He Is Risen! Maranatha!

March 30, 2013

At this season, I am going to do something a little different than you might hear at your church or even on all the Christian radio and TV stations. After all, with a name like Maverick Ministries, what else could you expect from me? C];-)}|> This is basically for Christians since much of what you hear this Sunday will be directed towards the lost folks who show up on only Christmas and Easter. I think we need to do some reflection that is a little different than going through a documentary of what we already know and believe though we do need to be reminded of that from time to time.
I am not even sure which Scriptures I am going to use at this point. I want to focus on two statements that have been used since the 1st Century. They were the common greeting between Christians. D. L. Moody once preached a whole revival meeting on John 3:16 and I am going to do something similar. I want to break down these statements and make us think about what we often spout out of ritual only at Easter. I want to help us recapture some of the awe and wonder of these terms and allow them to breathe new life into us since they have lived for two millennia.
He, of course, refers to Jesus Christ. However, who is He to you? I do not want a historical context. I want a here and now context. Who is Jesus in you daily life? I hope you have a biblical view of whom He is. When Jesus asked His disciples who the people thought He was, there were several answers and they were all wrong. Only Peter got it right. (Mark 8:27) Many quote His name and claim to know Him and who He is, but they are way off base and sadly lost. As they are not aware or cognizant of whom He really is, He will not recognize them when they stand before Him and claim a relationship with Him and try to bribe Him with things done in His name. (Matt 7:21-23) That will be a truly sad day for them.
After we have the history and theology down pat, we need more than that as we walk through this life. All of us need something different, but we need Him. He is everything we need and we need everything that He is, but at times, we need a different manifestation of who He is more than His other characteristics. When we are confused, we need Him to be the Wonderful Counselor. When we are in grief, we need Him to be the God of all comfort. When we sin, we need Him to be our Advocate. When carnal or spiritual adversaries overwhelm us, we need Him to be the Captain of the Hosts! I lost my father when I was very young and often, I need Him as Abba, Father, or Daddy! Got the idea? Who is He to you? Not whom men say that He is, but who is He to you today and are you open to Him being whatever you need everyday for the rest of your life?
The next word is is. Not was or will be, but is. That is why He can be all that you need everyday and forever because He is. Many men were. Many men are. If He tarries, many men will be, but all men in the flesh will become were and no longer be is. He has always been is. Before the earth was formed He, as part of the Trinity, was the only one that was an is. When we travel down the paths of time and stand before Him either in death or transfigured in the Rapture/Resurrection. He will be there and thus is in the future. He is in the present and is in the past. He is. “I am that I am” is His way of putting His eternal Isness. Extremely deep as that is, He put it in five words without the help of a seminary-trained theologian. If one of them helped Him, it would have taken seven books with twelve alternative possibilities. I am so glad that He is brief and keeps it simple.

Rejoice, for He is now and forever! Risen from the dead and risen to the right hand of the Father where He ever lives to make intercession for us! In both the Old and New Testaments, we are told of men and women who were raised from the dead. So, what is so different about Christ? The others all died again and will have to be raised again unto immortality. He is risen to die no more and that is the surety of our being risen with Him one day. His rising is the proof that His sacrifice was accepted. If He had not risen, we would have had not any hope.
If He had risen and just went straight to glory without manifesting Himself to many witnesses, we would have had doubts and fears. That He took His victory lap amongst men after winning the race that Paul also ran and we now run gives us energy and joy knowing that we too shall win the race in Him. His victory is our victory.
Not only do we know that He rose from the dead, we know where He rose to and that gives us boldness to come before the throne in our time of need. Honey, when you have the Son interceding for you before the throne you can come in any time and ask for all things righteous. You can come seeking forgiveness and restoration of fellowship no matter how despicably you have failed for the Blood of the Lamb has risen to the mercy seat of Heaven and the Son will rise up in your defense. Can you have a shoutin’ Baptist fit or did I just preach to the dead in Christ? Yes, HE is risen!!! Glory to God for it!!! May we never forget it or take it for granted or flippantly say the words!!!

Finally, we come to Maranatha! It is used only once in the New Testament. This is Aramaic and means our Lord has come. Indeed, He came and dwelt among men. While the early church used it as reminder of His coming again for them, they also used it to remind them of their mission here.

1 Cor 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. KJV

The context that Paul used it in is judgment. Anathema is accursed and following that is the reminder that the Lord has come and inferring His return. That return will be joyful for the Christian, but it will be a day of darkness and mourning for the unsaved or those who do not love the Lord. Why are we still left here after salvation and what were our marching orders? We are here as Ambassadors to beseech men to be reconciled with God to avoid that judgment at His return! Knowing the terror of the Lord, we are to persuade men as ones who will also stand before Him. (2 Cor 5:10,11) The only difference between the saved and the lost at the judgment will be destination. We will lose rewards, but they will lose their soul to eternal damnation. If we truly understand the concept of Maranatha and believe in His return then we should be pulling brands from the fire rather sitting around for a train ride to Glory!
So I ask you, when you say these phrases at this season do you take in all that they mean or are they just tradition like “God bless you” at the sound of a sneeze? Who is He, historically, theologically, and practically to you? If you do not get the first two correct, you will not experience the third! Are you walking in His presence fully aware of His being here now? Are you walking in the joy and victory of His being risen from the dead and risen to the right hand of the Father? Are you taking advantage of all that can bring into your life? If not, claim it now and experience more than you have ever known! Are you truly occupying or doing business until He returns? Are you seeking to reconcile men to Him? Will you lose rewards? My lost, sinner friend, will you lose your soul? Do not look to other men. Look to Him that is and is risen and then you can rejoice in Maranatha!
He IS risen!!! Maranatha!!!


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