Do You Have Questions About Easter?

Do You Have Questions About Easter?

1. Why is Good Friday good?

The reason “Good Friday” is good isn’t simply because we have a day off work or school or eat candy! Rather, it is because we remember Jesus’ death on the cross which happened two thousand years ago. However, we must be clear: what happened to Jesus was wicked, unfair, and plain not good. He was betrayed by his friends, falsely accused, mocked and tortured, and killed on the cross.

Crucifixion was left for the worst of the worst offenders. It was humiliating, slow, painful, and understood as being under God’s curse (Deuteronomy 21:23).

We all get angry at the wrong things that we see throughout the world: poverty, abuse, cruelty, starvation. It is right to feel angry about what happened to Jesus, which was unjust: Jesus was innocent and didn’t deserve to die (Luke 23:41). More than that, Jesus is the Son of God, the author of life, and so should have been treated with the respect he deserved (Mark 12:6-8). However, instead of worshipping him, he was killed.

If what happened on Good Friday isn’t good at all, then why is it called Good Friday? Well, it’s because of what Jesus accomplished by his death on the cross: We can now be friends with God!

1 Peter 3:18 says: “Christ died once for our sins. An innocent person died for those who are guilty. Christ did this to bring you to God.”

It’s called Good Friday because it’s good for us.

2. Why didn’t Jesus avoid being crucified?

I know if I was the Son of God, I would zap the soldiers and get out of there! Right from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he knew that it would lead to his death (Mark 2:20, 8:31, 9:12, 10:33-34)—but, he decided to walk to his death in Jerusalem (Luke 9:51). Rather than encouraging his disciples to defend him from being captured, he told them to do nothing, and went with his accusers (John 18:11). If his disciples weren’t enough, he could have called on twelve armies of angels to rescue him (Matthew 26:53)! But, instead, he did nothing. Even when he was left to die on the cross, he was still in control of the situation (John 10:18).

If this is the case, then why didn’t Jesus avoid being crucified? It’s because Jesus loves us!

John 15:13 says: “The greatest way to show love for friends is to die for them.”

Jesus loves us so much that he was willing to put his actions where his mouth was. Instead of avoiding the cross, he willingly died on it. But, the question remains: “Why was this necessary?”

3. Why did Jesus die?

Have you ever hit someone, like your brother or sister? Or said something mean like, “No one likes you!” Or thought something like, “I wish that person was never born!”

These are examples of sin. Sin stops us from being friends with God, and needs to be fixed.

Jesus, on his way to the cross, asked God if there was any other way we could be friends with him (Matthew 26:39,42). But there was not—the cross is the place where Jesus fixed the problem of sin by taking the punishment on himself.

This happened when Jesus cried out from the cross, “Everything is done!” It is at that point that he had suffered separation from God, and received the punishment we deserve (Mark 15:34; John 19:30). Jesus, who was sinless, died so that we can be friends with God.

2 Corinthians 5:21 says: “Christ [Jesus] never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God.”

We are friends with God because Jesus took our punishment.

4. Did Jesus really die?

Sometimes when I’m playing with my brothers, I’ll pretend to be dead. They jump on me and then leave me alone. You might do the same thing. Did Jesus really die or did he just pretend to be dead?

The Roman soldiers knew how to kill their criminals. Their lives were on the line if they didn’t do their job properly. After Jesus’ death on the cross, Pilate had the people on the crosses checked to see if they were dead.

Check out what John 19:33-35 says: “But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, and they did not break his legs. One of the soldiers stuck his spear into Jesus’ side, and blood and water came out. We know this is true, because it was told by someone who saw it happen. Now you can have faith too.”

John says that from the hole in Jesus’ side, blood and water flowed out. When a person dies, the blood and water separate, and so when John says this we know that Jesus was definitely dead.

5. Did Jesus really come back alive?

The first people at Jesus’ tomb were women. Back in Jesus’ day a court of law wouldn’t trust what a woman would say. If you were making up a story of Jesus coming back to life, you wouldn’t have women being the first people to go to the tomb (Mark 16:1-8).

Some people say that the disciples stole Jesus’ body to make it look like he came back to life. The disciples couldn’t steal the body because there were soldiers guarding the tomb (Matthew 27:62-66). Later, many of the disciples died for what they believed. No one would die for a lie.

Jesus also appeared to over 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:6), and he appeared to these people over a period of forty days, giving them proof that he was alive (Acts 1:3).

Jesus coming back to life is really important. Anyone can die and stay dead. Jesus coming back to life proves that he has died to take away your sin. Jesus has beaten death. It shows he is Christ the Lord, the Son of God (Acts 2:36). We have confidence that we will be raised when Jesus returns.

1 Corinthians 15:20 says: “But Christ has been raised to life! And he makes us certain that others will also be raised to life.” Jesus was raised and went to heaven, and so will everyone who trusts in him.

What about you? Have you trusted in Jesus who died for you and rose again? Celebrate this Easter season with Jesus as your Savior by putting your trust in him today!

ABC’s of the Gospel

CEV Version from MWTB.org

God’s Good News In Colors

Golden Tanager (Tangara arthus goodsoni) ©BirdPhotos.com

The color GOLD reminds us of Heaven. It also makes us think about God, who lives in Heaven.

The Bible teaches us that God made everything, including you and me.

What does God see when He looks at you? Does He see somebody who makes Him happy?

God looked down from Heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that … did seek God. Psalm 53:2

Because God can see everything we do, He knows us very well.

The Bible says that when God looks at us, He sees that everyone has done bad things.

