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The Hope of Easter

An Easter Story: The Resurrection Story of Jesus Christ

Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes

“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.

“In the beginning the Word, [who is Jesus Christ,] already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. God created everything through Him. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him.

God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after our likeness …”. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them. God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

[But], at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. The Word [Jesus,] became flesh and dwelt among us. He went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about His appearance, nothing to attract us to Him. He was despised and rejected — a Man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way.

He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. Carrying His own cross, He went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified Him, and with Him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this He breathed His last.

He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on Him the sins of us all.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”

By His death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.

Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.

Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve [disciples]. After that, He was seen by more than 500 of His followers at one time.

For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that He might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when He returns, we can live with Him forever.

So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. To all who receive Him, who believe in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.

Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. The same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for, “Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.”

Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.”

Have You Called on the Name of the Lord?

If you’ve never responded to Jesus as God and made Him your Lord, don’t wait. You can also recommit your life to Him. Respond today by praying the below prayer:

“Dear God, who created all things, thank you for sending Jesus to die for me.

I admit I have lived my own way, but today I turn from that way of life and surrender to You.

I acknowledge Jesus as my God and my Lord. Please forgive me my sins and come into my life.

Thank you, Father, amen.”

If you prayed the above prayer, we’re so happy for you! This is the most important decision you will ever make on your journey through life. Jesus wants to have a relationship with us and He’s given us ways to know Him better. Please reach out to a friend and tell them about the commitment you’ve just made. We’d also encourage you to find a local church and get involved. As we get to know Jesus, we better understand His plan for us and we can strive to be more like Him.

___

Scripture References:

Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT; John 1:1,3 ESV; Colossians 1:16 ESV; Genesis 1:26a, 27 ESV; Ecclesiastes 7:29b NLT; Romans 3:23 NIV;
Romans 5:6 NIV; John 1:14a ESV; Matthew 4:23 ESV; John 1:10-11 ESV; Isaiah 53:2b-3a NLT;  Isaiah 53:3b-4 NLT; John 19:17-18 NIV; Luke 23:34a ESV; Luke 23:44-46 ESV; Isaiah 53:5-6 NLT;  John 3:16-17 ESV;  Hebrews 10:20 NLT; Romans 5:18 NLT; 1 Corinthians 15:3b-6a, 7 NLT; Romans 14:9 NIV; 1 Thessalonians 5:10 NLT; 2 Corinthians 5:20 NLT; John 1:12 ESV; Isaiah 55:6 NIV; Romans 10:12b-13 NIV

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