Salvation in No One Else
An Easter message from Bishop Charlie
My dear fellow believers, followers, and lovers of the Lord Jesus Christ,
Amazing as it may sound, this Jesus was born into this world to die.
His very name speaks of this. The Angel even before his birth said:
"Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:20-21
When his disciples finally discerned that Jesus was the Christ, the son of the living God, Jesus immediately began to prepare them for his death.
“And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.” Mark 8:31
And from that point on it was clear he had resolutely set his face to go to Jerusalem to die and on the third day rise from the dead.
“And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, 'See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.'" Mark 10:32-34
After Jesus raised Lazarus, his friend, from death and Lazarus’s sister Mary had poured extravagant amounts of perfume on Jesus feet, he defended her and made it clear that this was preparing his body for burial. (John 12:5-8)
At one point Jesus says, speaking of the fact he himself is the Good Shepherd, that as such he would lay down his life for the sheep. More than that, he confirmed that this was his choice.
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father." John 10:14-18
Jesus died, the perfect for the imperfect, that he might bring us to God.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit," 1 Peter 3:18
"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6
Finally, on the cross, when it was all done, he cried out, "It is finished" and it was.
“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, 'It is finished,' and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." John 19:30
Jesus had done it all.
And after, he did die, and the spear of the soldier confirmed that he was truly dead as the blood and water poured out of his side:
"But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness–his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth–that you also may believe." John 19:34-35
He was then laid in an unused grave provided by Joseph of Arimathea.
On the third day he was gloriously raised to life, never to die again.
“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25
And by his rising he conquered sin, death, judgement and Satan.
"And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him." Colossians 2:13-15
This proved that this Jesus is the only savior, God’s son in the flesh:
“and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,” Romans 1:4
And his name is as Peter said:
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12
My dear, dear friends, this Easter, we who truly trust and love the risen Lord Jesus are of all people blessed. In fact Paul said:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” Ephesians 1:3
I urge you then to take time to ponder deeply all the events that we celebrate this week and particularly the cross and his resurrection and then, in humble gratitude, do the only reasonable thing that anyone could do in response to such love:
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." Romans 12:1
And we who are so blessed, let us be careful to not keep the blessing of the gospel to ourselves but share with others freely and regularly.
On behalf of my fellow Bishops of ANiC, I greet you and bless you and all you love in the Name of this Risen Lord and Saviour.
And as I have been concluding each weekly video post, (do look for it each week on our website or Facebook) I urge you this coming week to search the scriptures daily and in every opportunity open your mouth and speak to people about the Crucified, Risen Lord Jesus.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:58
He is risen from the dead. Alleluia!
The Right Reverend Charlie Masters