Monday, December 11, 2017

CHRISTMAS JOY - by James Tharp

Our gracious God made it clear that He wanted the coming of His Son Jesus Christ into the world to bring great joy to everyone. We first hear about the joy that Jesus brings the world in the angel’s announcement to the shepherds in the field watching over their flocks at night: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11, NKJV).

And let us hear Jesus speak of the kind of joy He came to bring those who would place their trust in Him: “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” (John 17:13, NIV). Remember that (in verses 9-19) Jesus is praying to the Heavenly Father for His disciples. Jesus is in a role as an Advocate, a Petitioner, and a Supplicant on behalf of believers. And our Heavenly Father is the Petitioned One. Given this kind of loving concern on the part of both Father and Son, we Christians need not fail.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Glorious Resurrection - by James Tharp

All across the Christian centuries billions have rejoiced in the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And all true believers today rejoice in reading the angel’s announcement to the two Marys when they visited the empty tomb of Jesus. 
“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” (Matthew 28:5-7, NKJV)
The first thing Jesus had to do after His resurrection was convince those who had believed in Him
that He really was alive again. Many times Jesus had emphasized to His disciples that it was the will of the Father that He die for the sins of all who would believe in Him but that He would be raised
from the dead. He had also repeatedly warned the Jews that their rejection of Him and His ensuing death would result in the judgment of God upon their nation and their city of Jerusalem. He had come to His own, and they had not received Him.

In the Gospel of Luke we have a special emphasis on both the birth and the resurrection of Jesus. The meaning of each is to be found not simply in the events themselves but in the clearly emphasized interpretation given them in the Scriptures. Luke revealed the real entrance of God into human history through the birth of His Son Jesus Christ the Messiah, born of a woman. He wanted to show the real bodily birth and bodily death of Jesus.