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Death and Burial of Jesus - Part 2


"Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, and said, "Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how." And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone."
Good Morning my beloved,
We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are so grateful that the Lord lead you join us today. We are committed those pastors that we've been working with, equipping them with the tools they desperately need as they continue to point the lost to Christ in their areas. God is moving in tremendous ways globally, with countless lives being transformed by the power of the Gospel. Your continued prayers and support are crucial for the effectiveness of their ministries in spreading God's Word.
Don't forget to check out Vanessa Taylor's at Go Ye Kids children's ministry, who has graciously partnered with us in providing printable biblical resources for children, many of them free. Please feel free to share with others. Don't forget to thank her and let her know that you heard about her here.  

For those of us who live in the Spirit, we love and serve Christ in obedience for all He has done for us,  His atoning sacrifice for our sin. We live not for the standards of this world, the opinions of men, or the philosophies of man, but Christ Who control us! Therefore, our the old life should have no hold on us.
Many Christians want the spirituality Jesus offers as long as it provides all their needs, and doesn’t confront their sin. The problem is that is not the nature of true Christianity. Jesus offers salvation to those who believe in Him and obey His commands, not just the ones that suits their sinful lifestyle. The modern church desperately needs to learn the truth about the origin of sin and its impact. The source of sin was the disobedience of man.  
In John 10:10, Jesus warns us, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy." If he can’t get the believer to turn against God, he’ll work to get God to turn against the believer. Satan is relentless in trying to destroy people, because if he can knock off the best of God's people, surely the lesser ones will fail. 
Satan, purporting to know God better than we do, cannot force disobedience, he can only suggest it. He works feverishly, using any medium necessary, to contribute to plunging people into temptation. Satan is defined as our adversary and our opponent, he is the accuser of the brethren. Satan is most satisfied when he is indicting us after leading God's people into temptation resulting in sin.
In 1 Peter 5:8, Peter writes, "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
The church now stands as the witness in the world, is it any wonder why Satan is working to destroy the church with the same strategy he used in the Garden; "Did God really say?"
Jesus said in John 8:31, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine."
Those who choose to believe what men say about God's Word rather than what God Himself says will soon find they have been deceived by Satan's lies.

Let us pray
Heavenly Father,

Father, thank You for Your Word, for those You have chosen to gather together with us today to worship You. We thank You for the clear testimony of Matthew's the Gospel, who unequivocally affirms the deity of Jesus Christ.  Lord, we bless Your holy name, for not only controlling those of us who belong to You, but even those who belong to Satan to bring about Your own holy purposes. Thank You for the assurance that in Him, we too can die to a life controlled by the flesh and live by His constraining love.
In Jesus' name we ask and pray

Today's Message: Death and Burial of Jesus - Part 2

As a pastor, I have heard just about every lie, even terribly pathetic, pitiful lies. Quite frankly, I'm not sure if it its because they think their lies are that convincing or whether they think I'm that gullible. Nobody knows better than Satan, the father of lies, that the most dangerous lie is the one that’s almost true. Today, nearly every Word God has spoken in His Word is now subject to be questioned by skeptics. It's not surprising, that doubt and skepticism has infiltrated the church in an effort make Christianity more palatable to the culture, undermining the convictions of true biblical Christianity, by adapting the gospel message. What they're teaching is heresy, because the "narrow mindedness" of sound biblical teaching is not welcome in the postmodern church. One simply cannot reconcile postmodernism’s clear contempt for objective truth with what Scripture unequivocally teaches. How ironic that one could argue that Satan’s ministry actually began in Genesis 3:1 in this same manner, sabotaging truth by promoting uncertainty, "Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?"

