HE IS RISEN!

HE IS NOT HERE! HE IS RISEN! The resurrection is proof of the finished work of Christ, overcoming all sin and death: He died, so we could LIVE. “Not by works of righteousness which WE have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…” Titus 3:5

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was arrested, falsely accused, Judas betrayed him.

“When Morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death, and they bound him and led him away and delivered him to Pilate the governor.” (Matthew 27:1,2)

The Roman ruler, Pontius Pilate, knew that Jesus was innocent, yet condemned him to death, to please his accusers. His disciples were dismayed by his arrest, condemnation, and crucifixion. They were crushed. The one who was their life and their hope was dead! What could they do, but mourn?

Jesus died as a consequence of the abuse that he endured, and the crucifixion nailing him to a cross, and letting him hang there until he died.

“And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last.” (Mark 15:27)

“And when [Pilate] learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.” (Mark15:45)

“but when [the soldiers] came to Jesus and saw the he was already dead, they did not break his legs.” (John 19:13)

“And entering the tomb [the women] saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were amazed. And he said to them, ‘Do not be amazed, you seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here. See the place where they laid him.’” (Mark 16:6)

Joseph of Arimathea secured the body of Jesus from Pilate, and with the assistance of Nicodemus buried him in his own tomb. Those who believed in him wept, yet I think that they waited to see what God would do. The pharisees came to Pilate and secured a military guard at the tomb. They remembered that he had said that he would rise from the dead.

The Appearances of the risen Jesus

On the third day from his crucifixion, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb intending to further prepare his body.

“An angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat upon it.” (Matthew 28:2)

The angel told them that Jesus had been raised from the dead. They ran to tell his disciples.

“And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.” Mary Magdalen went and said to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord” and she told them that he had said these things to her.” (John 20:18)

“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews Jesus came and stood among them, and said to them ‘Peace be with you.” (John 20:19)

“To them he presented himself alive after his passion, by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3)

The church was built on the teachings of Jesus, upon his miracles, and upon his resurrection. In his suffering on the cross, he paid the penalty for all of our sins. Without the resurrection, there would be no church, no salvation, and no hope. Let us rejoice at the resurrection of our Savior!

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
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EASTER AND THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS

Christ is RISEN INDEED!

Christ is RISEN, INDEED!

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Jesus was illegally arrested by the officers of the Sanhedrin, and unjustly tried before the Roman governor, Pilate. After struggling to find another way to avoid the judicial process, Pilate caved. Pilate had already said that he had found no guilt in Jesus. Yet because of the cries of the crowd, and the threat that Pilate’s failure to act would be reported to Rome—Pilate reluctantly committed Jesus to execution by crucifixion. The soldiers that had stood by the cross reported to Pilate that Jesus was dead.

The body of Jesus was taken by Joseph of Arimathea along with Nicodemus, with Pilate’s permission. On Good Friday he was placed in a new tomb, and a stone was rolled in front of the entrance. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James witnessed this event. A guard was set before the tomb to assure that no one would come and steal the body, and the stone was sealed.

On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. An angel from the Lord told them that Jesus had been raised from the dead. On the morning of the Sabbath a group of women went to the tomb hoping to complete the burial process. They found the tomb empty. On that Sabbath following the crucifixion, Jesus appeared to a number of his disciples. The disciples went to Galilee to a mountain to which Jesus had directed them. They worshiped him, some initially doubted, but were convinced when they saw him in person.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the crown jewel of Christian witness and theology. The tomb was empty, Jesus could not be found, then he appeared to the women, to two disciples on the way to Emmaus, and in the evening to at least ten of his disciples.

“After his suffering [Jesus] presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3)

The disciples, and many others with them, were convinced that this Jesus who had been killed and confirmed dead had been raised from the dead. Had this not happened there would be no Christianity and no church. The disciples would have returned to Judaism and their former relationships. On the Mount of Olives, the disciples and a crowd witnessed his ascension to heaven. They began proclaiming the resurrection of Christ (at the risk of their lives) and the good news of the salvation that is found through him.

The resurrection confirms the Old Testament. It is the foundation of the New Testament and the Christian Church. It is certainly and undeniable historic fact! With that we may believe in him. With that we may faithfully follow him. With that we may be assured, that when we depart this life, we shall live with him forever.

For your reading this week include one or all of these passages: Matthew 27:1-28:19; Mark 15:1-16:18; Luke 23:1-24:52; John 18:28- 21:19.

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
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THE TRIUMPH OF THE RESURRECTION

resurrection

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

This coming Sunday we celebrate Easter, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is absolutely the most significant event in the history of the world. Jesus purposefully allowed himself to be taken to the cross, because there the Son of God suffered the punishment of God the Father for the sins of the world. He suffered for every person who will come to him in faith and confess their need of his forgiveness—without which no one can be saved. There are those who question the reliability and dependability of Christianity. The resurrection, the deliverance from death of our Lord, guarantees the reality and certainty of Christ.

When Jesus was with his disciples on that Thursday night, he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane,

“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39)

He chose his path to the cross, because he knew that there he would make our forgiveness possible. The resurrection was and is a reality. It is not just something that we wish were true. It is true.

Jesus suffered terribly from the abuses of the soldiers. He was arrested and taken before Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor. Pilate understood what Jesus enemies were about. He knew that Jesus was innocent, but he lacked the courage to do what was right. So he gave in to the crowd that demanded Jesus’ death, and ordered the crucifixion of Jesus. He was taken to Golgotha, and nailed to a cross. The cross was set into the ground, and he was bleeding from the nails in his hands and in his feet. Later, to advance his death, a sword was plunged into his side.

