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Posts Tagged ‘Christ’s Burial’

The Wednesday Word: Five Infallible Proofs of God´s Love

Proof 1 “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life ” (John 3: 16). Notice that God loves the “world,” i.e. the nations, both Jews and non-Jews.

Consider the contrast between how the Law was given in Exodus 20 and the giving of the gospel in Acts 2. The former was given in one language and to one people; the latter, in multiplied tongues,…i.e. to the whole world.

When the Law was given, it told of man’s duty, and was confined to one language; but when grace was published, it proclaimed God’s precious salvation to the nations of the world. The Lord loves people from every tribe, kindred and tongue…the whole world.

Proof 2 Not only did God´s love give us the gift of His Son, but we are told in Isaiah 53 that ” it pleased the Lord to bruise him.” Do you ever feel unloved? If so, look at the cross. There is no reason to feel rejected when you see what God has done for you. Look to Jesus .As He took our as He took our sins, He was rejected in our place

“Here is love, vast as the ocean

Lovingkindness as the flood

When the Prince of Life, our Ransom

Shed for us His precious blood.”

William Rees

God forsook His well-beloved Son, hid His face from Him and caused the waves of righteous wrath to swamp and flood Him. He did that for us!

“He delivered Him up for us all.” He placarded Him as the wrath offering for our sins” (see Romans 3:24-26).

Here´s something beautiful to remember. Jesus didn´t merely come into this world to comfort us in our ruin and misery. He came, not purely to visit sinners, but came to seek and save us (Luke 19:10).

Proof 3. Not only did the Father give His Son to us, and bruise Him on the cross for us, but, because Christ was the acceptable substitute, He was raised from the dead. “The God of peace brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant ” (Hebrews 13:20). Judgment and grace met at the cross. The great questions of sin and punishment were settled. Christ Jesus was delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25).

Proof 4. All these glorious facts of incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection, could have taken place, yet we might not have known anything about them. But, instead, because of God´s love for us, the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, and in the name of the risen and ascended Saviour announced the good news. He came to make known, in every language under heaven, the gospel of God’s full and free, gracious salvation.

Proof 5. Here´s another proof of the love of God for us. Those stirring events of the day of Pentecost might have taken place as stated. The Holy Spirit might have come from heaven and announced the glorious message of free salvation and then have gone back again to heaven. But, He did not. He has been here ever since patiently labouring and testifying among the nations. Amid the opposition and hatred of hell, men and devils, the gospel is, even today, being made known to the ends of the earth. The Holy Spirit is still here and working.

But what about you?

Have you any plans to play a part in the spreading of the gospel to your neighbourhood or even the ends of the earth?

Because of the gospel, there is forgiveness for sinners (see Luke 7: 37-47), salvation for the lost (Luke 19:10) and justification for the ungodly (Romans 4:5). This is Good News indeed! Let´s tell about it?

In the gospel, God reckoned Christ as what we are—sin,—that we might be reckoned as what Christ is—righteous. Let´s tell about it?

“He is coming back, and in the meantime, our business is to wait for Him, to glorify Him, and to be occupied in His service till He does come again,” — George Muller

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: So, the Disciples Stole Christ´s Body?

November 27, 2019 2 comments

In a desperate attempt to explain away the resurrection, the soldiers who guarded the tomb were bribed to say that, while they were sleeping, the disciples came and stole the body (Matthew 28:12-13).

Yeah right! That won´t stand up in court! How did they know what had happened if they were sleeping?

However, if the disciples did, in fact, steal the body, why would they willingly die awful deaths to affirm their absolute belief that Jesus was resurrected?

Church tradition tells us how these so -called body stealers and their friends died. Warning! The following is not pretty.

1. Matthew. Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound.

2. Mark. Died in Alexandria, Egypt after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead.

3. Luke. Although not of the original 12, was hanged in Greece as a result of his powerful preaching to the lost.

4. John. He was the only one who lived to old age and was not martyred. Tradition has it that he survived being boiled in oil. He was imprisoned on the island of Patmos where he wrote the Book of Revelation …was later freed and went to Turkey and served as a church leader.

