DURING LENT, REMEMBER:
BECAUSE OF JESUS’ RESURRECTION...
WE ARE GOING TO LIVE FOREVER WITH JESUS
Jesus died for us on a cross. His death was not in vain. Jesus died so that we can live. We have a resurrection day, when this temporary body will suddenly be replaced by an eternal body. That new body that will surround our person will be eternal. Even more glorious, Jesus not only conquered death, but He also conquered sin, and that new eternal body will never ever sin and fail. It is an eternally righteous person, that will be part of the family of God.
"Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of is saints."
- Psa 116:15 (NKJV)
The Lord looks upon our bodies, and sees things differently than we do. Jesus is anxious for us to put off this body, and to join Him in heaven, to live sinlessly, victoriously, with Him in heaven.
The homecoming of the saint is very "precious" to the Lord! The Lord describes the exiting of thes frail bodies as "precious" (Hebrew = yaqar, valuable, rare).
Death is the separation of the soul and spirit from the body. At death, we see the body of the beloved saint, but the real person, the soul and the spirit of the saint, is no longer in our midst, but is safely in the presence of the Lord. The Lord and His angels are rejoicing with the saint.
2 Cor 5:6-9 (NKJV)
So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.
In the presence of the Lord, there is no more struggle, no more pain, no more laboring to walk. When we accepted the Lord as our Savior, our soul and spirit were given at that moment, eternal life. So when death (the separation of the body from our soul and spirit) occurred, the body ceased to function. Our spirit and soul, departed to be with Jesus, and still exists, and is "well pleased" to be with the Lord.
Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we have a certainty of knowing that someday, i.e. resurrection day, rapture day, our body will be revived to new life. We will have an eternal body, like unto the Lord's body after His resurrection.
Rom 8:22-23 (NKJV)
For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
Till our own death or until resurrection day, we must "eagerly" await reunion with the Lord and with our loved ones who have gone before. Soon we shall walk the streets of gold, talk with the saints of old.
Our already risen Lord "eagerly" awaits the day we depart to be with Him. Jesus, our beloved Savior, gave His life on the cross to make all of this blessed hope possible!
1 Corinthians 11:24-31 (KJV)
And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till He come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
The word ‘shew’, as in ‘shew the Lord’s death’, is the Greek word katangello meaning to ‘declare, proclaim’ and has the idea of rejoicing in. We are to rejoice in the death of Jesus. We celebrate His death every communion service.
We celebrate the moment He conquered death for us, making death now to be for us, an entrance into the heavenly realm we have been promised. We know we shall depart this frail, human, weak, cursed, body at death, and there be able to live eternally without pain and suffering of body, with our Lord. Jesus’ death is the supreme death that won that for us.
The crucifixion was a solemn event. It was great sacrifice for Jesus to suffer the horrible pain, the taunting and mockings, the whipping, the slow loss of blood till His body had no more. Yet, He endured that time, to bring us a possibility of us having a death that is a rejoicing time.
The death of a saint is not a calamity, for the trials are over and reward begins. The death of a saint is not a disaster, it is a victory. The death of a saint is an event that is in harmony with the Divine will of God. It is not a ‘fatal’ event, for the saint still lives.
What the natural person sees as evil, we can see as good. When saints die, it is not frustrating the will of God, but it is the entrance into a new mission.
Jesus came to this earth with the purpose of dying. He called that event ‘His hour’. He came with that intention. His death on the cross, His taking that pain for us, His giving up the human life He had assumed was the reason He came. He came as the ‘Lamb of God Who taketh away the sin of the world.’ John the Baptist announced Jesus with those words.
The death of Jesus is a monument. We wear a cross proudly, for it was on that cross of Jesus that our future with God was secured. We, at communion, break bread, drink grape juice, in remembrance of Jesus death. We rejoice in that sacrifice on the cross.
The birth into this world is a momentous event, but if it had not been for Jesus death on the cross, our lives would be only of sorrow and foreboding. The death of Jesus makes our ‘birth’ to have a purpose, and a possibility of redemption so that our death can be a real rejoicing moment. When we exit this body we got at birth, we, the saints, can rejoice at death. The spirit that leaves the body of a saint, enters into an eternity of rejoicing because of the death of Jesus on the cross.
Should we rejoice only at the death of Jesus? Certainly, now, all that are ‘in Christ’, are Christians, are ‘saints’ can rejoice as we leave this mortal body, and enter into victory.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (KJV)
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
WE SHARE THE BENEFIT OF JESUS’ DEATH ON THE CROSS
1 Corinthians 11:23-25 (KJV)
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.
There is great benefit to us in the death of Jesus. What is the benefit of our lives? Have we done the work for the Lord that we were sent here to do? Will others think ‘in remembrance’ of us, of any good and worthwhile purpose we had in our earthly time? This is part of communion, to see things in ‘remembrance of Jesus’, but to also ‘examine ourselves’.
1 Corinthians 11:28-31 (KJV)
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
Communion is a time to ‘examine’ and be sure our earthly life is a fulfilling of the reason God saved us. Are we intercessors? Are we witnesses? Are we studying the Word, looking for ways to serve the Lord as He desires? Are we repentant of our failures? Are we walking in Christian love? These and many more questions need answered as we celebrate the death of Jesus.
Jesus’ death completed the old covenant, and revealed a new one. Our death completes our testing time, and takes us into our reward time. We celebrate Jesus’ death with a thank you cup of grape juice, and a piece of unleavened bread. This commemorates with joy the blood Jesus shed for us, and the broken sinless body that was sacrificed for our sins. His body was mistreated for us. We take up our crosses and expect we too, in this human life, to be mistreated. We proudly share the message of Jesus and receive mistreatment too. Without His death, would be no remission for our many failures and sins. In our death, we pass from a time wherein we often failed, into a time of being sinless and holy, rejoicing with our Perfect Lord Who paid the price that our death can be a rejoicing time.
Romans 8:10-25 (KJV)
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
We, with patience’ await this death that takes us into the realm of victory with Jesus. We know it will be a ‘glorious’ event, for the Lord has planned our lives to come to death as the culmination, the graduation, the manifestation of His glorious plan.
Because Jesus lives, because He first died and paid the penalty of sin for us, and we know that price is paid and accepted, we have the real hope and joy in the fact of our someday soon resurrection or rapture to be eternally in a new body. Hallelujah!!!!