The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Monday, October 15, 2018
The Messiah
For many generations, they poured over the ancient scriptures, studying and waiting. Passionately, earnestly they longed for the Messiah. What would He be like? What city would He come from? When would He come? Surely of all people, these highly esteemed leaders of the day would know the holy writings backwards and forwards! Surely, of all people, they would know! The prophesies, the facts were right in front of them! They discussed and debated ... but they didn't get it.

Then came Jesus. God in the flesh. The long-awaited Messiah.

As the scriptures foretold, the Messiah (Jesus, Savior) came to the temple. Finally, He was in their midst! He stood before the people, read a portion of Messianic scripture, then sat back down and proclaimed, "
Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

As foretold, Jesus, the Messiah, preached and taught the truths of God, healed, and brought people back from the dead. He showed many irrefutable proofs of His deity before thousands of witnesses. Still, the "experts" (with individual exception) wouldn't believe it. Jesus didn't fit their image of what the Messiah would be like. In fact, Jesus called them "hypocrites" and said that, unless they turned from sin and believed in Him, they would never see heaven!

The "experts" were wrong. Thinking themselves wise, they became fools. They were blind and lost. Jesus was about healing and salvation and abundant life, but they despised and rejected Him and His words. They hounded Him. Railed at Him. Plotted His death. Killed Him.

They crucified the prophesied, long-awaited One!

But Jesus CAME to die for us.
He also came to RISE again. As foretold, on the third day after He was crucified and buried in a tomb, He arose ALIVE. More irrefutable proof of His deity and power! He proved that HE has the authority over all, including death and the grave. He came to SAVE us, and it is HE who has the authority and power.
After resurrecting He appeared and spoke to hundreds of witnesses over a period of 40 days, teaching them things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.  Then Jesus returned to heaven. Many witnesses stood gazing up, watching Him ascend.
Praise God, He lives forever, beloved and only Savior of all who will believe!  Other religions claim their gods, but only Jesus Christ resurrected Himself from death and is ALIVE.

Heads up! He will one day return. As with His first coming, watch out for erroneous, preconceived notions about it!  Watch out also for those who will claim to speak in Jesus' name but
misrepresent who He is and what He taught.

All for the Gospel 
Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. He led a sinless life.
Sin separates us from God, for God is holy.  One day He will judge sin.
The lost face eternal damnation, but Jesus Christ is hope - the only hope - for the world.
Jesus Christ offers, to all who will accept Him, forgiveness, new life, and eternity in heaven for the repentant who believe on Him.
We are saved by grace through faith in Him, "not of works lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:9).
Evidence of salvation is a changed life.  God commands that because He is holy His people are to be holy.
Holy living means sacrificing worldly lusts and selfish pleasures for a life of obedience and righteousness and walking with Him. 
One that is in Him "becomes a new creation" that stops following sin and starts following Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). 
Only God is perfect and without sin, but He looks at the direction and aim of our hearts - will we remain in our sins, living a life displeasing Him,
or are we willing to sacrifice all to follow and obey Him?