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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Resurrection Every Day! is your one stop for Myspace GraphicsAs a Christian, it's great to know that we don't have to wait for a calendar to tell us and show us when to celebrate Jesus' resurrection.  We can celebrate it every day!  In fact, we should celebrate it every day!

But why?  Why can we celebrate the resurrection every day?  Because if we are a Christian, we are only one because of the resurrection.  If Jesus Christ had died on the cross, been buried, and never arose, what hope would you and I have?  None!  But, because He arose, we have the hope of eternal life in Heaven with Him and with God!  Praise God for that wonderful Good News!!

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’
Luke 24:1-7

From this passage, you will notice something important: Jesus rose on the first day of the week - Sunday.  That is why Christians worship on the first day of the week - Sunday.  But it's not just one Sunday a year - but each and every Sunday. 

Before He died, Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples.  The Passover was (and still is) a Jewish holiday and festival.

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” Luke 22:7-8 

They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them,
“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
Luke 22:14-20

Notice what Jesus said in the above passage (I have it enlarged).  Why would Jesus say that?  Because for the annual Passover the lamb had to perfect, without spots or blemishes. Jesus was getting ready to suffer as the final sacrifice - a perfect sacrifice. As Paul said, "For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed." 1 Corinthians 5:7b

Now as Christians, we, too, can celebrate the resurrection.  One way of doing this is by partaking of the Lord's Supper, as He established us to do "in remembrance of" Him.

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 
1 Corinthians 11:23-27 

As a young child, I remember visiting my grandparents' church and they would partake of the Lord's Supper every week.  I always thought it was so special and wondered why we didn't where I worshipped.  Later on, as a teen my family began worshipping with a group of Christians who also partook of the Lord's Supper weekly and it's a celebration my own family now partakes in every Sunday.  It's such a special time of reflection and remembrance!

The scripture above doesn't say when to partake of the Lord's Supper, but other verses seem to point to the fact that the early Christians did, indeed, partake of it each first day of the week.

On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Acts 20:7a

Another passage which shows that the early church gathered every Sunday and ate the Lord's Supper is 1 Corinthians 11:20-21, 33. In these verses Paul rebukes the Christians of one congregation by saying, "when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk" (verses 20 and 21). The purpose of their meeting together should have been to eat the Lord's Supper together -- but they weren't doing that properly. So, after rebuking them, Paul then instructs them, "So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another" (verse 33).

But, does this passage show that they ate the Lord's Supper -- or were supposed to be eating it -- every Sunday? After all, nothing is said in these verses about when they were meeting together -- it just says that they were meeting together. Well, when we flip over a few chapters we will discover how often this church was meeting together. In fact, Paul gives this church the following instruction: "On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come." 1 Corinthians 16:2

This verse is specifically talking about the offering of money the Christians would give and explains why churches take up money collections each Sunday.  It just seems logical with all of these verses that the Lord's Supper be partaken of each Sunday as well, doesn't it? It does to me and to millions of others all over the world.

But the celebration isn't limited to a building, to one day of the week.  Christians can and should celebrate the resurrection everyday!  In other words, thank God each and every day for the gift of His Son, for the death of His Son, and for the resurrection of His Son.  Praise God for His plan and for your part in His plan.

So celebrate the resurrection, but don't limit your celebration to one day a year.  Celebration the resurrection EVERYDAY!

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