WELCOME to the April 2004 edition of the Shalomindia.com E-Info Service.

Matthew 28:1-10 .....“Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. ...


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The Agony
When words no longer could be said, nor thoughts no longer formed, that confident prayer uttered in the garden would remain in Jesus' heart. "Abba, Father, all things are possible to you."

His prayer did not go unanswered. Luke's account of the agony of Jesus says:"An angel came from heaven to strengthen him."

In the cross of Christ we see the triumph of Jesus over his enemies -- sin, Satan, and death.  Christian writers down through the centuries have sung the praises of the Cross of Christ.  Paul the Apostle exclaimed, "But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Galatians 6:14).  "A few drops of blood renew the whole world!" 



IT IS FINISHED (John 19:30)

From the Cross itself the Lord Jesus shouts his victory. Of course to every other eye a dying man on a cross looked like and was defeat. But God's ways are not our ways and here on the Cross God had not only the world but also the devil fooled!

We need to be clear that the victory of Jesus Christ was won on the Cross itself. What had been the instrument of his execution he made the symbol of his triumphant reign. On the Cross of Calvary, before sundown on Good Friday and before the actual dying of Jesus, the victory was complete. He had done all that the Father required for the reconciliation of the world to himself, for the redemption and salvation of mankind, for the forgiveness and remission of sins, for abundant life in the kingdom of heaven of the age to come and for communion and friendship with the Father through the Son and by the Holy Ghost.

Therefore Easter is the glorious sign and announcement that the victory has been won. And the church preaches the message of the Risen Lord Jesus who is also "Christ crucified."


The spirit of Easter is newness, renewal, rebirth. 

The great mystery of salvation has reached its climactic triumph in Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Life wins the struggle with death. Death is defeated, disarmed of its power to intimidate and terrify, rendered disabled and impotent.

The richer and deeper our living the reality of being an Easter people of faith and hope, the greater and stronger our sense of joy and happiness in sharing in Christ’s life in us.

Our redemption from sin has been purchased in full measure through pain and suffering. 

Now the glorious victory of our beloved Savior, of our Champion in the fight against evil and sin, is ours to share in joy and delight, in the beauty of purity and grace which Christ bestows on us in abundance.

The Easter preface sums up the significance of Christ’s paschal triumph over sin as “we give thanks and praise to our Father with greater joy than ever on this Easter day when Christ became our paschal sacrifice – the true Lamb who took away the sins of the world, (who) by dying destroyed our death (and) by rising restored our life.”

Always, Easter remains a life victory, a joy in living that can only be experienced in union with Christ. Remember his wounds, take comfort in their legacy of grace and forgiveness, and exult in the deep joy and peace that we can find only in resting in his love and the certain hope of eternal life – beginning NOW.


The Resurrection?

Seek faith, Not knowledge. You do not say: resurrected Christ, appear to me and then I will believe. It is just the opposite. The resurrected Christ appeared only to those who did believe. The angel told the men: Go to Judea and there you will find him. I would suggest that Judea represents the community of believers. Judea was to be the place where Jesus would plainly reveal to his followers that he was indeed alive. He did not reveal himself to the Caiaphas and Pilates and Herods of the world.

Phillips Brooks' short poem illustrates this: 
Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer; 
Death is strong, but Life is stronger; 
Stronger than the dark, the light; 
Stronger than the wrong, the right;


Jesus, Eternal Son of God
Jesus, born into the human family
Jesus, rejected by the world you came to save
Jesus, bargained for and sold for money
Jesus, foreseeing your torments and sweating blood,
Jesus, betrayed by a false friend,
Jesus, deserted by those you loved,
Jesus, slapped in the face and spit upon in a court of justice,
Jesus, accused by liars,
Jesus, disowned by Peter,
Jesus, insulted by Herod,
Jesus, condemned to death by Pilate
Jesus, beaten with whips,
Jesus, crowned with thorns,
Jesus, rejected for the murderer, Barabbas,
Jesus, burdened with a cross,
Jesus, stripped of your clothing,
Jesus, nailed to a cross,
Jesus, taunted in your pain,
Jesus, abandoned,
Jesus, shedding the last drop of your blood,
Jesus, dying for us,
Jesus, laid in a tomb,
Jesus, rising in glory,
Jesus, ascending into heaven,
Jesus, sending down the Holy Spirit,
Jesus, our ransom,
Jesus, our brother,
Jesus, our God,


"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).

Here, then, is one of the most profound laws of the spiritual life, and one of the most difficult to learn, because, like all the fundamental laws of grace, as well as of nature, it presents itself as a paradox. "If you wish to be high, you must aim to be low."... "He that humbleth  himself shall be exalted" (Luke 14:11).

And we fail, of course, lamentably and ignominiously, every time. For in spiritual matters there must be a reversal of the usual methods, if there is to be success. Certainly "blessed are they that hunger"; blessed are they that are "ambitious"; but the ambition must be pursued not by self-assertion by by self-extinction; for "blessed are the meek"; "blessed are the poor in spirit"; "blessed are they that mourn" (Matt 5:3ff.).


ALMIGHTY and eternal God, Who hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Savior of the world, and hast willed to be appeased with His blood, grant that we may so venerate this price of our salvation, and by its might be so defended upon earth from the evils of this present life, that in heaven we may rejoice in its everlasting fruit. Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.



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Today's Bible Verse
He that humbleth  himself shall be exalted" (Luke 14:11)

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