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Thoughts On Easter

Dear Friends,

Although last week was Holy Week, or Easter Week, I did not send out a "thought" having to do with Easter last Tuesday. Nor did it have any relation to Maundy Thursday or Good Friday! Yet, this week, I will go against the grain of our culture (and the church calendar) and offer you some very insightful thoughts on Easter and Jesus' resurrection. It's a risk, I know, because we live in a culture that tends to "move on to the next thing" almost before the previous celebration has ended!

Instead of celebrating "The 12 days of Christmas" (which run from December 25 to January 6, the traditional day for celebrating the arrival of the wise men with their gifts) we pack the camels and wise men into our celebration of Christmas and tend to shift our attention to the soon coming celebration of New Year's. For some people this shift happens shortly after the presents have been opened and the family meal is finished on Christmas afternoon, while for others it does not start until the next day on December 26.

Easter can tend to be the same. People tend to move on from it as soon as Easter day ends. And I say that because I know I risk a bit of irrelevance in our culture speaking of Easter two days after it has passed, for some have already (emotionally and otherwise) moved on from Easter and are focusing on the next big events of the calendar year - Mother's Day (May 2) Pentecost (May 23) or even Memorial Day weekend (May 29-31).

Yet, since every Sunday is "the Lord's Day," and the day we as Christian's worship on, precisely because it was the day Jesus rose from the dead, I figured I would risk sending out some wonderful Easter thoughts even though it's already two days after Easter! I hope you are encouraged or challenged by them. They are good! Enjoy!

"Since earthly rulers have death as their ultimate weapon, the defeat of death in the resurrection is the overthrow of the ultimate enemy which stands behind all tyranny."
N.T. Wright

"Resurrection means endless hope, but no resurrection means a hopeless end."
David Garland

"If Jesus had not been raised from the dead, we would never have heard of him."
Fleming Rutledge

"The entire Bible pivots on one weekend in Jerusalem about 2000 years ago."
D.A. Carson

"This is the most important issue you will ever have to decide: Did Jesus rise from the dead or not?"
Michael Green

"Jesus tasted death on Friday afternoon, but hell’s wild celebration was silenced just before dawn on Sunday morning!"

"The only possible reason why early Christianity began and took the shape that it did, is that the tomb really was empty and that people really did meet Jesus, alive once again."
N.T. Wright

"The gospels do not explain the resurrection; the resurrection explains the gospels. Belief in the resurrection is not an appendage to the Christian faith; it IS the Christian faith."
John S. Whale

Easter verbs: “Come!” “See!” “Go!” “Tell!”

"When considering if Christianity is true, it all boils down to whether Jesus rose from the dead."
Adrian Warnock

"If Jesus rose from the dead, you have to accept all he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, why worry about anything he said? ... If Jesus rose from the dead, it changes everything."
Tim Keller

"The decision I made to put my trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is only as good as the tomb is empty."
Sam Storms

"The church did not create the resurrection stories; the resurrection stories created the church."
Adrian Warnock

"He died to purchase what He rose again to apply -- our justification."
Jonathan Edwards

"If Christ has not risen, we have no proof that the crucifixion of Jesus differed from that of the two thieves who suffered with Him. If Christ has not risen, it is impossible to believe His atoning death was accepted."
D.L. Moody

"Had Jesus remained in death it would have been proof he had sinned, was a fraud, and was bearing in himself the punishment for his own sins. The fact that he rose from the dead assures us he was sinless, and the death he died must have been for someone else's sins - the sins of all who would ever believe."

"How could the same power that raised Jesus from the dead not make a massive tangible difference if it lives inside us?"
Adrian Warnock

I trust you had a blessed Easter celebration. And I hope it was enhanced, just a bit, by these selected thoughts.

Grace and peace be yours in believing, Pastor Jeff


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