This article was uploaded on a Saturday. It is the day after Good Friday, and the day before Easter. We reflected on His crucifixion yesterday, and will celebrate His resurrection tomorrow. But at this time, according to tradition, Jesus was seemingly dead and the disciples were now hiding for their lives. It would be an understatement to say that they now doubted their mission.
The Christian movement, once a great and flourishing voice with a power that could not be ignored, is in a state of confusion. Church attendance is falling. Miracles and healings aren’t taking place like they used to. People are indifferent about the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Meanwhile, atheism and Islam are on the march, conquering our governments and forcing us out of every aspect of public life.
I recently read an appalling statement in a Christian article. Rather than affirming our stance, this article asked us to rethink the teachings of Christ, and started with this first point: “Jesus, not the Bible, is God’s living and active Word that brings life.” This statement reflects everything wrong with Christianity today. The Bible is the foundation we stand on. It is the book we put our absolute trust in, even to the point where we must be willing to give our lives for it. Without the Bible, Christianity does not exist. Discrediting it in any way is like chipping away at the very precipice you stand on, looming over a deep canyon. Because the Bible is Jesus.
John 1:1-4: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. Jesus is the absolute Word of God; He is the Bible that you hold in your hands. Take the Bible anywhere you go, and you are bringing Jesus with you. Read the Bible, and you are looking deep into the mind and heart of Christ, learning of His mysteries. Jesus’ presence was in every page of the Old Testament. He was behind every scene, orchestrating all events to prepare the way for His coming.
Jesus revealed to Isaiah that He would suffer the most agonizing death in human history as the punishment for man’s sins. As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: Isaiah 52:14. Isaiah 53:4: Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. At the time of His crucifixion, He would be beaten until He was unrecognizable; His body was more thoroughly destroyed than any other person that ever lived. But this didn’t just occur at the crucifixion; it is still being done today with every criticism of the Bible that takes place.
Isaiah 53:3: He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. When Jesus was arrested and put on trial, His disciples fled in terror and hid. All but John hid their faces from Him. But Christians who abandon their Bible are guilty of the same thing; they are the cowards who flee and hide. They are the Peters that forsake Him and the Judases that betray Him.
And Judas wasn’t the only traitor. When Jesus first entered Jerusalem the week before, He was hailed as the Messiah. John 12:12-13: On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. But less than a week later, this same crowd was crying out for Him to be crucified. Mark 15:12-14: And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. Pilate couldn’t believe that these people wanted this Man killed who had done no wrong.
Too many Christians allow the world’s criticisms of the Bible to influence them, and are beginning to doubt how valid it really is. At one time, they hailed the Word of God and cried Hosanna before it. Now they are turning on it. The Word of God is on trial before the world, and they are the crowds of people repeatedly crying out “Crucify Him!”
Pilate didn’t want to have Jesus killed, so he ordered Him to be whipped to try to satisfy the bloodlust. John 19:1: Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. It is said that the whips that beat Him tore His flesh apart so badly, that His insides were visible. Isaiah 53:5: But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. But those who try to disprove the Word of God are the Roman soldiers who continue to beat and whip Him.
Through it all, He never opened His mouth. Isaiah 53:7: He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. Others would have cried out in agony, but Jesus silently took it. He wouldn’t even defend Himself to Pilate. John 19:9: And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. The Bible gives no answer to all its critics; no matter how much vitriol is leveled at it, the Word of God stands as a silent and immovable monument, answering not its detractors.
Militant homosexuals are not just content to have legalized marriage, but are now demanding acceptance from Christians whose values are opposed to it. And in droves, many Christians are caving. They are allowing the gay fascists to make them doubt the principles they have stood on for so many years. When Pilate wanted to know why the people wanted a Man dead whom they’d recently hailed as their King, the answer was shocking. John 19:15: But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Gays are demanding that we give allegiance to something other than our Bible; they want us to renounce Jesus as our King and hail Caesar.