5. Peter. He was crucified upside down on an x shaped cross. He told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus had died.

6. James. Again, not one of the original 12 but the Lord´s half-brother and spokesman for the church in Jerusalem. He was thrown a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a club.

7. James. One of the Sons of Zebedee was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to the ministry. He was put to death by the sword at Jerusalem, Acts 12:2.

8. Bartholomew. Also known as Nathaniel. He was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

9. Andrew. He Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony.

His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words, “I have long desired and expected this happy hour.” He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he died.

10. Thomas. He was speared to death in India during one of his missionary trips to bring the Gospel.

11. Jude. He was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in the resurrected Christ.

12. Matthias. The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot. He was stoned and then beheaded.

To my friends who distain the truth of the resurrection of Christ I would ask… Are you really saying that these same disciples crept in and stole the body and then falsely claimed that Jesus had risen? Why then did they continue to perpetrate this so called fraud … even in the grim face of violent deaths?

It is because they knew they served the living, resurrected Saviour. They knew their redeemer lived and so they willingly died for Him and the truth of His cause (1 Peter 4:12-13).

His resurrection proves that He has forever exhausted all the penalty due to the sins of the believer. He was raised again because He had secured our justification (Hebrews 1:3; Romans 3:24). How the Devil hates this message and assaults those who bring it.

May we pray for the persecuted churches in India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal, China and Africa to mention but a few.

In these Last Days we are being called to stronger than ever involvement with the cause of Christ.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Not Ashamed Part 2

October 16, 2019 5 comments

Last time we concluded that, as Christians, we are not ashamed of the Lord Jesus. We are not ashamed of His Virgin Birth. His Miracles, His claims or His silence. Let´s take this a bit further.

We are not ashamed of His scream!

Yes, you read that right, we are not ashamed of His scream! From the cross He screamed the agonising words, “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me.” These were not the words of a man who has suddenly discovered that he was all wrong. These were the anguished words of the One who was dying for us.

At the cross, He hung there as our substitute. He was executed as our representative and reckoned guilty before God. It was as though He tasted the depth of our God forsakenness. Our sins separated Him from His Father. He tasted the God-desertedness that His people´s sins would have caused them at Judgment day.

What He said (His scream) and what he didn´t say (His silence) were both on our account.

As Believers, we are not Ashamed of His Death

Isaiah 53:5, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities.” Every aspect of His death was vicarious (substitutionary). He was doing it for us. The sinful shame that we would have felt before God, He felt as He hung there naked on the cross.

“Bearing shame and scoffing rude

Condemned and in my place He stood.

Sealed my acquittal with His blood,

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!”

I´m not ashamed of Him, His Birth, His miracles, His claims, His silence, His scream, His death, His resurrection, His ascension or His intercession.

What about you? Are you ashamed of anything about Him?

I am not ashamed of His Gospel.

Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.” But what is the Gospel? There are many who claim to be sent to preach the Gospel, but they don´t know what it is. Their message is a subjective, man-centred message of self-help. But the true Gospel is the perfect work of God in Christ. It´s an event which took place outside of us in history. It is a completed finished work accomplished by the One who is the Gospel incarnate. Indeed, the Gospel is Jesus Himself (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

The Gospel is not about Christ coming into our heart, it is about Christ coming into this world to save His people. In Psalm 89:14-15, we are introduced to the ´joyful sound.´

But what is the joyful sound?

It is that, Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, was buried, rose on the third day and was seen of many witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

What is the joyful sound?

It is that because of the Gospel, our judge became our justifier (Romans 3:26).

What is the joyful sound?

It is that because of the Gospel there is full acquittal for us through the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9).

What is the joyful sound?

It is that because of the Gospel the accuser of the brethren is cast down (see Revelation 12:10-11).

What is the joyful sound? It is that the accuser has been routed because of the blood of the lamb (see Revelation 12:10-11).

What is the joyful sound? It is that through the Gospel, those trusting in the merits of Christ and His blood have a verdict in their favour.

VERDICT?