“But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.” (John 19:24) “And Jesus cried out with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.” (Matthew 27:50)

A large crowd witnessed all of these events.

Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin and a righteous man, asked Pilate for the body of Christ that he might prepare him for burial.

“And Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.”

He was buried by Joseph of Arimathea, with the assistance of Nicodemus.

Let us reflect. We know that Jesus lived. We know that Jesus died. We know that he was raised from the dead, and that he was with his disciples for forty days after his resurrection, and that he ascended to heaven. We know the many promises in scripture that he will return to this world. The world will be redeemed, and there will be a new heaven and a new earth.

Perhaps it is evident that there would be no Christianity, no church, no hope, were it not for Jesus Christ. The transformation of the disciples after the resurrection of Jesus; the rapid growth and development of the church would have been absolutely impossible without the resurrection. Let us be renewed and refreshed in the good news of the resurrection of our Savior. HE IS RISEN!

Foster H. Shannon
P.S.
By Robert J. Morgan, is available at GoGreenLeaf.com. It includes music and lyrics to the most loved Hymns of all time. This is your chance to take advantage of it at a great price!
 

 Thank you.

More about Foster… Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
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Acts of Courage

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

It was the first Sunday after Easter. What should I preach for Sunday April 7? It seemed to me that the Book of Acts was most appropriate, for it tells us what happened after the resurrection and ascension of our Lord. So my message was about the book of Acts. The Bible is like a deep well that always gives the best water, but never runs dry. The more you draw from it, the more there is.

As I read this book again, I was overwhelmed by the courage and commitment of the followers of Jesus. Yet they had not distinguished themselves in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was bound and taken into custody.  Of the eleven (Judas had come to betray Jesus) nine fled for their lives. John and Peter followed Jesus to his trial before the Sanhedrin. But when asked, on three occasions, if he was a follower of Jesus, Peter denied, with cursing, saying that he did not know him. We can understand. These leaders of the Jews were out to kill Jesus, and from Peter’s perspective he might be next.

PENTECOSTWhat we see in the book of Acts is the transformation of Peter, the other disciples and followers. A short time after the ascension of Jesus, at the feast of Pentecost, the disciples, and a larger number of other followers, were filled with the Holy Spirit and transformed. They assembled in the temple, a large crowd gathered, and Peter addressed them convincingly and boldly. Out of that crowd some three thousand became believers in Christ, were baptized and joined the disciples.

What struck me was that they chose the temple as the place to meet and minister in the name of Jesus! The temple was the seat of the ruling Sanhedrin, that had succeeded in exacting the execution of Jesus from the Romans. Had we been there, we might have counseled them to gather in a less notable place.

In Acts, chapter three, we read, “Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer,”. They returned to the temple again, and there they healed a man (known to many who came to the temple) who had been lame from his birth, unable to walk. The Sadducees had them arrested and put into custody. They were sternly warned not to speak again in the name of Jesus.

In chapter five, they are back in the temple. Again they are arrested under the authority of the Sadducees and placed in prison. An angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and let them out—telling them to go back to the temple and speak the words of life. They were beaten again and charged not to speak in the name of Jesus. None-theless, they continued to come to the temple courageously declaring Jesus the Savior—who would forgive and save all who believed in him.

Are we too quiet, too careful, unwilling to venture into the temple?

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self control.” (II Timothy 1:7)

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

Thank you.

More about Foster…

Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note

Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is:www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.

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The Significance of Psalm Sunday

palm-branchby Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Next Sunday is Palm Sunday, the event prophesied in Zechariah 9:9 five hundred years before. Throngs of people had come to Jerusalem for the annual Passover festival; the population of the city of Jerusalem had swollen from about 50,000 to perhaps 200,000. It was the Sunday before the arrest and trial and crucifixion of Jesus. As Jesus came from Bethany, riding on a donkey, to an area near Herod’s Temple, he was welcomed by a large crowd who laid down palm branches in his path. “Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.” “The people cried out, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” Some recognized him to be the promised Messiah, but probably the majority saw him as the descendant of David who would become a new King of Israel and deliver them from Roman rule. Few, indeed, saw him as the Lamb of God, who would take away the sins of the world, as proclaimed by John the Baptist.

Some of the Pharisees, leaders of the Jews, were alarmed at this tremendous welcoming of Jesus, because they viewed him as their enemy threatening to overturn the society of which they had invested their lives. While Jesus was daily teaching in the Temple—the leaders of the Sanhedrin were plotting his execution, because they saw in him a serious threat to their position, prestige, and wealth.

The Bible makes it plain that there are two ways: the ways of the world and the ways of God. People in the time of Jesus had to decide whether to believe in him as the Son of God and Savior of the World or to reject him. The same challenge remains with us today. We must choose between faith in God, and his approval, or to seek the approval of the world.  This is a bit difficult to parse, because the believing Christian will engage in many of the same practices and activities that the unbelieving do. But there will be a substantial difference in the way that they regard God, and in the purpose that they see in life.

Jesus said…I am the way , and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) May we celebrate the advent of Jesus Christ as the greatest man who has ever lived, and the one who forgives us and redeems us, and welcomes us into his eternal home.

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

Thank you.

More about Foster…

Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note

Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is:www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.

‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!