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.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

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.

‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!