Easter, 2012 Blast - Behold, The Man!

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Behold, the Man

"Pilate said to them, 'Behold the man!'" John 19:5

Dear friends, at a time so precious to us as Christians, I ask you, Behold the Man, Jesus, the Savior of the world.
Think of it!! Jesus, the Heir of all things, of whom the Father said: “This is my beloved Son,” was made a curse for us; was despised for each of us! I know …. it is difficult to imagine. There is one verse in the Bible which takes a long time for the proud and self-righteous to admit and believe, it is that verse which says: “God has made Him to become sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” On the cross of Calvary, Jesus became everything that God must judge and condemn, so that we through faith in Him become everything that God cannot judge and condemn. I know …. it is difficult to imagine.
Remember Black Friday? What a day that was! The Master was dead. To His disciples it meant that His only crown was a crown of thorns; His only kingdom, a grave; His only scepter, a reed; His only throne, a cross of wood; His only palace, a dark grave. Everyone said, “It is over, the end. It is finished.” And life to them on that long, long day was turned into a day of torment and fear, a day where no flower bloomed and where there was only black night, in which no star was seen. They all said: “He is dead. What more is there to say?” Ironically, Jesus also said “It is finished.” He meant something quite different, however. He meant, much to our joy and happiness, that salvation had been won for all. God’s wrath was appeased; man and God were in harmony once again. Want proof? On the third day, the day we call Easter, Jesus rose from the dead!! That truth still echoes throughout the ages – He lives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead!
He lives, my ever-living Head!
Friends, it was not a dead Christ who appeared in the locked room where the disciples had been hiding. It was not a dead Christ who let Thomas place his finger in the nail holes and his hand in our Lord’s side. It was not a dead Christ who lit those tongues of fire on the Day of Pentecost. It was not a dead Christ who sent the early Christians and gave them power to carry the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the world. It was not a dead Christ who spoke to Paul on that Damascus road; or held Stephen in His love as he begged for forgiveness for his murderers. And, it is not a dead Christ to which we pray, praise and give thanks. It was not a dead Christ, but a living Christ!
He lives triumphant from the grave;
He lives eternally to save;
He lives all-glorious in the sky;
He lives exalted there on high.

When we look into the empty tomb in Joseph’s garden, we are moved to say with Peter: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” Yes, Jesus lives and He lives for each of us.
Behold Him, my friends, behold this man, Jesus. Behold Him with the eyes of faith. Behold Him as your Savior. Behold Him as your Lord and God. Live in Him even as He lives in you!

This crucified and living Lord is why the ACELC exists. As Paul said, For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (I Corinthians 2:2). Our Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection gave to us a life that we would have never known because of our sin. His resurrection assured us a place in heaven now and to eternity. Ecce Homo! Behold, the Man Jesus who is alive! He is alive as He comes to us in the waters of Holy Baptism. He is alive as He comes to us in His holy, precious Meal. Above all, the ACELC is committed to being faithful to our Lord and His work of redeeming all mankind. Won’t you join us? If you would like to read more about our work please visit our website. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact any member of the board.
And now may the peace of God…which comes to you in our crucified, resurrected and ascended Lord, be with you always, even to the end of the age.

Your Servants For Christ's Sake,
ACELC Board of Directors
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