Reflections About Resurrection Sunday

It started with a question, “If an outsider were to observe our family for four years, which holiday would she likely say is the most important to us? Based on our actions and our joy, which holiday requires more of our time, creativity and effort, the INCARNATION or the RESURRECTION? Christmas or Easter? I waited…

Two of the six loudly responded, “Christmas!” The other four nodded their heads in agreement. After family devotion was over it was time for some serious REFLECTION.

Matthew dedicates just seven verses to the Birth of Jesus, Matthew 1:18-25. Luke dedicates thirty-two verses, Luke 1:26-38, and 2:1-21, which includes the birth announcement. That’s about forty verses. The miracles surrounding the birth of Christ are: (1) an angel appearing to Joseph (2), an angel appeared to Mary (3), an angel appeared to the shepherds and (4), a multitude of heavenly host praising God. Matthew dedicates thirty-one verses to the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are thirty-six verses in Mark, and forty-two in John. Luke dedicates seven-nine (79) verses for the death, burial and Resurrection of Christ. When we just contrast the numbers, 188-40, there is no comparison, there are more verses dedicated to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. The miracles that accompanied the death and Resurrection: (1) Darkness over the land from 12pm-3pm (2), the curtain of the temple was torn from top to bottom (3), the earth shook (4) the rocks split (5), the tombs were opened (6) the saints was raised and went into the holy city and appeared to many (7), another great earthquake happened (8) an angel rolled back the stone (9) the linen clothes were lying there AND (10) Jesus appeared to His disciples.

Just a simple reading the New Testament reveals that there are more miracles and more scripture verses that accompany the RESURRECTION than the INCARNATION.

Our devotion started with a question, but ended with REPENTANCE. I repented and apologized. The New Testament emphasizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ more than the incarnation and I should also.

The incarnation is important, but the Christian hope is enveloped in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Do you place more effort in celebrating Christmas and neglect Holy Week? We are starting to plan for Holy Week 2016; will you join us?

Brian L. Spivey

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A Lamb for the Lame

crippled-man

 

 

 

 

 

How do you read the Bible?  Is the Bible just a book that teaches us how we are to live, or is it more than that?  The Bible is God’s story of salvation.  It makes all the difference in the world how we read the Scriptures. 

 

For instance, when we read in the Scriptures that God used Peter and John to heal the lame man (Acts 3), what should be our response?  The answer all depends on whether a person views the Bible as a book of morals, or God’s story of salvation.  If we view it as a moral book, then the result will be a desire for us to find a lame man and ask God to work through us like He worked through Peter and John; besides, “God is no respecter of persons.”  Yet, if we view the Bible as God’s story, then the result will be a deeper appreciation and devotion in us toward the God who heals those who cannot heal themselves. This lame man was healed by the lamb who takes away the sins of the world.

 

If we are reading the Bible as God’s salvation story, then when we read about a leper or a lame man, it should automatically remind us of our own condition.  As sons of Adam, we are spiritual lepers.  We cannot heal ourselves.  We were born sinners.  When we see the lame, we should remember that we have no ability to come to God unless He draws us. 

 

In 2 Samuel 9, we are introduced to a lame man by the name of Mephibosheth.  He lived far from the king. He was a descendant of Saul, so he was a natural enemy of the king.  He had no intention of ever seeking out the king.  He was a rejected refugee.  Mephibosheth was as good as dead.  He hid from the king and was not part of the king’s family.  But the king called Mephibosheth and gave him life.  He gave him an inheritance and adopted him.  He made him a son with all rights and privileges.

 

A moral book?  Then, we should praise God for David and try to imitate king David.

 

A book about God’s salvation history?  Then we stand in awe of how our King humbled Himself and came to earth to show us mercy.  He gave us new life, an inheritance, and the adoption of sons.  This story should evoke gratitude for the wisdom and kindness of our God – The Lamb of God came to earth to heal lame.Kosher+slaughter

 

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever.  Amen

 

 

Brian (D.O.C.)

 

What is the Book of Leviticus All About?

Most people I know who have tried to read the Bible from cover to cover started from the beginning.  They get through Genesis, and enjoy most of the Exodus, but lose interest when they get to the book of Leviticus.  What is the book all about anyway?  It can be summed up in one word – worship.

In the 9th chapter of Leviticus, we read that Moses and Aaron kept the word that God commanded about how to worship Him.  “Aaron lifted up his hands towards the people and blessed them… and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people.  And the fire came out… and consumed the burnt offering” (Verses 22, 24).  In the next chapter, the fire of the Lord came from heaven again, but this time, instead of consuming the burnt offering, it consumed Nadab and Abihu – Aaron’s sons.  Nadab and Abihu did not keep God’s Word.  What can we conclude about the Lord from this passage?

If this was an isolated event in Scripture, than any conclusion drawn from Leviticus 9 could be dismissed as speculative at best.  But we see throughout Scripture, that God is serious about how He is to be worshipped.  Those who did not keep God’s word were dealt with harshly – King Saul, Uzzah, Ananias and Sapphira.  And who had the last word about worship and keeping God’s Word?  Jesus did.

The apostle John described Jesus as the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire.  This Holy One told the individuals in the church at Philadelphia that because some have kept His Word, He intended to make them a pillar in the temple of God.  Jesus ends the ultimate worship book with these words, “Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” (Revelation 22:7).

Those of you who have tried to read the Bible from cover to cover, and were arrested by the content in the book of Leviticus, please go back and try again.  Use this key to unlock the book: God determines what is holy and unholy.  He determines what is acceptable and what is an abomination.  And don’t forget, the major theme of Leviticus is worship.

Brian L. Spivey