Friday, February 3, 2017

Beautiful, Part Eleven

What happened after Jesus died?

When Jesus finished His perfect work on the cross and died, the veil in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The veil (which was extremely tall and thick—God caused it to be torn, not men) separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place where only the high priest was allowed to come before God once a year. Jesus fulfilled the Law and removed the barrier between God and mankind by His perfect sacrifice. He was placed in a tomb with a large stone in front of the entrance, which was sealed and guarded. He rose from the dead on the third day after, just as He said He would. Unfortunately, people were bribed to spread rumors denying the truth, so that many Jews did not believe. He ascended to heaven forty days later. Ten days after that, on what we call Pentecost (fifty days after the resurrection), the first believers were baptized with the Holy Spirit.

And at the ninth hour [3pm] Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" ...And Jesus uttered a loud cry [it is finished, John 19:30] and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Mark 15:34, 37-38

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, 'After three days I will rise.' Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last fraud will be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can." So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. Matthew 27:57-66

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week [Sunday], Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:1-6

And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me." While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, "Tell people, 'His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.' And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day. Matthew 28:9-15

He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. Acts 1:4 ...And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." Acts 1:4, 9-11

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?” Acts 2:1-8

Do you know Him?

If you don’t know God or you thought you did, but maybe after examining yourself and not finding any fruits of the Spirit, you’re not sure—then cry out to Him! He hears you. He knows who you are and everything about you and loves you anyway. Ask Him sincerely to reveal Himself to you. Seek Him in the Holy Bible (not another source and not a “special” version). He is perfectly able to reach you and teach you about Himself. He desires everyone to be saved. For those of us who do know Him, let’s ask Him to reveal any ways that our “walk” is not pleasing to Him. His Spirit inside of us convicts, corrects and disciplines—our job is to yield to Him, continually seeking His will to be done in all things. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26

For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced. This is the third time I am coming to you... I warned those who sinned before and all the others... if I come again I will not spare them. ...Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 2 Corinthians 12:20-21,13:1-2, 5

This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4

Does God know you?

The price is already paid for our sins so that we can be forgiven and be with God forever, but ONLY if we are born again (which means His Spirit has regenerated our spirits). Then we are truly “known” by God and adopted as His children! We are born into our earthly family the first time and born into God’s family the second time. We all die once (except those alive at the time the Lord returns), but there is a “second death” that will not touch those who are born again. The second death results in eternal punishment for the rebellious and wicked. Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3

"Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?"Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." John 14:21-23

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:16-18

Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. 1 John 3:8-10

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:3-5

"Later the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, lord, open up for us.' "But he answered, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.'” Matthew 25:11-12 When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Lord, open the door for us!' But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from.' "Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' "But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!'” Luke 13:25-27

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death. Revelation 2:11 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. Revelation 20:14

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous person his thoughts. Let him return to the Lord, So he'll have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he'll pardon abundantly. Isaiah 55:5-6

This is Part Eleven of a series.  You may download the entire devotional in a "pretty" format here or in a basic, small file size format with highlighting here.