Today is Israel’s 70th birthday, 70 years since the modern State of Israel was reborn in the land of their fathers and the land of the Biblical promises. It’s an amazing achievement! Just consider the likelihood of the fledging State that declared independence just after the Holocaust, surrounded by enemies on all sides vowing her imminent destruction, still surviving until today. Not only surviving but thriving in her historical homeland, according to the Biblical record.
It’s not due to Jewish ingenuity or ability, nor the benefaction of the USA, nor the amazing ability of the IDF to defend the nation, that Israel is still with us today. All those things have played their part, but primarily it’s the hand of God Himself, sovereignly intervening in history to restore and defend the nation according to all His promises to do so! He is doing this to show the world He is the God of the Bible and that He keeps His promises!
So today I praise God for Israel celebrating her 70th birthday! It is an amazing testimony that, not only do the people of Israel live, ‘Am Yisrael Hai’, but that the God of Israel is alive and well and keeps His promises. And one day the people of Israel will look upon their Messiah and so enjoy the fulness of all He has prepared for them!
Psalm 121 (NKJV)
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.
Zechariah 12:10 (NKJV)
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
Romans 11:25 (NKJV)
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”
Shared from PocketBible for Windows Store (http://www.laridian.com)
Jesus is alive!
Then He (Jesus) said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Luke 22:15-20.
Jesus knew who He was, the Son of God, and why He had come as a man born of a woman, the Son of Man. He took on human flesh so that He could make the way to the Father open and so that He could show us that Way. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. John 14:6 & Philippians 2:5-11.
Luke records the words above. Jesus knew He was about to suffer and die in fulfilment of all the symbolism of the Passover Lamb. He knew He would be offered up to God His Father as the sinless sacrifice, represented by the Unleavened Bread, without sin. He knew He would be crucified with the wicked, the two criminals crucified alongside Him. He knew He would be buried in a rich man’s grave. All according the prophecies given in what we call the Old Testament, what Jesus called ‘the Law and the Prophets’. Yet He eagerly looked forward to the Passover. Why was that, do you think?
Surely it was because He also knew He would not stay in the grave, that He would be raised to life, resurrection life, after three days and three nights! What an amazing fact! Jesus is alive today!!
Some people say, ‘Oh, if only someone would come back from the dead and tell us all about it.’ Well, He is the One who has come back and told us what it’s all about! Some would say it’s just a fairy story, but Jesus was seen and witnessed to by hundreds of people after His resurrection. This is all faithfully documented and recorded for us in the Gospels and letters of the New Testament. (The film Risen conveys this very well.)
He is alive, and alive forevermore! That is a truly life-changing fact. Because He lives, we shall live also. Because He lives, we have a hope and solid expectation that we too will be resurrected, just as He was. Not after three days, of course, but we shall be raised to resurrection life, just as Jesus was, all in God’s time. Jesus rose again on the Feast of First-fruits, the first day of the week after the Passover. He is the first begotten from the dead:
But now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 1Cor.15:20
The presence of first-fruits signifies there will be a harvest to follow. Jesus is the resurrection first-fruits, all those who believe in Him will be the resurrection harvest!
This life is for us to experience in the here and now. Is He risen in your heart? Have you experienced the new birth the Holy Spirit brings when we put our hope and trust in the LORD Jesus. He died for us in our place, the sinless for the sinful, so that we don’t have to die an eternal death. When we repent, turn to Him for forgiveness and cleansing and enthrone Him in our lives, we are raised to newness of life in our spirits here and now, born of His Spirit into His family. This is what Jesus’ death and resurrection is all about – new life in Him! God bless you!
For the last eight years Celebration Church has been meeting at St John Fisher church hall on Waltham Rd. This building has been a blessing to us and we have really appreciated the hospitality and assistance the local Catholic church have given to us during this time. However, when it was put up for sale at the end of 2016, and our offer to buy the building was not successful, we began to seek the LORD as to the way forward.
It’s quite fitting that our last Sunday in St John Fisher hall will be Resurrection Day. We can reflect on God’s goodness in all that has gone before and look excitedly to all He is going to do for us in the future. He has good plans for us, as individuals and as a collective fellowship together, and as we move we believe we enter a new and exciting phase of the church’s life!
We knew the LORD would lead us in all this, and He has done that! He has opened the way for us to move to the newly extended and refurbished Scartho Community Library on St Giles Ave. Our first Sunday there will be the 8th April, at the usual time of 10.30am!
The library is still in the final throes of the rebuilding and renovation process, so as you can see above in the photo taken on 29th March, it is still pretty much a building site on the outside.
Inside however, most of the work is complete, and so we will be able to move our all our various items and equipment next week prior to our first Sunday service there on the 8th April. Just to confirm, we will have front door access so we don’t need to negotiate whatever building works are still underway to the right of the entrance way. (For more information on the Library click here.)
So, as we approach the Passover, and remember Jesus’ death and resurrection in fulfilment of it, let’s contemplate the following verses:
Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea
And a path through the mighty waters, Who brings forth the chariot and horse,
The army and the power (They shall lie down together, they shall not rise;
They are extinguished, they are quenched like a wick):
“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Here is a link to the article on Prophecy Today regarding the plight of Christians in the Kurdish areas of Iraq. It seems God is moving there and many former Muslims are becoming believers in Jesus. However, the situation for Christians is dire, and they need our prayers and support. I’ve posted this link so we can all be aware of the situation in order to pray into it. The fellowship has already made a donation to this work, but our ongoing prayers are vital as we seek to be a blessing to these believers.