"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

Living For Him Who Died For Us And Rose Again

By Rich Carmicheal

    How can we begin to show our full appreciation to our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His willingness to go to the Cross to give His life so that we might be forgiven of our sins and receive the gift of eternal life?  Consider just one description of what He went through in suffering and dying for our sins:

    “He [was] despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed…The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed and afflicted…He was led as a lamb to the slaughter…He was cut off from the land of the living…He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sins of many…” (Isa. 53:3-12).

    His prayer in Gethsemane the night before He died gives us a glimpse of how difficult it was for Him as He anticipated the suffering and shame of the Cross.  He “knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.’  Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.  And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly.  Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:41-44).

    He had come into the world to do His Father’s will (Heb. 10:5-10), no matter how great the cost, and He yielded fully to that will and “humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8).  He “endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb. 12:2).  No greater sacrifice could ever be made – the Son of God, perfect and holy in every way, nailed to the Cross as a sacrifice for sins.  Through His blood we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:14).

Raised and Alive Forevermore!

    At the same time, how can we ever express our great joy over the reality that our Lord and Savior is no longer in the grave, but God “raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come”! (Eph. 1:20-21).  As Jesus Himself declares, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.  Amen.  And I have the keys of Hades and of Death”! (Rev. 1:18).  And what a blessed hope we have that Jesus who died and rose again is coming again:  “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord”! (1 Thes. 4:16-17).

Living for Christ

    Not only do we have that Day and beyond to look forward to, but even now we are able to live fully to the glory of God through the power of Christ’s death and life at work in us.  For “we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).  How encouraging to know that because of our union with Christ, we are “dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (6:11), and that the same mighty power that the Father used to raise and exalt Christ is at work in us! (Eph. 1:19-20).

    All of this begins, however, as it did for Christ – with a full surrender to the will of God.  As Jesus says, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:24-25).  One of the paradoxes of the Christian life is that we find God’s life by denying our self and giving up our own life.  Christ came that we might have abundant life (John 10:10), but that life is in Him, not in ourselves.

    A major focus of this Herald issue is denying self and embracing the power of the death and life of Christ in our lives.  One motivation for this is that we may experience that which is truly life.  The greater motivation, however, is that we might deepen our fellowship with the Lord and live for His glory.  For Christ “died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15).  May we give our all for Christ who loves us and gave Himself for us – and who is coming again soon for us!


May We Hear from You?

    We are blessed in the Herald office by correspondence from readers and we hope to hear from you soon.

Herald of His Coming
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Seelyville IN 47878 U.S.A.

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