RSS feed
<< March 2011 | Home | May 2011 >>

He is risen indeed

      Today is Easter - a day to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. 
      One of the great proofs of the resurrection is the shift of worship by the believing Jews from Saturday to Sunday.  In 1445 BC, Moses was given the 10 Commandments on Mt. Sinai.  In Exodus 20:8-11 we read, "“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day [i.e., Saturday] is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." 
      This command was taken very seriously.  In Numbers 15: 32-36 we read, "While the Israelites were in the wilderness, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him.  Then the LORD said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.” So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses."
   In 445 B.C, one thousand years after God spoke to Moses on Mt. Sinai, Nehemiah led the Jews in Jerusalem, after the Babylonian captivity.  He had the people swear that they would not buy or sell on the Sabbath (Nehemiah 10:31).  And again in Nehemiah 13:15-22, Nehemiah says that he "will lay hands" on them if they keep trying to sell on the Sabbath.
    So for almost 1500 years, the Jews observed the Sabbath.  There are numerous stories in the Gospels about the Jews, especially the Pharisees, accusing Jesus of working on the Sabbath.  Thus, the question is what caused eleven Jews to change the 1500 years of tradition and the commandment to worship on the seventh day of the week?  Some spectacular happening must have happened to make such a radical change to 1500 years of tradition.
    What happened is nothing less than Christ's Resurrection.  In John 20:1 we read, "Early on the first day of the week."  Thus, the eleven Jewish apostles and their few friends changed 1500 years of tradition and God's command.  The new holy day shifted from the seventh day to the first day of the week.  They would not change something willy-nilly.  They changed it because they witnessed Christ's Resurrection.  What a powerful statement of the importance Christ's Resurrection.  These believing Jews felt compelled to change the day that we worship.  This was not some new system mandated by a foreign conqueror.  Rather, the Jews changed it because they felt compelled to worship on the first day of the week to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ.  So each time you go to church on Sunday, you proclaim that Christ is Risen!

Missing Church

About 3,000 years ago, David wrote these words:  "I rejoiced with those who said to me,   “Let us go to the house of the LORD.” "  [Psalm 122:1]  This is a song of ascents, that would be sung by the people as they made the steep climb up to Jerusalem.  Unfortunately, I had to work the last two Sundays, so there was no one to encourage me, to rejoice with me to go to church.  I missed the solid preaching of the word, the joyful singing, the encouraging fellowship of the church.  Being alone is simply no fun.  It is much more fun to be with people.  Going to a restaurant by yourself is not nearly as fun as going with someone.  And the same with going to church.  It is much more fun being with people you love and who love you.
   So let us-all go to church. 

True Love and Taxis

This morning I had to miss church and catch an early morning flight.  Flight left this morning at 0550, which meant that I had to leave our house at 0445 to arrive at the airport at 0500.  Which meant that I had to wake at 0415.  The question was how I was going to get to the airport.  There are two options - catch a taxi cab or have my wife drive me.  Sometimes the taxis arrive right on time, sometimes they arrive in thirty minutes.  The easiest for me is to have my wife drive me.  So she got up and fixed a light breakfast and then drove me to the airport at 0445 this morning.  Now that is true love!
   She was willing to sacrifice her sleep so I could get a ride.  She gave up her comfort so I could get there on time.  It is little things like that that make our marriage great.