An Easter Heart – Luis Coca, Liberty Baptist Church in Kief
Easter is the most important day in the life of the Christian church. Without it, there would not be a Christian faith. The New Testament church would be nothing more than footnote in history.
What does Easter mean to you? To me, it’s the proof of a risen Savior. It’s all about a four-letter word – and every Christian is full of it. Our at least, they should be full of it.
The four letter word is LIFE. New life, abundant life, redeemed life. Easter says that the purpose of life is not death; but eternal life through Jesus Christ. Celebrating Easter is the best thing that a believer can do because it’s a celebration of everything that is good and beautiful.
Jesus’ final word on the cross was “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30 NIV2011)
The Roman soldiers wanted to ensure that the three hanging on the crosses were dead. They broke the legs of the two thieves. If they weren’t dead, the femur bone would have splintered and ruptured the femoral artery and they would have bled out.
Jesus was the fulfillment of prophecy. Not one of His bones was broken. Instead, a soldier shoved a spear into His side with an upward thrust. But, He was already dead. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 NIV2011)
What came out of the wound caused by the upward thrust of the spear was proof that His heart was impaled. 34 one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. (John 19:34 NIV2011)
Jesus died with a broken heart. The breaking of Jesus’ heart wasn’t the end of the story. It wasn’t the end of the ministry of Jesus. Out of the broken heart of Christ came a new heart; a resurrected heart, an unbreakable and unstoppable heart. Out of the resurrection of Jesus came the birth of the Church. The Bride of Christ whose life revolved around water baptism and communion. It was a new beginning.
When the two disciples came to the empty tomb and peered in and saw the grave clothes, they believed Jesus had risen. At that very instant, their Easter hearts began to beat.
Mary Magdalene heard her name called by the resurrected Jesus, turned and saw Him. She believed that the risen Lord was standing right there. It was at that moment her Easter heart started beating.
When Jesus walked up and started talking with two of His disciples along the road, they didn’t recognize Him. They began telling Him about the crucifixion and how the two women found the tomb empty. Jesus took up their invitation to supper and when He broke bread and gave thanks; that is when they recognized Him for the first time. That was the start of their Easter hearts.
Do we have an Easter heart this morning?
As we look at the Cross on this most Holy Week, we don’t have a promise that our hearts won’t break. We have the promise that it WILL break. If you love the Lord, your heart will be broken as we remember the suffering and anguish that Jesus endured as He took on our sins.
For God so loved the world, God’s heart broke for us. The cross is a symbol of a broken heart. A broken heart that was the price of His love for us. A broken heart was the price that Jesus paid. Our debt, sin, was washed away as far as the east is from the west.
Because we have been purchased by the blood of Jesus, we can come boldly before the throne of God. We can come with a new Easter heart that beats loud and clear with the love we have for Him.
Scripture says those who seek the LORD will praise him- may your hearts live forever! (Psalm 22:26 NIV2011)
An Easter heart beats for the least, the last and the lost. Do you have a heart after God’s own heart? We need to have an Easter-hearted world full of Easter-hearted people. May you have a blessed Easter this year.
Edward Mote – Nathan Steen, Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in Rugby
Edward Mote lived from 1797-1874. Edward was a pastor, but also a song writer. There are over 100 hymns, that have been credited to him, but perhaps the most well known song is “My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less.” Some know it better under the title, “The Solid Rock”. This time of the year we remember Palm Sunday and Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and then His sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary. Then three days later we celebrate and remember Christ’s resurrection from the grave; triumphing over sin, death and hell.
Edward Mote’s song, “The Solid Rock” describes so wonderfully the secure and solid place Christ has made for those who will trust in Him. The chorus of the hymn refers to the wise and foolish builders in the parable Jesus told. As you read these words or sing the song, let the words stir in you a fresh faith in Christ this Easter season.
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.
“When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale my anchor holds within the veil. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.
“His oath, His covenant, His blood support me in the whelming flood, when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand.
“When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh may I then in Him be found. Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
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