As Christians, we have a responsibility to contend for faith by proclaiming God’s truth, no matter how unpopular it becomes. Jude writes "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness"

We live in an age of compromise, where most people hold a conviction until what they believe gets in the way of something they want. Then, they will forgo their convictions and do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals. There is virtually no rule, no standard we won’t bend or break to fulfill the greatest desires of our heart.
Tragically, the church has set aside God's standards to compromise with the corrupting influence of the world and it's skewed morality, and exchanged the timeless Truth of Word of God with the world's doctrine of self-indulgence in order to find justification for what they want do. I believe the modern church has literally hijacked Christian values for their own ends, forfeiting the grace of salvation to satisfy their lusts.
I am frequently being asked about what's going on with the church; church divisions and splits, Christians arguing amongst themselves, pastor after pastor falling from grace. I believe the evidence is clear, the church is divided in two classes of Christians, the invisible church of true disciples of Christ, who adhere to God's Word, obedient to His commands and the visible church, those who profess Christ, yet play fast and loose with the Word of God, following Satan, bowing down to sin and immorality, living in contradiction to everything Scripture teaches. God is purifying His Church.
1 Peter 4:17, "For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?"
Being a disciple of Christ doesn't mean going to church while doing your own thing, remaining slaves to sin!  That’s the definition of a sinner, the unregenerate. Jesus said if you’re not willing to take up your cross and do My will, and even hating your own life, you’re not worthy to be my disciple. 
In Matthew 5:4, Jesus said "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Mourn over what? Their sin! They don't run around flaunting their sin, boasting in their salvation. Why would you want to sin against Christ if you love Him? That's why the greatest command is love, it fulls the Law. Love is a principal not a feeling or an emotion. That's why every sin is the sin of pride, it's the sinner saying I know what God's Word says, I'm not going to observe God's Law. I'm going to do what I want, I'm above the Law. Every sin is blasphemy against the Law of God, usurping His Authority, effectively trying to kick God off the throne. And, isn't that exactly what Satan did?
Therefore, receiving God's grace means denying yourself and saying yes to God, with a readiness to follow His leadership, obeying His commands, no matter what the cost. Those who are in Christ are freed from sin, they do not let sin reign so that they obey its lusts. They take a stand against Satan and everything that he stands for, striving not to sin. That's the Christian life, a complete change, it's a transformed heart willing to yield to Christ's Lordship in obedience!
Romans 6:1-2, "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?" 
Open your Bibles with me to the Gospel of Matthew chapter twenty-seven. Matthew 27:62-66. I invite you to follow along with me as I read to set the text in our minds. Let's open our hearts and our minds to see what the Spirit of God has to say us today. 

"Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, and said, "Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how." And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone." 
The greatest illustration of God's sovereignty, that He is in complete control of everything that occurs in this universe, is that He controlled every element in the crucifixion, even the smallest detail was accomplished, exactly as it was prophesied, for His redemptive purpose. From Jesus riding into the city as the Passover lamb, on the very day that Daniel prophesied, the same day everyone else was selecting their Passover lamb. To the day that all the Passover lambs were being slaughtered, Christ died on the cross. Even the betrayal of Judas, the defection of the disciples, the hatred of Jews and the execution of the Romans, Joseph of Arimathea, in the burial of Christ; God worked out all the details so they would all do exactly what God determined them to do, by their own choices. It was all orchestrated by the providence of God.
It's like Psalm 76:10 says "For the wrath of man shall praise You."
So, Jesus was now dead and Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus put Him in the grave! Those who hated Him and wanted to kill Him were relieved, thinking they were finally rid of Him. However, their hatred and fear of Jesus had not diminished, there lingered the promise of Jesus that He would rise again on the third day! Have you ever noticed that those who are without Jesus usually respond with hate and anger to the Good News about Jesus? People are still threatened by the promise of His Return even today. You can spend your entire life trying to fill your life with everything but Jesus, trying to disprove the Gospel or you can accept His word as true, believing in His promise and stake your life on it! Jesus Christ is alive and He is inviting you to come to Him before He returns. Like all invitations, you have to respond. Faith isn't about having all the answers, it's about surrendering your life to the One Who does.
Let's look at verse 62, "Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate." As we noted before, the day of the preparation was Friday, the day they prepared for the Sabbath. So "now on the next day," is the Sabbath. However, it is not just any Sabbath, it’s also the Passover. On the Jewish calendar Passover Sabbath, is the holiest day of all. It's interesting, that the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together because the chief priests were Sadducees, the theological enemies of the Pharisees. So the unlikely combination get together and they come to see Pilate in the praetorium. Apparently they’re not concerned about violating the Sabbath or defiling themselves by going into a Gentile dwelling like they were on Friday when there was a Jewish crowd around to see them. Obviously, their hatred of Him extends even beyond His death enough to violate their own Law. In other words, they have even more contempt for Christ, even in death than they loved their own law, especially when there are no other Jews around to witness them violating it.
The question that immediately comes to mind, if Jesus is already dead, why would they do that? They're afraid of something He said! Verse 63, "And said, "Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’" Notice they call Pilate, "sir," a term of dignity and honor, do not be deceived by their respect for him, remember that on Friday they were threatening to report him to Caesar. These men have no ethics, no principals and no scruples. They want something from Pilate while they still have him under their control. They remembered back in Matthew chapter 12, Jesus said "I’m going to go into the heart of the earth for three days and three nights and rise!" They were even concerned that the disciples might try to pull it off themselves to keep their movement alive. So they devised a plan to be sure that the whole Jesus movement stays buried in the tomb, otherwise He would be more powerful than He was during His time on the earth. 
Verse 64, "Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first." They want to command that guards be put on the grave so that the disciples are unable to come and steal the body and say ‘He has risen from the dead.’ The irony of it is the disciples were off somewhere hiding, they were too afraid to have such a thought. What's even more amazing is the disciples couldn't wrap their minds around the resurrection, what the rising from the dead could mean, even though He said over and over again many times, that He would be delivered to the hands of men, be killed, and after three days rise again. The whole thing was still mystical to them, the Messiah was supposed to come as a powerful military leader, to deliver His people from oppression, a conquering king defeating the Roman oppressors, and ruled over the Holy Land. Jesus did not meet those expectations, instead, He came to forgive evildoers of their sin and reconcile them to God.
Notice the end of the verse, "The last deception will be worse than the first." They were talking about His triumphal entry, riding into the city on the colt and the crowds spreading their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road, shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!" They saw that as a tremendous deception, the people were deceived into thinking He’s the Messiah. They're saying to Pilate, if you think that caused a problem, just wait until the disciples steal His body and claim that He rose from the dead. You better do this for us to prevent that or you're really have a problem on your hands! In other words, they're intimidating him, Pilate knows he can't afford another conflict with Rome. He's had several already as we've discussed previously.
Verse 65, "Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how." Pilate has had enough of them and their schemes, he uses the word "echete," which may be imperative mood, meaning he isn't leaving room for questions or discussion, because afterward he tells them to "go, make it as secure as you know how." In today's vernacular, "Here’s your guard, do the best you know how to and now get out!"
That's brings us to verse 66, "And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone." They stationed guards near the tomb and the stone that covered the door of the tomb was sealed, meaning they probably put some wax on each side of the tomb, ran some string across the stone and stamped with a Roman imprimatur, so that they would know if anybody tried to get the body out. This plan was was foolproof, so that if the body of Jesus was gone they can say the disciples stole it. Or so the chief priests and Pharisees thought, what didn't think of was the only way He could have gotten out was by resurrection. Once again, God uses their hatred for Jesus for His purposes, to secure that grave  to the extent that now there’s no explanation other than a resurrection. We can see God's providence, His guiding hand, using all the schemes of wicked men to work out every detail. The chief priests and Pharisees tried to prevent a resurrection story, instead, they ended up proving the reality of the resurrection of Jesus! Jesus Christ did indeed rise from the dead and the tomb is empty! Let it be known, no man, or even Satan can stop the power of God. God’s sovereignty and God’s providence work together to fulfill His eternal purposes.
Paul writes in Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." That's a magnificent promise, a great comfort, particularly when whatever is going on in your life doesn’t make sense to know God is controlling everything for your good, and His eternal purpose.
In Closing..
Much of Christianity today is centered on us, on what the Lord can do for us. It should be centered on Jesus Christ, Who He is and what He has already done for us. Because of His sacrificial death on the cross, born-again believers can experience new spiritual life, and God’s promise of salvation and everlasting life. May we rejoice in that confidence. For that alone, He is worthy of our love, adoration, praise and our faithful worship. If you have never received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, make today the day of your salvation.
May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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