Love of God (Easter)

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He is Risen!

Welcome Brothers and Sisters from the 640th, 168, and 40th.
Little Philip, born with Down's syndrome, attended a third-grade Sunday School class with several eight-year-old boys and girls. Typical of that age, the children did not readily accept Philip with his differences, but because of a creative teacher, they began to care about Philip and accept him as part of the group, though not fully. 
One Sunday after Easter the teacher brought L'eggs pantyhose containers, the kind that look like large eggs. Each receiving one, the children were told to go outside on that lovely spring day, find some symbol for new life, and put it in the egg-like container. Back in the classroom, they would share their new-life symbols, opening the containers one by one in surprise fashion. After running about the church property in wild confusion, the students returned to the classroom and placed the containers on the table. Surrounded by the children, the teacher began to open them one by one. After each one, whether a flower, butterfly, or leaf, the class would ooh and ahh. 
Then last one was opened, revealing nothing inside. The children exclaimed, That's stupid. That's not fair. Somebody didn't do their assignment." 
Philip spoke up, "That's mine." 
"Philip, you don't ever do things right!" the student retorted. "There's nothing there!"  
"I did so do it," Philip insisted. "I did do it. It's empty. the tomb was empty!" 
Life was in that empty tomb.
Open your bibles to Romans Chapter 5. Romans Chapter 5 verse 8. Romans 5:8

But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!

This verse is so impactful and this explains what Easter is all about. It is about the love that God had for us that he sent down his only Son to be sacrificed for Atonement for all of our sins. God had love, that sacrificial love to help atone us from our sins to allow us to come back into God’s grace. When people read this they see the result of Christ dying for our sins, but there is so much more here that I want to break it down to fully understand what Easter is meant.
God has showered us with blessings since the beginning of time. In fact he knew that we would sin against him and already had a plan to redeem us. Look at a famous verse,
John 1:1–3 HCSB
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.
JUSTIFY- When God started the creation, he already had an unmeasurable love for us that he created everything through Christ. He loves us so much that in the creation he already created a way to allow all the sinners back into his presence. God’s love for you and me started before the actual creation of man. God had a deep eternal love for us that he created a plan to redeem us worthy in his eyes again. You see he wanted to justify us through the holy blood of jesus Christ, because we are his creation. The word justify means “to acquit”, “to vindicate”, or “to pronounce righteous.” When we sin we are no longer righteous, when we go against God we aren’t righteous, when we go to war with God we aren’t righteous. However, even if we do all of this we are still loved by him. He sees our true selves and he wants that intimate relationship with us to badly that Jesus was part of the creation to justify us, to acquit us, to pronounce that we are righteous back in God’s eyes.
LOVE- Going deeper into this agape love that God has for us. Continuing verse 8, that while we were still sinners… Even when we were enemies of God, he still loved us unconditionally that he sent his one and only son to justify us. Personally, I find it hard to love somebody when they say they are my enemy and we are at war against each other. However, God did this through Jesus. Jesus came down from the perfect place in God’s presence, down from heaven, into this world. He faced people who declared war with God and turned their hatred toward God. So Jesus was persecuted, tortured, and murdered by the hands of God’s enemies. God knew what was going to happen, but still had the burning love for us to come back into his presence. God poured out his love for us to bring us hope in eternal life through the death of Jesus. God knew this was going to happen, but orchestrated justification in this and PROVES us the love he has for us. Jesus died to acquit the sins of you, me, the ones who crucified him, the ones that hunted down the church. You see God wants all of us to be in heaven with him, but its ultimately up to us if we want that.
GRACE- This love and burning desire to justify us show the grace that God showers us with. That even though we were enemies of God, Jesus died for our since. God forgives those who repent. He wants us to be sin free, but we know that we all have fallen short of God. We all have sinned and the wage of sin is death. No appeals, no bails, no get out of jail free card. Its a cut and dry case if we went to trial. But Jesus took our place, Jesus took the sentence of death for us. The love of God nailed my sins to the cross and sent my sins to the grave, not me. Once Jesus was sentenced to death he took the worlds sins with him. He took my sins to the grave so I have a second chance to be with God. He didn’t take the sins that I commited during COVID, he didn’t just take your sins that you did 5 years ago, he didn’t take just your sins that you do in secrecy, no he took ALL SINS to the grave. He took the weight of the world’s sins with him to the grave to prove God’s love for us to allow us to be justified, redeemed righteous, and made anew. God’s grace isn’t shown to us once we become believers, NO, he shows us this grace even before we want to be believers. He does this even when we are at war with him. It’s amazing that he shows this un-measurable love for us that he wants to justify us, show us the agape (sacrificial love) for us, and to extend his grace and mercy for us. You see God doesn’t want to let us go and wants to spend all eternity with us.
On August 16, 1987, Northwest Airlines flight 225 crashed just after taking off from the Detroit airport, killing 155 people. One survived: a four-year-old from Tempe, Arizona, named Cecelia. When rescuers found Cecelia they did not believe she had been on the plane. Investigators first assumed Cecelia had been a passenger in one of the cars on the highway onto which the airliner crashed. But when the passenger register for the flight was checked, there was Cecelia's name. Cecelia survived because, even as the plane was falling, Cecelia's mother, Paula Cichan, unbuckled her own seat belt, got down on her knees in front of her daughter, wrapped her arms and body around Cecelia, and then would not let her go.
Nothing could separate that child from her parent’s love—Not the call from the captain of disaster, not the realization that they were going to crash, neither the fall nor the flames that followed, not the pain and the fear of death.
That is the love God had for us when he sent Jesus down for us. Romans 8:38-39 says it all.

For I am persuaded that not even death or life,

angels or rulers,

things present or things to come, hostile powers,

39 height or depth, or any other created thing

will have the power to separate us

from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!

God has proved his love to us by sending Jesus down from heaven to us. God had shown his glory by the life of Jesus. God has shown that he wants to redeem you back to righteousness. And God had given example after example in the Bible of his Grace. Now all we have to do is accept it. Stop waging war on God. Stop fighting God when all he wants to do is wrap you in his arms and protect you from the flames of hell and the sins causing death. This protection is only through the blood of Jesus and this is why we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

The blood on the houses where you are staying will be a distinguishing mark for you; when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No plague will be among you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

14 “This day is to be a memorial for you, and you must celebrate it as a festival to the LORD.

Today is the day that we have all been given the precious blood of the first born of God. With this blood we have been justified and God clears us who have been charged with sins and failures. If you want this forgiveness and justification then I ask that while we go into prayer accept Jesus into your hearts. Received God’s love, and grace. Become righteous again in God’s eyes and allow Jesus to take all of your sins and failures to be taken to the grave.
Let us Pray- Pray for love, grace, mercy and forgiveness.
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