Sunday, April 8, 2012

Celebrating Easter... the Foundation of my Faith

(Note: to those friends of mine who are not Christian, I hope you have enjoyed your traditions, religious or otherwise, at this time of year.  Though our religious beliefs may differ, our friendship may endure under the God who made us all.  My best wishes to you and your families during this season of spring and new life.)

 In this season of rebirth, as buds reappear on the trees after a long winter, and the blades of grass green, and the plants push through the once frozen soil, we are reminded of He who was dead and yet now lives, even Jesus Christ. But this wondrous event of the resurrection was necessarily preceded by the sacrifice of our Redeemer and as the hymn reflects my own thoughts,

"I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
that for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.

I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To RESCUE a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
that he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.

I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt:
such mercy, such love, and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I iwll praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.

Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!"
(Charles H. Gabriel 1856-1932)

Know that the promise of the Atonement, begun in Gethsemane and culminating on Golgotha, is for us all, if we will but repent of our transgressions and accept Christ's redeeming power.

It is Christ's suffering that satisfies the law of justice that all sins must be punished, and through his mercy, grace and love, he fulfills that law. How unloving would we be if we allow Him to have suffered on our behalf and having already paid the price, we do nothing? All he asks in return is for us to obey his commandments and repent. By doing so we show our love for all He has done for us and we make effective in our lives His Atonement. This is the road to Eternal Life.

And now on this Easter day we celebrate the gift given to all mankind by the Savior. The Resurrection; the promise that all will live again with a body perfected and immortal.

Knowing that Christ lives is my testimony. And more, He has provided a way back to live with him and our Father in Heaven through His atoning sacrifice, for which "I Stand All Amazed!"
This hymn summarizes well my testimony:
"I know that my Redeemer lives. What comfort this sweet sentence gives! He lives, he lives, who once was dead. He lives, my ever living Head. He lives to bless me with his love. he lives to plead for me above. He lives my hungry soul to feed. He lives to bless in time of need.
He lives to grant me rich supply. He lives to guide me with his eye. He lives to comfort me when faint. He lives to hear my soul's complaint. He lives to silence all my fears. He lives to wipe away my tears. He lives to calm my troubled heart. he lives all blessings to impart.
He lives, my kind, wise heavenly Friend. He lives and loves me to the end. He lives, and while he lives, I'll sing. He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King. He lives and grants me daily breath. He lives, and I shall conquer death. He lives my mansion to prepare. He lives to bring me safely there
He lives! All glory to his name! He lives, my Savior, still the same. Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: "I know that my Redeemer lives!" He lives! All glory to his name! He lives, my Savior, still the same. Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: "I know that my Redeemer lives!"
(Text: Samuel Medley, 1738-1799; Music: Lewis D. Edwards, 1858-1921)

  May God bless you, your family and friends.  And, may we be worthy to receive His blessings.

Bruce R. Hough

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