optimus

April 4, 2015

not ashamed

TRANSFORMATION

What happened as a result of the Resurrection is unprecedented in all of history. In the span of 300 years, a small following of seemingly insignificant believers succeeded in turning an entire empire upside down and conquering it. As has been well said, “They faced the tyrants’ brandished steel, the lions’ gory mane, and the fires of a thousand deaths” because they were utterly convinced that they, like their Master, would one day rise from the grave in glorified, resurrected bodies. While it is conceivable that they would have faced torture, vilification, and even cruel deaths for what they fervently believed to be true, it is inconceivable that they would have been willing to die for what

they knew to be a lie. Peter, who was once afraid of a maid, after the Resurrection was transformed into a lion of the faith. According to tradition, he was crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord.

 

 

James, the brother of Jesus, who once hated everything his brother stood for, after the Resurrection called himself a bondservant of Jesus Christ (James 1:1). He not only became the leader of the Jerusalem church, but in A.D. 62 was martyred for his faith.

Eusebius of Caesarea describes how James was thrown from the pinnacle of the temple and subsequently stoned.

Paul likewise was transformed. Once a ceaseless persecutor of the growing church, he became the chief proselytizer of the Gentile Christians.

 

 

Peter, James, and Paul were not alone. As Christian philosopher J. P. Moreland points out, within weeks of the Resurrection not just one but an entire community of at least ten thousand Jews was willing to give up the very sociological and theological traditions that had given them their national identity.

 

To this day, Christ’s Resurrection continues to transform lives. Every day people of every tongue and tribe and nation are being baptized in the name of the risen Christ.

 

Many people today have no concept of the Resurrection’s significance. We need to  explain to them that Christ had cloaked Himself in human flesh to restore the relationship with God broken by our sin; that in our behalf Christ had lived the perfect life that we could never live; and that He died for our sins, was buried, and on the third day rose again from the dead this was no mere fantasy but the most well-attested fact of ancient history.

Yes, Christ is risen indeed! In the inspired words of the apostle Paul, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Rom. 4:25).

You too can be transformed by the power of a living Christ, our High Priest, Lord and Savior.

Believe that He is the true Son of God, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, fulfilled all biblical prophecies, was crucified, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, where He makes continual intercession for us to the Father.

If you would like to talk about accepting Jesus as your Savior, email me at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

God bless

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