Redemption through Resurrection

The passage we looked at together on Easter Sunday, 1 Corinthians 15.1-11, teaches us to never forget the Gospel, to see that the resurrection is the crux of our faith, and that the redemptive work of Jesus still has the power to work in your life today. It changed Paul completely, and it will change you too.

What does this mean for you, individual you?

It means redemption from death to life, redemption from the consequence of your sin, redemption from the life you want to leave behind, from whatever is holding you back, is available.

Today, just take a moment to think about what God has changed in your life through His grace, think about how this is available to you only because of the resurrection, and commit to Him that which needs His power to be redeemed.

Facing Him

It’s Easter Weekend, yesterday was Good Friday, tomorrow is Easter Sunday. 

One commemorates and proclaims the death of Jesus, one celebrates the resurrection. 

Today we are in-between. 

The deep breath before the plunge. 

What do we do today? Do we dwell on the death, do we rejoice in the resurrection? Both.

We dwell, we rejoice. We take a deep breath. We face Him. 

At the end of Mark’s account of the death of Jesus we read this,

And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, 

“Truly this man was the Son of God!”


The centurion gives us a model of what to do today, the in-between.

Simply, we face Jesus. Look, observe, ponder, pray, thank, worship, face Him.

As the centurion faced Him and came to the inescapable conclusion that this man was the Son of God, so we will too when we spend time facing Him. 

Facing Jesus leaves no other conclusion.

We see His manner, His character, His devotion, His control, His obedience, His sacrifice, His love, His death, His resurrection, and we see God.

We need to face Him to see who He truly is…not walk past and deride Him, face Him and watch, look, observe. 

We see how He took upon Himself the sins of the world, see how He became sin even though He knew no sin that we who believe in Him might become the righteousness of God, righteous and right in the eyes of God through faith in Jesus.

So yesterday was Good Friday, tomorrow is Easter Sunday, what do we do today? Face Him, because facing Jesus leaves no other conclusion.

It is finished

Today’s Last Word is also the Scripture we will look at on Good Friday at Saar Fellowship. We would love you to join us for church online this Friday at 10am Bahrain time (GMT+3).

A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John 19.29-30

A lot of people are caught up in works-righteousness, whether they know it or not.

If I could just…go to…do…say…be…then that would be enough…

The last word here is one of completion, utter completion. It is finished means exactly that, it is complete, totally complete. It is finished means that there is no more work to do to be reconciled to God, there is no more work to do to pay the debt that our sin has accumulated. It is finished means that there is nothing to be done anymore. 

Friend, there is nothing left for you to do but believe; not go, do, say, or be. Believe in Him. Believe Him when he said “It is finished“. This was not the exasperated cry of a criminal getting what their deeds deserve, this was a triumphant shout of victory. In the original language of the New Testament, it’s one word,


‘Te-tel-es-tai’ = It is finished.

It means the bill has been paid in full, literally. Rest in this truth!

I thirst

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”

John 19.28

What is so interesting here is that before Jesus said “I thirst“, we see that He knew that all was now finished. The work had been done, the price had been paid, He was now ready to share that with people and needed a drink to prepare His voice for one more momentous utterance.

Let’s keep this short and to the point: to receive the Good News into our lives, we need to accept the bad news about ourselves. We need to see ourselves in the cold light of day in order to admit that we too thirst. We are not great, we are not good, we are not the pinnacle of existence as we like to think we are. When we admit this, the worst is over, the biggest hurdle to our submission to the Lordship of Jesus has been overcome and we can come to Jesus and say “I thirst“. 

As He said “I thirst” knowing that all was now finished, so we too come to Him and say “I thirst, Lord, for the life you died to provide“. We say this knowing that we have reached a point in our lives where we need to drink of the living water He has to offer (John 7.37-39), and that He gives freely to all who ask.

…why have you forsaken me?

The next last word we see is found in Matthew 27.46,

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 

“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is,

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

This is actually a quotation from Psalm 22, a wonderful Messianic Psalm. Louis A. Barbieri Jr. wrote on this and said that in this moment, Jesus was sensing “a separation from the Father He had never known“.

Friend, because He was separated from God the Father in this moment and because He who had never sinned became sin so that the holy and perfect justice of God may be satisfied, you and I need not ever be afraid of experiencing this separation. 

