This is a busy time at Grace Baptist Church. We will host revival services March 20-23 with Pastor Ken Sparks.
I would like to extend an invitation to all to join with us to have your hearts stirred by the preaching of God’s word. The following Sunday is Resurrection Sunday.
We do not know exactly when Jesus Christ was born, it was more likely in the fall than in December. We do know he was crucified on Passover.
This year, Passover is nearly a month after Resurrection Sunday is observed. There is a relationship between the Jewish feast of Passover and Jesus Christ offering himself on the cross. “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, the final and complete sacrifice for sins. Like those that fateful night in Egypt, the blood of the lamb protects all who apply it.
After his death on the cross, he was hastily removed and buried in a borrowed tomb for three days and three nights. A large stone was maneuvered to seal the opening and a Roman soldier posted to keep watch, guarding the sealed tomb with his life.
After three days, early Sunday morning, women came to prepare the body for a proper burial. They found the tomb open and Jesus Christ gone. Inside they saw the grave clothes that had been wound about his body and, lying separately, the cloth that had been around his head. Over the next few hours the risen savior appeared to many of the disciples. Forty days he remained on Earth and appeared to more than 500 of his disciples before he ascended to heaven. He showed himself alive by “many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3).
Death could not hold him. Jesus Christ, the sinless man who was God in the flesh, offered himself as a sacrifice for sins. He took upon himself the penalty of sin, bearing that punishment. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth … Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:21-24).
He then rose from the grave completing the transaction, providing not only forgiveness of sins, but eternal life to any who receive the gift of salvation he offers. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12).
This is the essence of the gospel — the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above 500 brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present” (1 Corinthians 15:1-6).
Salvation has nothing to do with joining a church, living a good life or anything that I can do. Salvation is what God has done for man that sin might be forgiven and man can be reconciled to God. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
It’s a gift, yours if you are willing receive it. Do you want to learn more? Feel free to contact me.
Kenneth Codner is pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Spring Mills. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.