Jesus is alive!
Good evening and a happy Resurrection Day! Jesus is alive!
Below is the recording from our services this morning, where Matt spoke to us drawing parallels from Jonah’s experience with the Resurrection. Before that, here are two videos celebrating the amazing truth of the Resurrection. Firstly, the wonderful ‘Jesus is Alive’ from Adrian Snell’s The Passion. This is a wonderfully expressive piece, with Mary Magdalene’s “Brothers, I have seen the Lord” and Mary, the mother of Jesus, “Son of the world – my heart begins to understand”, and culminating in the choir declaring “Jesus is alive! Halleluyah!” Wonderful! The second video great too, but in a very different style, Matt Maher’s anthemic ‘Christ is Risen’.
May we all know the power of the Resurrection in our own lives! Amen!
Here is Matt’s message:
(message begins at 15:15)
Luke 24:1-8 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
Jonah 2: Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, 2 saying,
“I called out to the Lord, out of my distress,
and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you heard my voice.
3 For you cast me into the deep,
into the heart of the seas,
and the flood surrounded me;
all your waves and your billows
passed over me.
4 Then I said, ‘I am driven away
from your sight;
yet I shall again look
upon your holy temple.’
5 The waters closed in over me to take my life;
the deep surrounded me;
weeds were wrapped about my head
6 at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land
whose bars closed upon me forever;
yet you brought up my life from the pit,
O Lord my God.
7 When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the Lord,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
8 Those who pay regard to vain idols
forsake their hope of steadfast love.
9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation belongs to the Lord!”
10 And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.
This is part one of a two-part series on having an eternal perspective on life. Listen to Andy’s message here:
For Zion’s sake I will not My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns.
2 The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory.
You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name.
3 You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem In the hand of your God.
4 You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah;
For the Lord delights in you, And your land shall be married.
Jesus’ death and resurrection changes everything! He died as the sacrificial Lamb of God to pay the sin of the whole world, and He rose again from the dead by the mighty power of God, defeating death, as the First Fruits of all those who, trusting in Him for salvation, will follow.
Shepherds in Bible times didn’t use sheep dogs or 4×4 vehicles! They actually led their sheep to green pastures. The Risen Lord Jesus is our Good Shepherd, our Great Shepherd, and has always led His people! John 10:11
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.