Sunday, March 31, 2013

Resurrection Sunday 2013



Resurrection Sunday
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION

Isaiah 53
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.

He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
I.       WHAT IS TODAY?
a.      Today is NOT about Ishtar
i.       She was the Assyrian/Babylonian goddess of fertility, war, love and sex

ii.    This is why the Pagan holiday “Easter” is celebrated with bunnies, which are symbolic of reproduction, and eggs, which are a symbolic of fertility.

iii. Although Ishtar worship has been around for approximately 4,500 years, only 1 of the many days of Ishtar worship actually come near to the day of Passover.

iv.   CONTRARY to Pagan claims, today is NOT a Pagan holiday taken over by a “new” faith as one of their own, but rather, a HOLY DAY which just happened to take place during one of the many Pagan days that fill the calendar.


b.     It IS the PASSOVER
i.       Leviticus 23:5 specifies that the festival year begins with Passover, on the fourteenth day of the month (Nisan 15).

ii.    In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, Passover is the Feast of Salvation.

iii. Jews receiving Salvation from Egypt after the death of the firstborn, and the blood of the lamb as a covering, and in the New Covenant, salvation from sin after the death of the Firstborn of God, and the Lamb's blood which does not cover, but cleanses.

iv.   Today, we mark our bodies (the house of the spirit” with the blood of Christ.

v.      Today is a celebration of Salvation!


c.      Today is a promise of God fulfilled!
i.       Man's relationship with God was broken because of sin

ii.    Through the atonement of Christ's sacrifice at Passover, He brought us a NEW COVENANT, purchased with His blood

iii. ANYONE who drinks of this cup, can receive the New Covenant with God, through Christ Jesus, and once again, be in fellowship with our Father in heaven.

II.   HOW DID GOD PREPARE HIS PEOPLE FOR THIS DAY?
a.      Through prophecies
i.       Such as Isaiah 53

ii.    There are literally thousands of prophecies concerning Jesus, which He fulfilled, proving He was the Christ

iii. The Old Testament teaches of Jesus, and the coming New Testament

iv.   Remember, the Testaments are COVENANTS (agreements made with God)


b.     And God showed His people through example (or foreshadowing)
i.       Prophecies told of what was to come, and have been fulfilled by Christ, but foreshadowing SHOWED the people what was to come!

ii.    God showed what He was going to do to bring Salvation to His people and renew the relationship that had been broken because of sin, by saving the Jews from Egypt.

iii. This foreshadowed what Christ would accomplish.


c.      Finally, God not only gave prophecies to be fulfilled by Christ, and foreshadowing to SHOW what Christ would accomplish, but Jesus taught before the Cross of what His mission was, and what OUR mission would be once He left.


III. HOW DO WE HONOR PASSOVER TODAY?
a.      Celebrate it as a feast of God!
i.       Not as a ritual, rather a feast in honoring God's Salvation

b.     Remember it!
i.       As the Israelites were instructed to do, teach it to our young, so the next generation will know what God has done!

c.      Many want to celebrate Christmas as Jesus' birthday, yet;
i.       We know from scripture Jesus was not born in December

ii.    We were NEVER told in scripture to celebrate Jesus' birth
iii. And Jesus Himself told us in scripture to CELEBRATE HIS DEATH!

a.      At the Passover feast, the night Jesus was taken into custody, he celebrated with the Disciples, and had the “Last Supper”, and during the breaking of bread, and the drinking of the cup into the New Covenant, Jesus told them “EVERYTIME you do this, do this in remembrance of me”

b.     Jesus told them, every “communion”, as we call it, every breaking of bread, celebrate the Passover, Jesus' death!

c.      Why?  Because it is ONLY through His atoning sacrifice that we have a New Covenant, which Jesus told us was purchased with His blood, which was poured out for the remission of sins, and His body, which was broken for you and me, on PASSOVER.


d.     TODAY IS THE DAY WE CELEBRATE CHRIST!
i.       Not Christmas

ii.    Isn't that blasphemous?
a.      no...we need to remember SCRIPTURE!

b.     Jesus said in Matthew 15:3 "why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?"

c.      Jesus then said in Matthew 15:6 "you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition."

d.     We need to stop conforming to this world and what it, and tradition teaches, and stick to the SCRIPTURE ALONE!

e.      Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

f.       Until you renew your mind, and stop following the patterns of this world, you will NOT be able to know God's will.

It is sometimes frustrating when people come to me with complaints of tradition, which have nothing to do with the Word of God, and want ME to COMPLY...even threatening me with God's hand if I don't.
Well guess what, if it's not scriptural, then the one who makes the empty threats in God's name is the one who needs to repent.

CONCLUSION
So, TODAY, Passover, a celebration of Salvation for God's people!

Let us celebrate PASSOVER today!  Resurrection Sunday!

Feast with family and friends, give thanks, accept the New Covenant with God the Father, through Jesus Christ, and HONOR the Lord, by LIVING the Great Commission of Jesus Christ!


Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!