They often point to the fact that Jesus never spoke against their perverse lifestyle, claiming that only Paul wrote against it (Romans 1:27). Setting aside the fact that Jesus inspired every word Paul spoke, let’s consider the basic thesis that the Bible is Jesus. Therefore, every word in the Bible is actually spoken by Christ, whether written by Paul or David. When homosexuals pick apart the Bible and claim they will only abide by His teachings in the gospels, they are mangling the body of Christ. They are the ones tearing Him apart, and putting the crown of thorns on His head. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews (Matthew 27:29)!
Isaiah 50:6: I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. Jesus personally told Isaiah that the men would spit on Him and pluck His beard as He carried His cross to Calvary. Matthew 27:30-31: And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. Mark 15:19: And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him. These are the traitors who only a week before waved the palm trees before Him, then demanded He be crucified. But Christians are committing the same treason if they pick and choose what part of the Bible they want to live by; we must have faith in it all. When they say they don’t believe the story of Noah’s ark, they are spitting on Jesus. When they doubt whether Jonah was really swallowed by a great fish, they are plucking His beard. They tear apart the Word, trying to separate what they do or don’t believe, and as a result, are mutilating Jesus.
Mockery is one of the world’s most vicious weapons. Late night comedians continue to ridicule the Word of God. Atheists and secularists deride us for believing its “fairy tales.” But they did the same thing while He was hanging on the cross. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God (Luke 23:35).
But one cannot look at the Bible without recognizing what it really is. And that’s why they hate it so much. Even in His lowest state, a sign was hung over Jesus’ head declaring who He was. John 19:19: And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was Jesus Of Nazareth The King Of The Jews. Just as the world is offended by the Bible, the Jews were offended by this sign and tried to alter it. Verse 21: Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. But they could not change the message of who He is. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written (verse 22). No matter how much they shouted, laughed, and shook their heads, they couldn’t change that sign. Even at the darkest hour, it stood high and proclaimed who He was in a voice that rang louder and silenced all other voices.
John 19:30: he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. It seemed they had killed Him. The devil and his demons were cackling with glee. The Jewish High Priests were joyful. They thought they had won. But their mission to kill Jesus was doomed before it even started. Instead, they had unwittingly set His plan into motion, and were helping sow the seeds of a new faith that would shake the world to its core.
Our enemies can discredit the Bible all they want. They can attack its followers all they want. Across the seas, Christians are being tortured and beheaded by Islamic terrorists for the cause of Jesus. In Communist Russia, churches were demolished, followers were executed, and Bibles were burned en masse. But no matter how hard he’s tried, the devil cannot stamp out the Word of God. Matthew 24:35: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. In order to destroy the Bible, the devil would have to destroy Jesus, and He can never do that.
It was the Bible that created this universe. It was the Bible that breathed the soul into man. It was the Bible that came and was born of a virgin, lived a life on Earth, and started a ministry that changed the world. It was the Bible that was despised and rejected. It was the Bible that was put on trial, beaten, and nailed to a cross. It was the Bible that was resurrected, and then ascended to the right hand of the Father. And it is the Bible that has the ability to save, heal, and deliver. Only the Bible brings life to everything it touches, and the Bible is the only way to Heaven. And the Bible is soon coming back for the children of God. And in eternity, there will be no sun, moon or stars, because the Son of God will be the light. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 22:5).
As we reflect on the resurrection of Jesus’ body, we must remember that for three days He went down into the earth. Matthew 12:40: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Before Calvary, no one was allowed into Heaven, and in Sheol, two places existed: Hell was where the wicked went for eternal judgment, and Abraham’s Bosom was where the righteous went as a temporary place (Luke 16:22-31). A great gulf was between the two. Ephesians 4:9-10: Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. Jesus went there for the people who were waiting at Abraham’s Bosom: 1 Peter 3:19 and 4:6: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
Jesus did not just arise from the dead on Easter morning, but took all the souls from Abraham’s Bosom into Heaven. It was a resurrection for Him and for all of the righteous who’d ever lived before Him. And soon a new Easter is coming. The world thinks it has nearly crucified and destroyed the Bible, but soon it is going to arise, and take all of God’s children with it. Jesus, our Bible and Holy Word, is coming back for us and we will ascend into Heaven, to leave this wicked and terrible world behind. Isaiah 26:19: Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.