Yes, all charges against us are dropped. Case dismissed, (see Romans 8:33-34).

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.

We don´t rest on the Plan of Salvation as much as we trust, rest and cling to the Man of Salvation.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word- Not Ashamed!

They looked unto Him and were lightened and their faces were not ashamed Psalm 34:5.

We´ve all done things of which we are ashamed. Although we have been forgiven through the blood of Christ, we wish we could go back in time and erase all manner of sins and failures.

However, there are certain things of which we need not be ashamed, mortified or embarrassed.

First, and foremost, we are not ashamed of Jesus. For example,

We are not Ashamed of His Birth.

He was Virgin born. Sceptics through the centuries have railed at this magnificent truth. Even during His lifetime Christ was taunted about His birth. In John 8:41, His enemies mockingly said, “We were not born of fornication.” In other words, they were calling Him a bastard.

But we believe it just the way it was foretold. The angel said to Mary,

” The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee” (Luke 1:35).

It was a miracle act of paternity. The scoffers may not like it, but Yahweh had always signalled His intention to become human. According to the Law, if someone was to be redeemed (bought back) and have their debts paid, they could only be redeemed by a Kinsman (Leviticus 25:47-55). The redeemer had to be related. He had to be a Kinsman Redeemer. Thus, Yahweh announced in Isaiah 43:15 (and other places), that He was the “Gaal,” the Kinsman Redeemer of His people.

This means, every time He refers to Himself as the Gaal, the Lord was prophesying that He would become a man. Consequently, the Virgin Birth present us with no problems.

I am not ashamed of His birth. Are you?

As Believers, we are not Ashamed of His Miracles.

He was a real faith healer. There was no money angle. There was no sham or pretence. In Christ we had an invasion of supernatural reality. Unfortunately, today if you talk about miracles, people think you´re ´away with the fairies. ´ But we Christians believe in His miracles … every single one. We are not embarrassed by them. We don´t feel we have to explain them.

He healed blind eyes.

He raised people from the dead.

He ruined every funeral He ever attended.

I am not ashamed of His miracles … Are you?

As Believers, we are not Ashamed of His Claims.

Jesus claimed the most remarkable things. He claimed,

“I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

“Before Abraham was I am” (John 8:58).

“No man comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

Jesus by this last statement claimed to be both intolerant and exclusive.

Why intolerant? Because, He didn´t tolerate any other claiming to be the way to God. He is the Way! But, it wasn´t an unkind intolerance. Parents get intolerant and, because of the dangers, forbid their children from playing in the middle of the street. No one in their right mind would say their intolerance was hateful.

Why exclusive? Because He excludes all other mediators. Buddha is out, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young are Out, Mohammed is out. Christ alone is the revelation and truth of God.

Because of love, He is both exclusive and intolerant.

I am not ashamed of His claims. Are you?

As Believers, we are not Ashamed of His Silence.

Jesus stood before His accusers and answered them not a word (Matthew 26:62-63).

Why?

He stood before His accusers much in the same way we would have had to stand before God. As unredeemed sinners we would have had nothing to say before Him (Romans 3:19). \

He stood in silence, but it was not the silence of guilt. No indeed, this silence was prophesied in Isaiah 53:7 “… he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.”

He stood in silence in our place as we would have had to stand before God. He could have defended Himself, but He stood in silence because He was the Substitute.

Are you ashamed of His silence? I´m not!

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: This is Gospel Truth!

What is the Gospel? The simple answer is; the Gospel is the person, doing, dying and rising again of the Lord Christ. The pure Gospel is not about you and not about me. It is about Jesus.

This is Gospel Truth!

The Gospel, among other things, reveals God’s plan, accomplished in Christ, for the recovery of fallen, sinful people from the deplorable state into, which sin had brought them.

This is Gospel Truth!

God came to this earth in the person of His Son.

This is Gospel Truth!

As our apostle, He came from God to us. As our priest He takes us to God… Hebrews 3:1.

This is Gospel Truth!

