Saturday, April 15, 2006

Easter: Celebrate Eternal Life

Easter is the most significant date on the Christian calendar. Only two of the four Gospels relate the birth of Jesus, but all four Gospels proclaim His resurrection.

Christians serve a risen Savior!

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Christ Appearing to His Disciples After the Resurrection
, c. 1795
Artist: William Blake (1757-1827)

From Cyber Hymnal [speakers on for the music]
"Christ the Lord Is Risen Today"

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail, the Lord of earth and Heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail, the resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains that He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

(Words by Charles Wesley)
Click here to go to Cyber Hymnal for the music.
In the fifth stanza we read the words "Made like Him, like Him we rise"; these words speak to our own resurrection.

John 14 (KJV), our Savior's words, spoken to His disciples before they understood the meaning of what their Master was about to do:

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 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.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
The account from the Gospel of Matthew (KJV):
Matthew 28

1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him....

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth....

20 ...[A]nd, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
We have our Savior's promise. He is always with us.

And it doesn't get better than that!

[For information about Easter customs, see this article by Woman Honor Thyself]


At 4/15/2006 7:17 AM, Blogger LA Sunset said...

This is the very foundation of the Christian faith. It is the hope of Christians everywhere. It's precisely why the birth is in two Gospels and the resurrection is in all four. Not only that, the writers of the New Testament epistles clearly demonstrated from their writings that they understood this. I never have been able to understand Christians that do not believe this tenet.

Paul said in 1 Cor. 15:19 - If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

How miserable I would be if I had not this hope.

Thanks for posting this and may you have a very Happy Easter, AOW.

At 4/15/2006 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! I'll even say it backwards, WOW! Beautiful AoW! I'm looking forward to singing it tomorrow!
Sunday's on the way. At services last night it was all by candlelight, we served each other the bread and wine, very intimate family time! Today is like the day before your birthday as a child, quiet with great anticipation!
We finally got our sanctuary renovated after the '04 hurricanes, so it will be special as we had cement floors and water damage for over 2 years.


At 4/15/2006 9:28 AM, Blogger Romeocat said...

That is one of my absolute favorite hymns of all time! And of course, the selection from Matthew is perfect - the drama of the stone being rolled away to let the disciples in, not to let the Risen Christ out.

Beautiful, AoW!

-- R'cat

At 4/15/2006 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is beautiful, AOW.

"I AM the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live." JOHN 11:25

What a tremendous thing to contemplate and celebrate!

Happy Easter everyone, and LA Sunset, beautifully written comment.

At 4/15/2006 9:44 AM, Blogger nanc said...

excellent, yes. don't you believe that hope for believers began around the time lazarus was brought alive out of his tomb? Jesus cinched the deal when he arose. perfect pictures.

how disappointing for lazarus to be in comfort for those days only to be brought back to this. funny, but i never thought of it this way; he was brought back to this type of hell we call earth - AND a second death.

what tmw said WOW - and i also know that's MOM upside down! a blessed remembrance of our Saviour's resurrection this weekend - the hope we have.

At 4/15/2006 1:18 PM, Blogger Lone Pony said...

I love Easter more than any other day of the year. This day gives me hope. Even though I am a sinner, my God has paid for all my sins and I am FREE! Thanks for a great post and for reminding me that I am surrounded by people who believe as I do.

At 4/15/2006 2:16 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

John 11:25...I'm crying!


At 4/15/2006 6:41 PM, Blogger Dan Zaremba said...

Dear AOW,
My very best wishes go to you and your family.
Have a safe, peaceful and happy Easter.
And thank you for the powerful message.

Also best Easter wishes from our team to you and your supporters.

At 4/15/2006 8:39 PM, Blogger City Troll said...

Very Beutiful AOW. Happy Easter to You and Yours
From The Troll, The Grizzly Mamma, and the Cubs

PS if anyone Hears from Sam tell him He is NOT banned from my blog all are welcome

At 4/15/2006 9:01 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Happy Easter All

At 4/15/2006 9:16 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

Happy Easter to all.

At 4/15/2006 9:25 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

To all commenters,
On Easter Sunday, I'll be away from the computer for most of the day.

In the afternoon, we have our family gathering. I'm not doing the cooking, so I feel especially blest. :)

Thanks to all for your well-wishes.

At 4/15/2006 10:57 PM, Blogger nanc said...

hosha na Meshua (meshiach) - hebrew for save us Messiah.

At 4/15/2006 11:52 PM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

Happy holidays to u and yours AOW!!!...

At 4/16/2006 1:05 AM, Blogger Grizzly Mama said...

Beautiful. Happy Easter to all.

At 4/16/2006 7:47 AM, Blogger nanc said...

this is one of the most beautiful songs i've heard - and whoever performs it gives it new flavor.

Navigation: R \ Ray Boltz \ He's Alive

"The gates and doors were barred and all the windows fastened down;
I spent the night in sleeplessness and rose at every sound
Half in hopeless sorrow and half in fear the day
Would find the soldiers breakin' thru to drag us all away

And just before the sunrise I heard something at the wall
The gate began to rattle and a voice began to call;
I hurried to the window and looked down into the street
Expecting swords and torches and the sounds of soldier's feet

There was no one there but Mary so I went down to let her in;
John stood there beside me as she'd told us where she'd been.
She said "They moved Him in the night and none of us knows where;
The stone's been rolled away and now His body isn't there!"

We both ran t'ward the garden, then John ran on ahead;
We found the stone and empty tomb just the way that Mary said.
But the winding sheet they wrapped Him in was just an empty shell;
And who or where they'd taken Him was more than I could tell.

Well, something strange had happened there,
but just what I didn't know;
John believed a miracle but I just turned to go.
Circumstance and speculation couldn't lift me very high
'Cause I'd seen them crucify Him, then I saw Him die.

Back inside the house again the guilt and anguish came;
Everything I'd promised Him just added to my shame.
When at last it came to choices, I denied I knew His name;
And even if He was alive, it wouldn't be the same

But suddenly the air was filled with a strange and sweet perfume;
Light that came from everywhere drove shadows from the room.
Jesus stood before me with His arms held open wide;
And I fell down on my knees, and just clung to Him and cried.

He raised me to my feet and as I looked into His eyes,
Love was shining out from Him like sunlight in the skies
Guilt in my confusion disappeared in sweet release
And every fear I'd ever had just melted into peace

He's alive! He's alive, He's alive and I'm forgiven!
Heaven's gates are open wide:
He's alive, He's alive, oh He's alive and I'm forgiven
Heaven's gates are open wide
He's alive, He's alive, hallelujah He's alive"

At 4/16/2006 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The original singer was Don Francisco. But it is one of my favorites! I'm ready to dance!!!

Blessed and Happy Easter all!!!!!!!!!!!!


At 4/16/2006 9:47 AM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Thanks for a great post, and happy Easter to you, AOW!

At 4/16/2006 8:30 PM, Blogger Dag said...

I'm a Blake fan too as you know.

Happy Easter from me and all of us at The Fortress.

At 4/16/2006 9:26 PM, Blogger Elmers Brother said...

I love that hymn.

At 4/16/2006 11:26 PM, Blogger Woody said...

Thanks for the wonderful post and Easter blessing. That hymn has been special to me, too.

At 4/17/2006 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, we did sing it first thing! Really got belted out, everybody loves it I think!


At 4/17/2006 10:36 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Like you, I love Blake. He's always strong in his imagery.

At 4/17/2006 10:37 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Merry Widow,
No better way to begin Easter Sunday. I found myself singing that great hymn all day long, sometimes under my breath. It's a doctrinally sound piece with a soaring melody.


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