My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17)
Some years ago, when I worked
as a Human Resources person in a factory, “Ladybug” (as she is called by her niece)
was listening in the next office to
a Sarah Brightman CD, which is beautiful to hear. The cover of
the album was red, and “Ladybug” became radiant each time she heard that
wonderful singing voice. She said of the CD, "I am soaring" in relation to it.
also, for the music was indeed beautiful, but there is much more. The
music was called "Eden," and I am reminded of our Lord, who is interestingly called the "last
Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:45) and it's true that our Lord is
also the Savior of the world.
In this Easter season, I
soar at the wonder of Him.
history, the first Adam failed to do the job, and he became like the drowning
man who died and dragged the rest of us down into death with him. Jesus, like
Adam, became our representative, but this later "Adam" did the job
completely and wonderfully for
you and me. Adam sinned and his sin became a contagion that spread
through the gene pool of humanity, polluting everyone that ever lived. Jesus
became like us in every way except one: He did not sin at all - ever, and
He brings healing to your life and mine.
Until the time
of his fall, Adam was pure, with innocence like nothing we can imagine.
Years ago, when I worked in that factory, as I walked through the welding
shop I looked away for the welding torches were bright enough to
damage human eyes. The first Adam's innocence was like that. It was too bright,
too wonderful for us
to comprehend. And then he fell; utterly fell, like an eagle that
plummeted and could rise no more.
is and always was God the Son, the King of Glory, and as such He did not
personally need to come to this place of sin and death. He lived in
safety and holiness, untouched by any stain; pure in every way. The
purity of the first Adam before his fall was reflective of the sanctity of God the Son, the
"last Adam" who knew no sin. Along
with holiness, Jesus has exhibited another blinding attribute that even
outshines the first, for He has an intense love for us which has no limit.
And again, like the welder's torch, we must look away as we, from the
darkness of this sin-stained world, catch a glimpse of the wonder of His infinite
This is the
day traditionally celebrated as Easter in many Christian settings, and
it is a disputed date for those who like to quibble over one thing or
another. There are times to take a stand on issues, but on this day I am simply
- grateful. The Resurrection of 2000 years ago is for me like the
"Rapture" (His return for His people) at some point in the future - it's
not the WHEN, but the IF that's important for you and me.
IF Christ is
the King of Glory who came to this world and died that you might live,
you have EVERYTHING and can rejoice in His Name! IF the Lord rose
from the dead,
as seen and reported by literally hundreds of eyewitnesses (1
Corinthians 15:5-8), we have
true HOPE, possibly for the first time in our lives. IF He rose from the
dead and spoke to witnesses, we are touched by a new reality:
there is LIFE after death; life for my parent, my child, my loved one -
life for ME! There indeed WAS a Resurrection seen by a lot of
people and He WILL Return to this earth, an event which will be seen by us all.
Statements such as the preceding
are, for some, just words in a book, but He has made it real. The Book (the Bible) SHOUTS that the King of Glory will
return for us. We're going to take a brief look in that Book, but first
we must be ready. Entering Scripture is like traveling in space or
entering the ocean's depths. You must be properly equipped for the
journey. For this, we need a change of heart: Jesus, Your
promise is that You will send Your
Spirit that we may understand. We receive You now, and ask, please fill
us, Lord, with the Holy Spirit of God. Thank You.
In Jesus Name. Amen. Now that we're ready, let's
look at the gospel (good news) in 1 Corinthians 15:
for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3 - not just any death – he died for you and
He died as
predicted by Scripture (1 Cor. 15:3 – all this was planned)
buried (1 Cor. 15:4 – He was truly dead; no mistake)
raised to life on the 3rd day (1 Cor. 15:4 – He is ALIVE
and was SEEN)
to Peter (Cephas) and the other apostles (1 Cor. 15:5)
Christ appeared to over 500 people at one time (1 Cor. 15:6)
to even more and then to Paul the Apostle (1 Cor. 15:7).
When we first
met a pastor named Dennis Broxton, years ago, he was in a hospital bed and we shared
communion with him. Isaiah Chapter 53 was his choice as our Communion
Scripture and we remember his tears at the time. He cried, but not
just because it had been so long since he had taken communion, though that
was a factor. He cried because of what Jesus Christ suffered on our
behalf, for our need. He cried because of what Jesus had done for HIM.
Pastor Dennis quoted Isaiah 53:6 - “The Lord has caused
the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”
Jesus died for
you. Not just any death – He became your substitute and died the death
meant for you and me. He bore your sins and paid your price, the one
that was too high; the one you could not pay. He died for you.
He is alive
and you are offered life in Him. Jesus Christ dramatically came to life
within the stone walls of a tomb in Jerusalem. When the tomb was
opened, He was already gone, for thick walls and death cannot hold Him.
And when we trust in Him, death cannot hold us either, for “By
His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). He is alive.
A few years ago,
we were witnesses to an automobile accident. A car suddenly turned left
and a pickup truck broad-sided the car. We saw what we saw, and
were willing to go to court and testify about what was seen. Those
who saw the risen Christ were like that. Something HAPPENED right in
front of them! The eyewitness testimony is very simple, clear and
easy to understand. They tell us, “what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled,
concerning the Word of Life” (1 John 1:1-3). They were as
surprised as we are, but they BELIEVED and so should we.
“Ladybug” tends to “soar” to Sarah Brightman music, we can “soar” in our Lord. As
Isaiah the Prophet observed, “Those who wait
upon the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like
eagles…” (Isaiah 40:31). He LIVES just as He said, and we LIVE,
too, when we trust in Him. He really loves you and me. As
the Father said, "This is
My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17)
and we will be pleased also, when we trust in Him.
Lord, we confess our sins,
we trust in You and we praise Your Holy Name. In Jesus Name.
Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
Tel: (562) 688-5559 PO Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131 "While
we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"