Sunday, April 08, 2012

What I Believe About Easter

There are some interesting, and frankly hard to believe, claims made about what happened on Easter Sunday.  Since today is Easter, I felt like going over some of these and writing briefly my thoughts.

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher.
Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, … and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, … Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, …  she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
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.
Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. – John 20

Do I believe that Jesus was who he said he was?  The Messiah?  The Son of God?   Yes, I do.

Do I believe that Jesus died, and came back to life?  Yes, I do.

And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
And he took it, and did eat before them. – Luke 24:36-43

And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.  – Matthew 27:52-53

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God – Job 19:25-36

Do I believe that the resurrection is physical, real, and tangible?  That our bodies shall literally rise again?  Yes, I do.

Do I believe that everyone shall rise again because of what Jesus Christ did?  Yes, I do.

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. – John 17:1-3

Beyond living again, do I believe there is a place of glory where we may live forever if we follow the path the Jesus Christ demonstrated and taught?   Yes, I do!

How is it possible to know such things?

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. – John 7:17

I have made, and continue to make, an honest and concerted effort to follow Jesus Christ in every way.  I am a flawed person, but I do repent of my sins, and I try to live a life in harmony with the teachings of Jesus.  As I have done this, I have come to know Him, and to know that He is real, that he is the Son of God, and that his teachings are sure and true.  I am at a loss of words to explain exactly how I know this; I can only say that I know it, and that anyone may know it if they also embark on His path. 

These are the things I believe about Easter.   It is a special day for me, and I hope that the gift of joy, comfort, and peace that have come to me through what I have learned about life and its purpose will be a gift to you as well. 

Happy Easter!