by: John Hoffman

3rd. Sunday of Easter

Date: April 26, 2020

Before I Lay Me Down To Sleep


April 26, 2020 -  3rd Sunday of Easter

The MESSAGE: by John Hoffman

We are currently going through one of the most trying times of our lives.  We may be gripped by fear and apprehension concerning the Covid-19 virus.   Will I, or my loved ones, get the disease?   Will the shutdown have permanent effects on our lives, on the country?  

We would do well to put our focus on Jesus Christ, and to place our trust in Him.

Let's look at these historic, indisputable facts - indisputable, despite what those who hate Christianity may say

  1. Jesus lived, fully human.

  2. While Jesus lived, he told his disciples that he was: the Messiah, the Son of God, One with the Father, the only way to the Father.

  3. Jesus, as he foretold, was sentenced to death for his "blasphemy", and was subjected to a cruel, brutal execution.

  4. He died an agonizing death, and was buried.

  5. But he was resurrected from the dead - His tomb was empty on the first Easter morning!

  6. And he appeared to many, in real bodily form - before his ascension into heaven.

Christ's modern day enemies - most of whom see themselves as merely rational, reasonable people - dispute all of these claims.   But none of their counter-claims can withstand careful examination. 

Lee Strobel, in his brilliant 1998 book, "The Case For Christ", devotes 14 chapters to refuting, one by one, the claims against Christ.   If all the claims against Jesus Christ are false, then  all the Biblical claims for Jesus Christ are true, Strobel decided. 

The fact that there was an empty tomb on that first Easter, and that Jesus appeared in bodily form to many, proved that Jesus was/is God.   This meant that GOD went to the Cross on that awful Friday.   But why did it happen?  The answer:  Christ, God, paid the price for our sins.   He died so that we need not die; He died so that we might live, with Him, in eternity.  But why?

The apostle John declares in 1 John 4:16:  GOD IS LOVE

Lee Strobel saw in John 1: 12 a recipe.  "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."

believe  +   receive His sacrificial gift   =  become a child of God

And so Strobel, previously an atheist, gave his life to Christ. 

And so should we.   We should give our lives to Christ on a daily basis.  Whenever uncertainty about the future, or fear of any kind, or the pain of illness, or grief, seem to take hold of us, we should once again submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ: 

"Lord Jesus, I thank you and praise you for your great mercy and grace, for your sacrifice on the Cross.  I deserve the punishment of eternal death, but you have given me eternal life."

The hymn writer said it well:   "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face.  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace."