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IEA FBNotes Devo easter2020 1170x433 1 • Becoming a Disciple-Maker

Jesus and Easter – The Disciple-Maker’s Devotional

[blockquote3] ” He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.” (John 1:10)[/blockquote3]
The resurrection is the profound truth which acknowledges the world’s deepest spiritual need! It seems amazing that it is now possible for almost anyone in every country to either hear of read in their language about God’s awe-inspiring incarnation. The Bible explains, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us… From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given [to us] through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” The Lord further explained, “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side…” He has, “… made Him known…” (John 1:14a, 16-18) Notice that the Lord Jesus who is standing by the Father’s side is speaking in reference to Himself. He revealed that He, exactly like His Father and the Holy Spirit – was equally God! It is our Creator’s triune nature that reveals the answer to history’s greatest question! That He is – has always been known, but what He was – had never been known. That amazing knowledge was only revealed through – the birth, life, teaching, death, and victorious resurrection of God’s Son – Jesus Christ! He alone in history ever declared, “I and the Father are one.” To help us better understand, He further explained, “if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” (John 10:30; 14:9)
In order to redeem us, the author of life left heaven to join us, but understandably He was not immediately – recognized. He therefore slowly revealed His purpose and true identity to those who were privileged to be with Him. Humans proved to be His most greatly loved creation (John 3:16). He even designed us in His own image (Genesis 1:27). We were entrusted with both the privilege and responsibility of exercising our God-given – “free will.” However, He knew that we would need the opportunity to better understand and experience life’s purpose. During His incarnation, He therefore provided us with much needed instruction, His personal example, and most of all, His redemption. He did this in only 33½ years at His sovereignly selected time! The Bible explains, “…God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) As John the Baptist initially understood and countless millions have now experienced each year – Easter proclaims – “…Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) As was spiritually consistent, Good Friday’s crucifixion took place during the week of the Passover. For centuries, at that time, a spotless lamb had symbolically been sacrificed. Now, God’s actual sinless Lamb who was slain for all of us – would miraculously, as promised, be raised to new life again!
In context, when Jesus earlier stated, “… before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58) He was formally announcing His pre-existent divinity. This was said related to the Pharisees highly accurate statement, “…this man is performing many miraculous signs. If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him…” (John 11:47b-48a)
Our Creator’s crucifixion was His world’s “lowest hour!” However, it demonstrated heaven’s greatest love – made visible for all future generations to see and personally experience. The cross was the sovereign moment when man’s forgiveness and cleansing was forever made secure! This all happened for one eternal – reason. In distant ages past, when a sizable number of angels misused their “free wills,” the tragedy of evil came into existence. Because of their proud rebellion, they were immediately held accountable. This is why they were expelled from heaven and sentenced to a future of final destruction! In contrast, when man sinned, we were treated differently. Humankind, knowing far less than the angels, was given a second chance! That’s what heaven’s grace flowing from Calvary is all about. The Lord Jesus’ resurrection announced and forever confirmed mankind’s opportunity to experience an eternal new spiritual beginning. The Bible proclaims, “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Silence – about heaven’s “Good News” announcing the Savior’s love, identity, and victorious resurrection either displays one’s temporary spiritual ignorance or their highly self-centered indifference! This year, let’s pray for the opportunity to explain God’s love and the meaning of our Savior’s “empty tomb” to everyone we know. Fortunately, Easter’s ultimate truth is the only truth that really matters!
By Billie Hanks Jr.

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