Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

He is Risen 4.16.2017
He is Risen!
May the joy of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead lift our hearts to praise our God today and always!

Our Easter morning scripture for consideration today is from John 20:1-18, which we read in the name of the Risen One, Jesus the Christ.

Jesus is Risen from the dead, His tomb is empty, the angels spoke of His Rising and He appeared unto many alive.

Those statements are true, they are the facts that the Bible speaks of this morning concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!

We heard in our scripture reading as to how our entire Christian faith hangs on the reality of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. If there is no resurrection from the dead, we have no Christ and therefore we have no Christianity. The fact is that He arose from the dead and lives, never to die again. That is historical fact!

It is by faith that we lay hold of those facts, of Truth, and because we believe that He did arise from the dead, we know and believe that everything that He did and said is also fact, or it truth. There is no disputing that reality. It is our not our faith or experience that makes it true, but rather it is faith/believing it to be true that makes is a reality for us in our lives. So then we could say that faith is believing in and trusting God.

Too often feelings and emotions are considered to be truth, and when that happens our reality is created by faith in our feelings and emotions, rather than in the facts or truths of God. These feelings and emotions due to our past experiences and current convictions create and maintain truth in our own minds and hearts.

Mary Magdalene gives us a good illustration of how she continued to live in her feelings and emotions which were formulated by her current knowledge and experience. For on Easter morning, even after seeing the empty tomb, and after hearing the angels tell her that Jesus is alive, she sees only a crucified Jesus, a dead Jesus.

Jesus had cast out of Mary seven devils and she was His devoted follower. How could it be otherwise, as had been freed from her past bondage to sin? She saw the empty tomb, but did not connect that which Jesus had previously been telling others that He would rise again on the third day. She continued in her weeping and sorrow at his death, not able to see that He had indeed risen again. Everything in front of her spoke of His promise being fulfilled, the grave was empty, the angels words spoke of His resurrection, His grave clothes were lying in order on the ground, left behind because He would not need them anymore, and now He was standing in front of her asking as to why she is weeping.

Mary was despondent on the first Easter morning, even though all of creation had rejoiced in its Creator being raised from the dead. As the earth had quaked at His giving up of His life, now again the earth shook and quaked at His resurrection., the trees, rocks, plants and all of nature praised their Creator on Easter morning. It was as if the creation could not keep still at the great work that its Creator had accomplished for the redemption and life of fallen mankind! The creation was praising its Creator!

Jesus spoke to her: Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?

Her Saviour was speaking to her, but she did not recognize Him as all she saw was the keeper of the garden of the earth, an ordinary man.

She responded by telling him:
Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

She was living in her feelings of the past, and did not see or hear life in front of her. She was not able to hear the facts and to grasp them by believing them.

Jesus chose the moment to speak the words into her heart that would open her eyes so that she would see things as they really are. He waited, first asking her to reveal the state of her heart to Him, even though He knew her struggles.

16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

Only two words spoken, one by Jesus and the other by Mary. Faith was created in Marys mind, heart and soul by her name being spoken by the Word, Jesus the Christ. All the evidence that was before her now became real for her, and as a result she expressed her emotions of joy and thankfulness in one word to Jesus: Rabboni (Master) Reason weighed the evidence and it was given to her to believe the facts of God.

Her faith was not blind faith, but it was based upon the evidence that the Word of God provides. We do not have blind faith, like taking a leap in the dark. Allow me to illustrate.

A Story About Faith: The Blind Kind
Imagine you really wanted a one of the lastest iphone. And what if you just wished as hard as you could that a brand new iphone would magically appear at your doorstep? Say one day, you came home fully expecting to use your new iphone. So much so that you even stopped off at Best Buy to pick up a cool case for it. That whole set-up would be kind of like this idea of a blind leaping into the dark, right?

Or say your entered a contest on the Internet to win a brand new iphone. You hope you would win. But you have got no assurance there, right? See, blind faith is just a like blowing out your birthday candles and making a wish. Or chucking a coin into a fountain or a wishing well. You have got nothing

Another Story About Faith n The Evidence Kind
But now on the other hand, imagine you went online and bought yourself an iphone! Later, you got the confirmation e-mail saying, thanks for your purchase.Eventually, you get an e-mail from
Fed Ex saying I have got a package scheduled to be delivered the very next day. The next day, you get an e-mail saying it is on the truck to your house. You get the tracking number and track
this thing at work until it is scanned as delivered. Maybe your spouse is home and you get a text saying, Your iphone is here.

Mary went from weeping and a sense of lostness to utter rapture and joy at the revelation that He is not dead, but that He lives! All that He had said is true, all that she had experienced from His grace was true, and now He was not dead, but alive! She believed in the facts, by faith she now saw the Risen Christ. Now she knew that He loved her, His crucifixion had been for her sins (as well as for all) and now He proved His victory over death, over sin and over hell by arising from the dead.

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

Mary was overjoyed in the knowledge (facts) in her belief (faith) and her feelings and emotions of joy overflowed to such an extent that she worshipped him and then went to share the Good News with the others.

Trains used to have cabooses which always trailed behind the locomotive and the cars. Have you ever seen a caboose pulling the train? I do not think so. In our meditation today, we could compare the locomotive with the facts of God, the cars could be as faith/trust and the caboose could be our feelings and emotions. Mary at first had the caboose pulling the train but then after hearing the voice of Jesus speak deep into her heart and soul, the caboose was sent back to where it belongs: In the rear of the train.

The Facts

The Empty Tomb testifies as to no body of Jesus

The Words of the Angels testifying that Jesus is Risen

The folded grave clothes reveal that he is done with them, death will no longer take Him.

His appearances to many and to Mary are witness that He arose.

Faith

We are joined together in the promises and assurances of God through believing and trusting in that which God has done and said concerning us.

Feelings
The emotion of joy overflowing because fact and faith are united because we know that we are loved, through and in Jesus we are forgiven, we are in Gods family, His Spirit lives in us and we can never die!!!!!!!

He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 16 Apr 2017 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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Help is on the way Isaiah 40.1.11
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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