Easter and Knowing Truth

Easter is a time of reflection that is not just about Jesus Christ and His resurrection–it is also about who we are…and not only about who we are, but who we are in Christ and the truths that come with this knowledge and understanding. Knowing that Christ died and was resurrected is the foundation of all truth that is relevant to our salvation, and it also represents the necessity for us to put off our old self and emerge into a new life… a life where we are living for Jesus.
Let’s look at a person who was an important part of Christ’s crucifixion. Caiaphas, the high priest, was approached to address the false charges brought against Him.

Matthew 26:57-64

 57 Those who had arrested Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had convened. 58Meanwhile, Peter was following Him at a distance right to the high priest’s courtyard. He went in and was sitting with the temple police to see the outcome.

    59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false testimony against Jesus so they could put Him to death. 60 But they could not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. Finally, two who came forward 61 stated, “This man said, ‘I can demolish God’s sanctuary and rebuild it in three days.’ “

    62 The high priest then stood up and said to Him, “Don’t You have an answer to what these men are testifying against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. Then the high priest said to Him, “By the living God I place You under oath: tell us if You are the Messiah, the Son of God!”

    64 “You have said it,” Jesus told him. “But I tell you, in the future you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Jesus answered truthfully; yet Caiaphas could not handle the truth that Jesus is the Messiah.

Acts 4:6-12

6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John and Alexander, and all the members of the high-priestly family. 7After they had Peter and John stand before them, they asked the question: “By what power or in what name have you done this?”

    8 Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders: 9 If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man—by what means he was healed— 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead—by Him this man is standing here before you healthy. 11 This [Jesus] is

    The stone despised by you builders,

    who has become the cornerstone.

    12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”

Caiaphas had to still deal with the truth that Jesus was still present even though He was crucified. In the same way, people today want to deny that Jesus is a living God and that He is present. The truth about Christ is that He is always present and desires to have a relationship with everyone. It is up to the person to accept this truth and acknowledge Christ’s death on the cross for their sins and accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

Acts 5:17-24

17 Then the high priest took action. He and all his colleagues, those who belonged to the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18 So they arrested the apostles and put them in the city jail. 19 But an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail during the night, brought them out, and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple complex, and tell the people all about this life.” 21In obedience to this, they entered the temple complex at daybreak and began to teach.  When the high priest and those who were with him arrived, they convened the Sanhedrin—the full Senate of the sons of Israel—and sent [orders] to the jail to have them brought. 22 But when the temple police got there, they did not find them in the jail, so they returned and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing in front of the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!” 24 As the captain of the temple police and the chief priests heard these things, they were baffled about them, as to what could come of this.

In the process of denying the ministry of God and those who profess belief in Jesus Christ, do you find ways to suppress the gospel? While there has been success by many in the efforts to remove Him from schools and from society, He is still present and is working through those persons dedicated to proclaiming the gospel. Having the knowledge of truth and surrendering oneself to biblical truth are two different things. If your heart is not in living for Christ, you are far from Him, and your life will be evident of this. Peter also had the truth but needed to surrender to it.

Matthew 26:31-35

31Then Jesus said to them, “Tonight all of you will run away because of Me, for it is written:

    I will strike the shepherd,

    and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.

    32 But after I have been resurrected, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”

    33 Peter told Him, “Even if everyone runs away because of You, I will never run away!”

    34 ” I assure you,” Jesus said to him, “tonight—before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times!”

    35 “Even if I have to die with You,” Peter told Him, “I will never deny You!” And all the disciples said the same thing.

John 13:37-38

37 “Lord,” Peter asked, “why can’t I follow You now? I will lay down my life for You!”

    38 Jesus replied, “Will you lay down your life for Me? I assure you: A rooster will not crow until you have denied Me three times.

God knows the heart of every man (1 Samuel 16:7; Matthew 6:21).

Peter now will face the real truth in his failure.

Matthew 26:69-75

 69Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant approached him and she said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean too.”

    70 But he denied it in front of everyone: “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

    71 When he had gone out to the gateway, another woman saw him and told those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene!”

    72 And again he denied it with an oath, “I don’t know the man!”

    73 After a little while those standing there approached and said to Peter, “You certainly are one of them, since even your accent gives you away.”

    74 Then he started to curse and to swear with an oath, “I do not know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed, 75 and Peter remembered the words Jesus had spoken, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

In this failure, Peter now learns a lesson about the real truth, which he not truly acknowledged until that moment. When you deny God through a lack of obedience to Him and to His Word, it will ultimately condemn you. Peter’s failure in this situation would lead to his actually recognizing and receiving the truth about Jesus Christ. A transformation in Peter’s life had taken place.

Acts 4:1-12

1 Now as they were speaking to the people, the priests, the commander of the temple guard, and the Sadducees confronted them, 2 because they were provoked that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in the person of Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 So they seized them and put them in custody until the next day, since it was already evening. 4But many of those who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to about 5,000.

5 The next day, their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem 6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John and Alexander, and all the members of the high-priestly family. 7After they had Peter and John stand before them, they asked the question: “By what power or in what name have you done this?”

    8 Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders: 9 If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man—by what means he was healed— 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead—by Him this man is standing here before you healthy. 11 This [Jesus] is

    The stone despised by you builders,

    who has become the cornerstone.

    12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”

Notice that Peter is no longer fearful of facing others through his adversity and willingly testifies about Jesus Christ. He even faced jail time over the proclamation of the gospel, and it did not matter to him at all. He accepted the truth about Christ, who He is, and what He means to us.

The two thieves were also a contrast in their understanding about truth.

Luke 23:39-43

39 Then one of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults at Him: “Aren’t You the Messiah? Save Yourself and us!”

    40 But the other answered, rebuking him: “Don’t you even fear God, since you are undergoing the same punishment? 41 We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!”

    43 And He said to him, ” I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.”

The problem with the first man is that he wants to be saved from the consequences of his sin, but he does not want to live for Christ. The other criminal, however, understood the truth and acknowledged the truth. He declared that they (the criminals) were deserving of punishment, but knew that Jesus had done nothing wrong. Jesus knew the hearts of both men, and saw that the one criminal was repentant over his actions. He saw the importance of wanting to be with Jesus and the kingdom of God, and asked Christ to remember him. He acknowledged and understood the truth about Jesus Christ.

It is all about living for His Word…it feeds us, keeps us and protects us. To understand his Word is one thing, but to live in it is another. We are to live out the Word in our understanding of it. Because of the resurrection of Christ, you have eternal life, and you live in this hope through His Word of truth.

Please remember the importance of the resurrection of Christ as we celebrate not just Jesus, but our lives in Christ for what He has done for us.

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About melvingaines

I am a communications professional, author and inspirational speaker with experience as a business owner and corporate management for over 25 years. I am a member of the National Association of Black Accountants and served as President of the National Association of Credit Management, Greater Akron (OH). I have also been a member of the American Collectors Association International, Inc. and the Commercial Law League of America. I am presently a Sunday school instructor at Akron Alliance Fellowship Church in Akron and moderate over numerous bible studies and church cell group sessions. My degree is in Business and Organizational Communication from The University of Akron, and I am working on my M.A. in Christian Studies with Crown College (MN). My hometown is Cleveland (the center of the universe) and I am married to my lovely childhood sweetheart, Lynn. View all posts by melvingaines

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