Beautiful Exchange

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“Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrowsthat weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream.But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants.He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.

-Isaiah 53:1-12
[Written almost 680-740 years before the Birth of Jesus Christ]

Are you hurt…?
broken…?
curious…?

…This message is for you

—–

Easter….

What do you think of when this time comes every year?

Do you have positive thoughts…?

-Spring?
-Chocolate?
-Bunnies?
-Candy?
-Eggs?
-Childhood?
-Innocence?
…Good Times…

Or Negative thoughts…

-Death
-Heartbreak
-Painful Memories of Your Past?
-Debt?
-Divorce?
-Loss of Innocence?
-Grim Reality?
…Bad Times…

If you are willing to put down your chocolate covered bunnies,
If you are willing to put the hurt aside for just a moment,
If you are willing to regain focus on the truth of the season,
we can find out the truth of Easter
and you WILL be changed…

What if I told you…
That there is something about Easter that can erase all of the hurt?
That there is Someone…
Real
Significant
True
Beautiful

…Someone that can wash away all the fifth in your past, present, and future?
Not a mythical person in a galaxy far-far away…
But instead,
Someone
that is inside you
through it all
that will never leave…?

What if I told you…
that the person I am talking about died over two thousand years ago around this time?
That he was human…
Just like you,
Just like me,
and even the cold dark grave
Could not hold him?

The person?
Our Lord and God,
Jesus Christ

Bunnies, candy, and eggs are not the reason for the celebration of Easter,
Jesus Christ is…

(If you are confused on exactly who Jesus is and the significance of his name,
this link might clear it up : Here)

In order to talk about Easter, we must talk about the three events that lead up to it,

So lets rewind to the beginning…

Starting with…?

The Passover

The passover began as a Jewish holiday and festival.
It commemorates the journey which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery
in Egypt, By our God.
This story is recorded in the Old Testament of the bible
And the celebration of Passover itself originated in the bible…

“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance.” -Exodus 12:14

This celebration is shared by both Jews and Christians
However,
This is the only part of the Easter celebration that the Jews celebrate.
Most who practice the Jewish religion do not celebrate the next two parts
that are associated with Easter…
Why?

We will get to that later…

Holy Thursday

“Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? And he said , Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith , My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. Now when the even was come , he sat down with the twelve.” -Matthew 26-17-20

This celebration is known to the Christian community as, The Last Supper.
This day is important due to the fulfillment of the New Covenant that our God made with us through his son Jesus….
This same New Covenant was prophesied in the Old Testament over 500 years ago before the date of the Last supper (This prophesy is seen in Jeremiah 31:31-32)

“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband tothem”  declares the LORD.” –Jeremiah 31:31-32

We see the New Covenant best in Luke…

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” – Luke 22:20

This New Covenant removed the Old Covenant that God made to the Jews through circumcision. No longer did followers of God have to go into a temple to speak to him, Jesus made it possible to speak to him no matter where and who you are.

Shortly after this, the next celebration (and ironically most tragic) event took place

Good Friday

This day marks the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.
Jesus was betrayed by one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot
and captured shortly after the Last Supper.
Jesus was tried by the high priests, ridiculed, beaten,
condemned to die a sinners death by crucifixion, and ultimately abandoned on this day.
Jesus was pronounced dead shortly before an earthquake and storm.
Jesus then was placed into a tomb covered by a massive stone weighing around 1-2 tons
And his tomb was guarded by trained Roman guards day and night
in order to make sure nothing happened before the Passover was celebrated.
Three days later… the main event takes place

Easter Sunday

On the third day after death, Jesus rose again and removed the 1-2 ton stone.
Jesus then appeared to his family and disciples to reassure them of the covenant and promise of a helper, which they would receive after he left Earth.
The helper which Jesus promised was the Holy Spirit.
The exact same Holy Spirit lives in all Born-Again Christians…
Even today

Crazy isn’t it…?
A lot to cover!

So to answer the questions asked before:
Why do those who practice the Jewish religion not celebrate Easter?
What does this day mean to me?

Well, Let’s first answer them both.
Simply…?
Judaism denies that Jesus is the Son of God.

Jews around Jesus’ time became victim to corruption
…Like us all
The temples became ran by greed and power.
Even Jesus openly and publicly battled the high priests of the time
(Seen in Luke 20: 41-47)
The Jews believed that the Son of God would come to make them rule again,
But we all were too blind to see
…We all killed Jesus

The Son of God didn’t come to give power..

The Son of God came to save us from ourselves…

Jesus changed the old law of the Old Testament and
replaced it with law for ALL not just the Jews.
Basically?

Jesus was a Game Changer

We must not lose focus on what Easter actually is,
Chocolate bunnies, candy, shopping, and/or pain
should not have more importance on you
over the death and resurrection of our Lord, God, and Friend.

So through this time of Easter…
Stress, Hardships, and pain might be weighing you down,

But take this time to slow down..
To thank the Lord,
For ALL that he has already done for us!
Lord…
Jesus…
Thank you for dying on the cross,
Thank you for dying…
For a fifthly sinner like me…
I deserve nothing
But still you give me so much!
For that…?
I thank you…

WE MUST NOT LOSE FOCUS ON WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE FOR US!
Our Lord, Jesus Christ, died for our sin
For our Hurt
For our Chains
For our Trouble
For our Heartbreak
For our Tears
For our Past
For our Present
For our future…

And if Jesus truly rose again…?
Then the Bible is true!
And if the bible is true…?
Then God is real!
If God is real…?

Then God can SURELY fix you!

Stop…..
Think….
Believe….

Jesus traded his life,
for our sins to be forgiven

Jesus gave his life…

All he asks in exchange?
Is your life…
Your heart…
Your everything…

Maybe you already have…
And you feel betrayed…
Well guess what?
Jesus was betrayed too,
he understands..
He is waiting for you to come to him so he can heal you…
And if you do?
He will stick by you
He will take your sin and burdens
He will wash you white as snow
He will give you the SAME SPIRIT THAT OVERCOME THE GRAVE
And he will give you peace unlike anything that you could EVER find…

He will give you life…

…through a Beautiful Exchange…

————————————————

Want to See the Easter Story For Yourself?
Pick up a copy of: The Passion of The Christ
The horrifically real depiction of the Easter Story is a MUST-SEE
for anyone interested in diving deeper into the events celebrated by Easter.
(Due to the Graphic Violence of the true events, Viewer Discretion Is Advised)

Want to Read the Easter Story on Your Own?
Want to do a little research?
Why not go to a reliable source!
Well actually FOUR reliable sources
FOUR amazing friends and witness’s of Christ.
All inside the DEFINITION of reliable…

…The Bible…

Last Supper [Holy Thursday]
Matthew 26: 1-46
Mark 14: 12-42
Luke 22: 1-46
John 13-18

Arrest, Trial, Death, and Burial [Good Friday]
Matthew 26: 47-66
Mark 14: 43-72, Mark 15: 1-47
Luke 22: 47-71, Luke 23: 1-56
John 18, John 19: 1-42

Resurrection [Easter Sunday]
Matthew 28: 1-20
Mark 16: 1-20
Luke 24
John 20, John 21

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