He, as a man, obeyed God’s laws and requirements on our behalf. This is Gospel Truth!… Hebrews 4:15; II Corinthians5: 21, John 15:10

He made a suitable and satisfactory atonement for His people’s sins by his death and gave us the gift of the favour of God …Ephesians 1:7.

This is Gospel Truth!

The Holy Spirit opens our hearts to receive the Gospel, but the Spirit´s work is not the Gospel. The Work of the Holy Spirit does not redeem us but rather brings us to where we receive as our own Christ’s accomplished redemption …Ephesians 2:1.

This is Gospel Truth!

Faith is the channel of salvation but faith itself cannot justify us. Faith was not tried, found guilty and executed on our behalf. The power to believe is generated by the Holy Spirit. It is from the heart we believe. Yet this quickening (making alive) by the Spirit does not justify us. Nothing within us saves us. We are entirely saved outside ourselves by the finished work of Christ. The Spirit has baptised us into Christ and in Christ all blessings are discovered.

This is Gospel Truth!

Christ Himself is the object of faith. He is our salvation, not our faith and not our experiences. We depend on neither faith nor feelings but upon the Lord our God Himself!

Come ye weary, heavy laden,

Bruised and mangled by the fall;

If you tarry till you’re better,

You will never come at all.

Not the righteous, Not the righteous, Not the righteous;

Sinners Jesus came to call.

This is Gospel Truth!

Because of the Gospel, He has made us Kings and priests unto our God and has brought us to God by His blood.

This is Gospel Truth!

He has brought us into the holy of Holies

If we feel our sin, it ought not to drive us away from Christ. No indeed, the feeling of our sin ought to propel us towards Christ.

The curse and damnation of His people fell on Christ 2000 years ago. He was slaughtered, and we were set free. He was raised from the dead in power and majesty and we were raised with Him

Faith claims Jesus as king

As our all-atoning Priest;

It claims no merit of its own,

But looks for all in Christ.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: The Gospel: Our Best Friend

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:14.

We often feel that we are not worth saving … and this, of course, is an accurate assessment. As Spurgeon said, “When you feel yourself as totally unworthy you have hit the truth.” That is why, as we grow in grace, the Gospel is our best friend.

Let me illustrate. The story is told of how the devil sought to discourage the mighty reformer Martin Luther by continually making him feel guilty. Satan, it seems constantly reminded the great preacher of the list of his sins. When the devil had finished, Luther purportedly said, “Think harder: you must have forgotten some.” And the devil did think, and he listed more sins. When he was done enumerating the sins, Luther said, “Now, with a red ink write over that list, “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin.” The devil had nothing to say in the light of Luther’s best friend … the Gospel.

As we look by faith to the Lord Jesus, and see His shed blood, we find healing for our wounded conscience. By faith, we understand that His blood has satisfied all claims that unalterable divine justice made against us.

The Gospel is our best friend.

Our sins have been purged perfectly by a perfect offering made with perfect blood. These are the truths to continually feed to the troubled conscience.

If we are regularly condemned by the consciousness of our past sins, we have an evil conscience (Hebrews 10:22). However, the Gospel gives us a perfect conscience that is free from the guilt and condemnation of sins.

The Gospel is our best friend.

I will admit that the legalist in me is sometimes uncomfortable with this arrangement. Maybe you are like me, resistant, at times, to the accomplishments of grace? This is why we need to continually saturate our minds with the Gospel. When we find ourselves more conscious of our former sins than we are of the accomplishments of Christ on our behalf, we need to cleanse our thinking by applying Finished Work teaching to our thinking.

The Gospel is our best friend.

Do you know that your sins are forgiven? Someone says, “I can’t say that they are, but I am doing my best to change my life.” That’s great, but it will never work! You can do your best to reform, but that will never purge your conscience. Only applying the blood of Christ can do that.

The Gospel is our best friend.

Christ, as a man, was the Servant of Yahweh, the one in whom the Father delighted. It was the Father’s purpose to save and cleanse a people for Himself, and His plans were flawlessly executed by His beloved Son, the God/Man. It is only by the shedding of His blood that we are saved, and that blood was shed 2000 years ago at Calvary. The work is finished. He gave His life a ransom for the sins of His people (Isaiah 53:10). Do you know this? Is this truly personal to you?

