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Saturday, April 23, 2011

"Low in the grave He lay..."

"Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior..."-- from the hymn 'He Arose.'

"He descended into Hell..."-- from the Apostle's Creed

Many Christians believe that when Jesus died on the Cross that between His death and resurrection on Easter Sunday, He 'descended into Hell' to confront Satan, take the keys away from him, and defeat him once and for all by marching out of Hell through conquering death and the grave.

We do not know for sure about this ancient interpretation of of these things.  But we do know that something very significant occurred through Jesus' death on the Cross.  We know that sins are forgiven.  We know that eternal life is made possible.  We know that death and the grave have been defeated forever.

Interestingly, in anthropology we learn that in every society that has ever been on the face of the earth, one can find stories of a man--a man of great significance to that society--who offered himself as a sacrifice for the sins of  his people.  From the beginning of time, humanity has believed that 'the wages of sin is death,' as the Bible says.  But a sacrificial lamb was offered to make atonement for that sin, allowing people to be forgiven.  But when 'the man' laid down his life once and for all as a living and dying sacrifice, then forever is the gift of God--salvation and eternal life--offered to all.

The Cross is the symbol of that truth.  And Jesus is that Man.

Prayer--"Thank-you, O God, for your gift of eternal life and forgiveness for sin.  Thank-you for offering up your own dear Son as that sacrifice that would purchase forever the salvation of His people.  During this Easter weekend as we await the celebration of the resurrection on Easter Sunday, let us contemplate and meditate upon these things and be brought closer to you.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen."

Song--The song for today is very special, written by the late great Rusty Goodman of the Happy Goodman Family.  Here Rusty sings one of his best compositions, HAD IT NOT BEEN.  Just click on the title of the song, and it will take you to the video of Rusty and the Goodmans singing this moving song.

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