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) by Kent Nickel

The color BLACK reminds us of these bad things, which God calls sin. Because God is holy, our sin must be judged and paid for.

Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Psalm 53:3

Flame-colored Tanager (Piranga bidentata) (2) by Raymond Barlow

Flame-colored Tanager (Piranga bidentata) (2) by Raymond Barlow

God loves us so much that He sent Jesus, His only son, to pay for our sin.

The color RED reminds us of when Jesus suffered, and bled, and died on a cross for you and me.

Jesus then rose from the dead, proving that He has won the battle over sin and death.

But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

White Dove ©©

White Dove ©©

WHITE makes us think of things that are clean.

The Bible says that we can be clean in God’s sight by admitting that we are sinful, turning to God, and putting our trust in Jesus.

When we do that, He makes us ready for Heaven, and gives us a brand new life to live for Him.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Isaiah 1:18

Green-crowned Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula) by Margaret Sloan

Green-crowned Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula) by Margaret Sloan

Living things grow. That’s what GREEN reminds us of. God wants us to grow in our new life.

One very important way we grow is by reading the Bible. Another is by speaking with God in prayer.

God also wants us to grow by helping each other and gathering with other Christians.

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. 1 Peter 2:2

 

God’s good news is that He loves you and wants you to be with Him forever! Remember the message of each color:

GOLD reminds us of God, who lives in Heaven.

BLACK speaks of how our hearts are dark with sin.

RED tells us about Jesus, who died to set us free.

WHITE shows the purity of new life in Christ.

GREEN is all about growing as a Christian.

When God looks at your heart, does He see the darkness of sin, or does He see that you have been washed clean through Jesus Christ? If you would like to have your sins forgiven, now is the time to turn your heart to God and put your trust in Jesus Christ.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

The Wise Owl

Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) Reinier Munguia

Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) Reinier Munguia

The Wise Owl

Have you ever heard of someone described as being “wise as an owl”? I suppose, more than anything else, that the owl’s large head and wide-open eyes mark him out as a symbol of wisdom. In any case, he is a remarkable bird, wonderfully designed and fitted by the wisdom and power of the Creator for his peculiar life. At night he is able to see far better than in the day; and in the day he is able to safely hide himself from his enemies.

Can you see in the dark?

Are you wise like the owl? Are you able to see in the night? Do you wonder what I mean? Let me try to tell you…

You see, sin has produced spiritual darkness in this world—a darkness so great that when Jesus was here as the Light of the world, “men loved darkness rather than Light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). And what did they do? They crucified Him because they did not want Him; they did not love Him. They did not see Him to be the Son of God who came to shed His blood and to die so that sinners like you and me might be saved.

Let me ask you: Do you know Him as the Son of God who died for you? Do you love Him? If so, then you, like the owl, have wide-open eyes in this time of night caused by the Lord Jesus Christ’s absence from this world. If you do not, then BE WISE and trust Him as your Saviour. Then you will be able to say with the blind man who Jesus healed, “One thing I KNOW, that, whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25).

White-fronted Scops Owl (Otus sagittatus) by MAMuin

White-fronted Scops Owl (Otus sagittatus) by MAMuin

Are you safe from the enemy?

Are you wise like the owl? Are you able to safely hide yourself in the day? Again, do you wonder what I mean? Let me tell you…

This is the daytime of God’s salvation and grace, but do you know that the enemy of your soul stalks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour? Who is that, do you ask? It is none other than Satan, the Devil, who has many deceitful tricks to make you fall into his hands. You are no match for his power nor his cunning, so you need a refuge from him—a hiding place for your soul. Is there such a hiding place? Yes! The Hiding Place is the same One who gives light so the wise may see. It is the Lord Jesus Christ (Psalm 32:7). He is referred to as the ROCK of our Salvation (Psalm 95:1)—the place of strength, safety and security. He defeated the Devil at the Cross where He was smitten for our sins, and became the “Rock of Ages” cleft for sinners. Your safety depends solely upon hiding in Him. There is no other salvation for you than in the Lord Jesus. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

How to be wise

BE WISE! Come to the Lord Jesus Christ NOW! How do you come? Come just as you are, confessing to Him that you are a sinner, and tell Him you believe He died for your sins on Calvary. He will then become your Saviour.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

You will then have in Jesus Christ a Light in the darkness, and a Hiding Place from danger and judgment for time and eternity. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

—D.T.J.

The Salvation Story

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV)

If you would like to find out more about how to get to heaven, feel free to write to Lee@Leesbird.com.

[Produced by First Baptist Church, Fernandina Beach, Florida]

Wordless Birds

2014 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 220,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 9 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you for all your visits to this blog during 2014. This is encouraging and keeps us motivated to “keep on keeping on.” May we all have a great 2015!

“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. (Psalms 26:7 KJV)

Lord Bless You In 2015!

Happy New Year!

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ABC’s of the Gospel

ABC Blocks

ABC’s of the Gospel

The ABC’s of the Gospel:

 

  • All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 6:23)
  • But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8; John 1:29)
  • Call upon the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13; Isaiah 1:18)

Lead in the sinner’s prayer.

  • Dear God, I know I’m a sinner…
  • I ask you to forgive my sins right now…
  • I believe that Jesus died to save me…
  • I receive Him now as my Savior…
  • In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen

(Adopted from Pastor Jerry Smith’s – Dealing With Children)

Use A Simple Plan – Above

Obtain permission from parents for baptism if they accept the Lord.

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More Good News

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