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Saturday, March 22, 2008


It's Easter time again, and for many that conjures up images of Easter bonnets, new dresses and Easter eggs. But for us Christians, Easter means a lot more. We think of the triumphant resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene and the other women coming to the tomb and finding it empty, Peter and John running to the tomb and also finding it empty, and Jesus appearing to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.

Yes, it's a happy time, a glorious time, a time of hope that follows a period of excruciating pain for Our Lord. Just three days earlier He was crucified, betrayed by one of His friends(Matthew 26:48). That marks the beginning of sorrows. Then comes more sorrow as Peter, a member of His inner circle, denies knowing Jesus Christ(vv 69-74). But the most excruciating pain comes when Jesus is forsaken by God, His Father on the cross as the crushing weight of the world's sins are thrust upon Him and He cries out "Eli, lama sabacthani, that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27: 46)

But three days later, Jesus shakes off the grave clothes and rises in victory from the tomb. The stone that has held His body is rolled away, and nothing stands in the way of His triumph. The weight of sin and death are off Him, signifying that we, who are in Him, can be rid of the weights that have buried us for so long. Drugs, alcohol, sickness, financial burdens, failing relationships, whatever might be in that stone can be removed through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Yes, Easter is the most significant day in the Christian calendar. We have only to look around us to see that this is a time of new beginnings. Tender green leaves are sprouting from those dead, dry tree branches. Flowers are blooming everywhere, birds are singing, and the air is invigorating. Everything in nature salutes this time of year. And so it is for us. We, too, can salute our new beginning with praises to the One who has given us a new birth. Let us rejoice for our victory is won. Hosanna to the King!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Get Into Heaven

This week I saw something on television that made my jaw drop in amazement. The reporter and his guest were talking about a website that is offering to get people into heaven for the sum of twelve dollars and ninety-seven cents. Yes, that's right, $12.97. Hilarious, isn't it? The host laughed and said, "They sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, how do they expect to get people into heaven for $12.97?" While I commended him for having some knowledge of the Bible, this was no laughing matter. Try ludicrous, absurd, ridiculous, but certainly not hilarious.

While I do not expect anyone in his/her right mind to take the claim of that website seriously, let me point out what one of my favorite books in the Bible, Isiah, says: "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat without money and without price(55:1)". "Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you-the sure mercies of David"(v3).

Here we have it from God Himself. He invites us to come to Him without money and our "soul shall live." We do not have to pay one dime. It's free. Salvation is free. Jesus paid the price for us all when He took our sins upon Him and allowed Himself to be crucified on the cross of Calvary. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:" (John 11:25).

And again He says, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14: 2-3). He's talking about heaven, y'all. His Father's house. Where the mansions are. The streets of gold. The pearly gates. The place where there is no sorrow or weeping or death. The land of milk and honey. The place with a free entrance through the blood of Jesus Christ. Halleluiah!

Do you want to go? Then keep your money in your pocket. Run to Jesus. He'll let you in-without money and without price. God bless.