Monday, April 6, 2009

My Testimony of Christ

I hope you each have a wonderful Easter weekend. Easter is such a great time to spend with family and friends celebrating and reflecting on the greatest event in history—the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As I thought of what to share in this week’s newsletter, the Holy Ghost prompted me to share an entry I made in my journal while I was in Jerusalem.

5/26/2006 - Jerusalem Journal Entry

My Testimony of Christ

I have spent the last week visiting the sites of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. What a privilege it is to be where the great Jehovah, where the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, where the God of Israel spent his mortal life and ministry. He lived as the “Great I AM” in the Old Testament. He lived as Jesus of Nazareth while on earth, and He now lives as Jesus the Christ at the right hand of the Father, as the Redeemer, Savior and Mediator for all mankind.

As I sat on Mount Carmel where Elijah called on the Great Jehovah to send fire from heaven I did feel of the Lord’s power and Spirit as I read 1 King 18:38-39, “Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, Jehovah, he is the God; Jehovah, he is the God.”

As I sat on Shepard’s Field that overlooked Bethlehem and sang “Silent Night,” the word’s “Christ the Savior is born” sank deep into my soul. I know that the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning, was born to Mary as the Only Begotten of the Father, giving Him power over death, fulfilling the word of the Angel who spoke to Mary saying, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” (Luke 1:30-31)

As I sat in a church built near the site of the last supper and sang the hymn “I Stand All Amazed,” I felt of Jesus’ love and mercy as I sang the words, “I tremble to know that for me He was crucified, That for me, a sinner, He suffered, He bled and died. I marvel that He would descend from His throne divine To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine.” Christ’s love, grace, and mercy are truly wonderful.

The final stop of the week was the Garden Tomb where the body of Christ was laid following his death on the cross. Walking into the tomb and seeing it was empty brought to mind the words of the Angel to Mary Magdalene when she came to see Jesus in the Tomb, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen:” (Luke 24:5-6) “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (Matthew 28:6)

I do share my witness that Christ did take upon Him the sins of the world and was crucified and laid into a tomb. However, this was not the end of life but the beginning of a new life, for after His mortal body lay dead for three days, Christ was resurrected, becoming the first fruit of them that slept. (1 Corinthians 15:20) The tomb where Christ laid is empty. “He is not [t]here: for he is risen,” (Matthew 28:6) Jesus Christ lives. I know that He lives. And because He lives we too will each experience the new life that comes from resurrection. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)

I do testify to these things, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you.”
–1 Peter 1:3-4, NIV

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”
–John 11:25, KGV