
Because He prolonged His days, we know for certain that when Jesus was upon the cross and said, “It is finished,” that He made an actual atonement for sin. We know that He successfully satisfied God’s justice upon Himself and secured the believers pardon.
The undeniable reality that Christ is not decaying somewhere in the earth, but is alive and well at the right hand of the Father, proves that there is true forgiveness of sin in Christ alone. It proves to us that He secured for us an eternal redemption with His blood. He appeared once to put away our sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and He will appear a second time without reference to sin for those who eagerly await for Him.
The resurrection is a confirmation of our faith! The Christian faith lives because of the vitality of the One it revolves around, Jesus Christ, who died yet lives forevermore.
- Because He prolonged His days, God has proven to us that just as His Son lives, so shall all those who rest in Him.
Many of us are familiar with Jesus’ words in John 14:19:
“Because I live, you will live also.”
He said in John 11:25-26:
“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.”
Because He prolonged His days, we know that there is life after the grave. We know that though our bodies return to dust our spirits will return to the God who gave it. We know that the dead will live either to everlasting life, or to eternal disgrace and contempt.
The indisputable truth that Christ rose to life on the third day never to die again validates both the believers hope of eternal life, and the non-believers dread of eternal death.
The Christian knows with certainty that because He prolonged His days, we too will be raised us up by His power. We know that when Christ is revealed in glory we too shall be revealed with Him, for we have died and our lives are hidden in Him with God. We know that when He appears we shall be like Him. We know that we shall be changed. We know that we will be glorified, not on the basis of our person and work, but His. We know that we who are now perishable will put on the imperishable, and we who are now mortal will put on immortality.
Jesus’ resurrection proves to us that death has no power or effect over those who rest solely in Him. The chant of the Christian truly is, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” His being alive today verifies this truth for all those who believe.
Worthy to Be Loved and Lived For
We are not here today worshipping some person who has been dead and buried six feet under for sometime now. We are here to worship the living One, who was dead, but is now alive forevermore.
To those that do not know Him, and have not obeyed His gospel realize that just as God has proven to His people by prolonging the life of His Son that they too will experience eternal life with Him, that He has furnished proof to you through this same act that He will one day come to you with a judgment you will never be able to withstand. As the Psalmist says:
“Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”
I beg of you to come to your senses! Turn from your sin and trust in Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Him. Be reconciled to God through Christ. The Scripture says that if you confess with your heart Christ as Lord, and believe that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. He will not cast aside anyone who comes to Him. All who call upon Him and be saved. Realize that He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, because He always lives to make intercession for them. Turn, therefore, to the Resurrection and the Life!
To those that truly know Him and have genuinely obeyed His gospel. Continue to turn from yourselves and to Him in faith. He is our only hope in life and death. Grow in His grace and in His knowledge and live for Him and not yourselves. As John says:
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God.”
Walk in the newness of His life that He has graciously bestowed upon you. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 says:
“14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”
It is our chief end in life to forever glorify Him and to enjoy Him with the totality of our being, for He is worthy to be loved with all of our hearts, and our souls, and our minds; and lived for with all of our strength. He is worthy for who He is, and He is worthy for what He has done! He is the living One, who died, yet now lives forevermore.
 Revelation 1:5a
 Revelation 1:5b-6
 Romans 5:12
 Romans 5:17
 Romans 5:18
 Romans 5:19
 Psalm 51:5
 Ephesians 2:3
 Romans 3:23
 Isaiah 53:6a
 Romans 3:10-12
 1 Corinthians 15:22
 Exodus 34:6-7
 Romans 3:23
 Hebrews 6:19-20
 John 14:6
 John 3:16
 Romans 3:26
 Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Merrill Unger; Page 62
 Isaiah 53:8b
 Isaiah 53:8
 Isaiah 53:11-12
 Luke 19:10
 Mark 10:45
 John 10:15
 Philippians 2:6-7
 John 1:14
 Hebrews 4:15
 Philippians 2:8
 Galatians 3:13
 1 Peter 2:24
 1 Peter 3:18
 2 Corinthians 5:19,21
 John 10:18
 John 10:17
 John 1:14
 John 10:30
 John 8:58
 Colossians 1:15
 Colossians 2:9
 John 1:18
 Hebrews 1:1-3
 Philippians 2:9-11
 1 Peter 2:24
 Galatians 3:13
 Isaiah 53:5
 Isaiah 53:11-12
 John 19:30
 Hebrews 9:12
 Hebrews 9:26,28
 Ecclesiastes 12:7
 Daniel 12:2
 1 Corinthians 6:14
 Colossians 3:1-4
 1 John 3:2
 1 Corinthians 15:51
 1 Corinthians 15:36-38, 42-44, 50, 52-53
 1 Corinthians 15:55
 Revelation 1:18
 Acts 17:30-31
 Psalm 2:12
 John 14:6
 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
 Romans 10:9
 Hebrews 7:25
 1 John 3:1