This was the moment, the beginning of the greatest spiritual transaction to ever take place; Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the entire universe past, present, and future, He took it upon Himself to drink the cup of God’s wrath (Psalm 75.8, Isaiah 51.17, Jeremiah 25.25), He endured spiritual and relational separation from God, He did all of this so that you don’t have to. 

Why did He endure all of this? For you, so that you never have to.

Death, life, virus’, pandemics, trials, tribulations, troubles, height, depth, angels, nor demons, will ever cause you to have to experience and endure what He experienced and endured that day for you. 

He was, in this moment, forsaken so that you never have to be. 

…behold, your son!

The hardest thing I have ever had to do as a Pastor, maybe even as a person, was be present in an ICU room when, individually, members of a family came in to say goodbye to a lady who was only alive because she was connected to a ventilator.

Her sister came.

Her friend came.

Her partner came.

Then her children came.

Thinking of this now still brings tears to my eyes. What do you say to a child saying goodbye to their Mum? Preaching the Good News to the assembled church multiple times each week is a huge privilege. Being there for moments like that is perhaps the most profound privilege we can have as ministers of the Gospel. 

Today’s last word is found in John 19.26,

“Woman, behold, your son!”

Making provisions for those we love for a time when we won’t be around may seem morbid, but it is maybe the most loving and practical thing we can do. Even on the cross, in the throws of agony, Jesus cared for and provided for others. He was, and is, so others-focused that some simply cannot believe it.

For those of us that do, we see His heart on display; others.

Even in His dying moments, He wanted to make sure that those He loved were going to be taken care of.

Brothers, sisters, please don’t wait until it is too late. Take actions today to care for and provide for those you love so that when a day begins without you, they will be ok. They will have enough to deal with, enough to organise, enough to do, enough to grieve over, enough to think about.

Please follow His example and do all you can today to provide for their tomorrows.

22.04.19 – Romans 6.12-14 – Instruments for righteousness

In the fourteenth century two brothers fought for the right to rule over a dukedom in what is now Belgium. The elder brother’s name was Raynald, but he was commonly called “Crassus,”a Latin nickname meaning “fat”.

After a heated battle, Raynald’s younger brother Edward led a successful revolt against him and assumed the title of Duke over his lands. But instead of killing Raynald, Edward devised a sneaky solution. He had a room in the castle built around Crassus, a room with only one door. The door was not locked, the windows were not barred, and Edward promised Raynald that he could regain his land and his title any time that he wanted to. All he would have to do is leave the room. The obstacle to freedom was not in the doors or the windows, but with Raynald himself. Being grossly overweight, he could not fit through the door, even though it was of near-normal size. All Raynald needed to do was slim down to a smaller size, then walk out a free man, with all he had had before his defeat. However, his younger brother kept sending him an assortment of tasty treats, and Raynald’s desire to be free never beat his desire to eat (adapted from EnduringWord).

Today Paul writes on how we should use our bodies (your members) to please God,

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Paul has previously written that we are to consider ourselves dead to sin (6.11) in such a way that as the ways of the world have no influence over someone who has passed away, the ways of sin are to have no influence over us. Rather, Paul writes to the Romans, we are to present our bodies, our whole selves, to God as those who have been brought from death to life. 

Isn’t that what we celebrated yesterday? Being brought from death to life?

Isn’t that what Paul wrote about in 6.4-5? 

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

See, the Easter story isn’t self-contained and separate from the rest of God’s Word to us. It is one wonderful, seminal, foundational, and formative part, for sure, but the interconnectivity and interconnectedness of God’s Word is mind-blowing. 

Sin now has no dominion over us, death has no power over us, for we are not under law but under grace. We truly have been raised to a new life to walk in newness of life. 

All this considered, considering that sin no longer reigns over us, that we have a choice to not obey its passions, we have the power in us to make this choice, the logical question is how are we presenting our bodies?, and to what are we presenting them?

Point to ponder – Am I presenting my body to sin’s passions, or as a living sacrifice to God?

Prayer – Father, we thank you for the world-changing, paradigm-shifting events that took place on that first Easter weekend all those years ago. We thank you that one consequence of that is the fact that we can now present our bodies to you as instruments of righteousness, and that you have broken sin’s hold over us. Amen.