Our best religious efforts cannot cleanse the conscience. But the Lord wants us to hear him say “Be of good cheer; your sins, which are many, are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2).

What can prevent us going to Him? Our sins? No, it is our sin that is the reason to approach Him. Let us go to Him with freedom of speech (see Hebrews 4:16) to obtain mercy and grace to help in the time of need. He alone can purge the guilty conscience and give peace to the troubled mind.

The Gospel is our best friend.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Gossiping the Gospel Part 2

Last time we observed how in Acts 8:4, the early church left Jerusalem and went everywhere spreading the Good News. Indeed, it could be said that they went everywhere gossiping the Gospel. Let’s continue where we left off.

Origen, the 3rd-century theologian, inadvertently told how the church in his day embraced the practice of gossiping the Gospel. According to him, a lack of education and diminished social standing did not make the believers feel unqualified to spread the Good News. He said: “We see in private homes workers in wool and leather, laundry workers and the most illiterate and bucolic yokels who would not dare to say anything at all in front of the elders and more intelligent masters. But they get hold of the children… and (others) who are as ignorant as themselves. Then they pour out wonderful statements…”

In Part 1 we discovered that to gossip the Gospel, we learn to talk about Christ’s Person, Name, Life and Righteousness. Here, then, are some other matters about which we gossip.

When we spread the Gospel,

We gossip about (5) Christ’s blood.

By His Blood-Shedding and death, Jesus has accomplished redemption for His people (Ephesians 1:7).

Our death sentence has been reversed.

Blood has been shed …it’s the blood of sanctification (Hebrews 13:12).

Blood has been shed …it’s the blood of the everlasting covenant (Hebrews13:20).

Blood has been shed …it’s the blood of cleansing (1 John 1:7).

Blood has been shed…it’s precious blood; the blood of the Lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:19).

Blood has been shed…it’s the blood shed for many for the remission of sins (Mark 14:24).

Blood has been shed…it’s this blood which purges the conscience (Hebrews 9:14).

Reconciliation, Redemption, Atonement, Cleansing, Sacrifice. Remission,…what excellent matters to gossip about!

Not only do we talk about Christ’s blood, but we also gossip about (6) His resurrection.

He died, was buried, but rose again. He is now the risen One. He is not the dying one. Nor is He the dead one. He is the ever-living one!

His grave is empty, for His work is done. The work is accomplished; the seal of the tomb is broken, the stone rolled away. He is risen! His resurrection is the pledge and guarantee of ours!

Not only do we talk about Christ’s person, but we also gossip about (7). His Ascension.

After having shown Himself alive for 40 days among His disciples (Acts1:3), He was taken up both physically and visibly into the heavens (Acts 1:9). His last physical act was to bless His people (Acts 24:50-51), and in the midst of doing this, He returned to Glory. His work on earth was done. As our substitute and final word of God to man, He successfully discharged His mission. He has ascended and is now exalted, a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:31).

Not only do we talk about Christ’s Ascension but we also gossip about (8) His intercession.

He ever lives to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:25). He is the High Priest above all priests (Hebrews 4:14). He is our Advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). He appears for us (Hebrews 9:24). The Father hears Him always (John 11:42). His intercession cannot fail—it is a mighty intercession; an intercession in which the Father delights. It’s an intercession which delivers further assurance of our present and eternal security.

Not only do we talk about Christ’s intercession, but we also gossip about (9) His second coming.

“Behold, He cometh with clouds” (Revelation 1:7). “Behold, I come quickly” (Revelation 22:12). “Behold, the Lord cometh, with ten thousand of His saints” (Jude 1:14). As it says in the hymn ‘It is well with my Soul’;

“But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,

The sky, not the grave, is our goal;

Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!

Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!”

The early Christians were full of the message of the return of the Lord. Indeed, the Church of the first century delighted in it. And, if we are to gossip the Gospel and the results of the Gospel we must gossip about a coming Christ as well as a Christ who has come.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com