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He Has Risen

If Not For God / Mike Zwick
The Truth Network Radio
April 12, 2023 8:30 am

He Has Risen

If Not For God / Mike Zwick

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April 12, 2023 8:30 am

In today's episode, Mike Zwick and his friend Justin dive into the real meaning of Easter. 


This is Rodney from the Masculine Journey Podcast, where we explored manhood within Jesus Christ. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Sit back, enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and choosing the Truth Podcast Network.

This is the Truth Network. All right, for my YouTube channel, if not for God with Mike Zwick, just like, subscribe, and hit that notification bell, so you'll be alerted when we have our next video. Welcome to If Not For God, stories of hopelessness that turn to hope. Here is your host, Mike Zwick. All right, If Not For God with Mike Zwick. I've got my good friend, Justin Neup, back here again today. If you're listening to this on the radio, tomorrow is Resurrection Sunday. Some people call it Easter, we call it Resurrection Sunday. Is that right, Justin? That's right.

So tell us, what is the reason for that? For calling it Resurrection Sunday? Instead of Easter, yes.

Well, we could go deep into it, but... Go for it, go for it, yeah. Because the word Easter, from my understanding, comes from a false god. So there's a lot of pagan things that are interwoven into Christian holidays and stuff like that. That's another topic, but it doesn't really focus on what the core meaning of that holiday is for, why we celebrate it.

So I would lean towards the reason for the celebration. That is, Christ is risen from the dead, which is extremely important to our Christian faith, and so I think that's what we should focus on. Just focus on Christ, but yeah, we no longer call it Easter, but hey, you're not going to hell if you still call it Easter.

It's not a salvation issue. If you have your Bibles with you today, and I hope you do, go to Isaiah chapter 53, and I've got the NASB version, and it says, Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He has no stately form or majesty that we would look at him, nor an appearance that we would take pleasure in him. He was despised and abandoned by men, a man of great pain and familiar with sickness, and like one from whom people hide their faces, he was despised, and we had no regard for him. However, it was our sicknesses that he himself bore, and our pains that he carried. Yet we ourselves assumed that he had been afflicted, struck down by God and humiliated, but he was pierced for our offenses, he was crushed for our wrongdoings. The punishment for our well-being was laid upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord has caused the wrongdoing of us all to fall on him. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth, like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers. So he did not open his mouth, by oppression and judgment he was taken away, and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off from the land of the living? For the wrongdoing of my people, to whom the blow was due, and his grave was assigned with wicked men, yet he was with a rich man in his death, because he had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in his mouth. But the Lord desired to crush him, causing him grief. If he renders himself as a guilt offering, he will see his offspring, he will prolong his days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in his hand. And Justin, I'm gonna stop right there, because you and I have been kind of looking in to what Jesus went through on the day when he was crucified, because people talk about the crucifixion, and that was horrible, but it was pretty bad before then, is that right?

Yeah, that's right. It was the Roman's way of punishing people and murdering them. So I mean, for us to—it's funny, it's interesting that a lot of times we hang crosses around our neck, we use them as decorations on our church and things like that, but it would be odd for a first century person to put a cross up as a decoration when people knew it was actually used as a torturing device. It would be kind of like us putting an electric chair around our neck or something like that, you know what I'm saying? We would more understand that if you saw somebody walking around with some sort of torture device, but that's because that's what it meant to them, but it has a different meaning for the Christian.

It brings us back to understanding what Jesus did, the price that he was willing to go through in order to set us free from our sin and reconcile us to God. Yeah, you're absolutely right, and you know, we'd seen the movie by Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ, and you had actually sent me a video of a doctor this morning, but they said that when he was brought to Pilate, one of the things that I saw was that they said that he was whipped, and we think of a whip as, oh, he was whipped and whatever, it was bad, but not that bad, but it was actually a cat of nine tails, and that whip had some stuff in it, is that right? Yeah, so sometimes they said they would either put shards of metal or actual chopped bone in that thing, so when it would hit you, it would rip into the flesh, it would cut blood vessels, so not only were you in excruciating pain, but you had open wounds and were bleeding out, basically, and I think if I'm not mistaken, they had a limit on how many times they could actually lash you, because they had determined that so many lashes, and it would actually kill a person, so they would actually go right up to that limit and then stop. That's how bad they wanted to torture you.

They didn't want to kill you, but they wanted to bring you to the point of death and then let you live. Wow, and so that was one of the things that he went through. Just one.

Just one. You know, one of the things that a lot of people, I don't think about, they think about the pain and they think about the torture and the agony, but one of the things that a lot of people don't think about is he was humiliated, is that right? That's right, he was, and a lot of times we have pictures of Jesus on the cross and he's wrapped in a cloth or a linen or some dressing, but we read in the Bible that that was actually taken from him, so he was actually exposed naked on the cross, and I think that encompasses all of what he died to take care of us for. He died to take our shame, and so we run into this all the time. We minister to people and we minister deliverance and things like that to people, and a lot of times people are dealing with heavy, heavy shame that they have not given over to Christ. This actually holds them back from receiving everything Jesus died to give them, not knowing that that was part of what Christ did on the cross, was bring them an opportunity to be free from that shame. Yeah, and so what I heard from the video that you sent me was that the cross that Jesus actually had to carry was over a hundred pounds, and that you think about the wood that we have nowadays that we can carry, it's kind of smooth and they've put a coating over it, so we don't really get a whole lot of splinters or anything like that, but the cross that he would have carried and he was carrying it on his back, it would have been extremely painful, is that right?

Yeah, I remember a funny story. When we bought our recent house, I'm so used to it in my generation, we buy all of our furniture from Ashley Furniture or IKEA or something like that, so it's hollow in the inside. It weighs like two pounds, and my wife had purchased this dining room table, and this is like the first piece of real furniture we've ever owned, so that thing comes in and I go to lift it up and it's like hundreds of pounds, and I'm like, what is this? And so the reality of that is not comparing it to that piece of fake wood that you have in your house, but the things that we see on a train track, these heavy splintered pieces of wood, not only are you realizing, like I said, it's like carrying your own electric chair to your own death, and that's part of the humiliation. Hey, I'm not even going to do this for you, so that's why he actually, the Bible says that he needed help carrying that. There was a man that carried that cross for him. That cross for him, and I had always heard that they put a crown of thorns on his head, and I was thinking, oh, it was just like a little briar or whatever that they kind of place there softly or whatever, but what I've heard is that the thorns were actually about an inch and a half to two inches deep, and they actually sunk into his skull, is that right? Yeah, so they were about an inch to an inch and a half long, so you can imagine when they pushed it on, I'm sure with what we read in the Scriptures, they weren't gently setting it on his head, they were doing it to mock him, right? He professes to be a king, the king of the Jews, let's crown the king of the Jews, and they smash it on his head, and who knows where those thorns pressed into, I'm sure, in the skull. And like the doctor says in the video you're talking about, the skull, the scalp is one of the most vascular places on the body.

It hurts. Have you ever hit your head on something, and you're like, whoa, hit it on the side of the door or doorway or something? You're like, wow, and can you imagine those things just piercing on your head amidst all of the other tortures that he was going through?

Well, and so it was absolutely awful. When he was on the cross, they said that what happens is the nails were actually placed into the place right below his hand, which is still considered part of his hand, but it was right where the nerve is. So the pain would have been excruciating there.

I believe his feet, there was a nail that was placed right at his feet as well, which would have been extremely painful. And so what he did is he would have to lift himself up for air. And so eventually what happens is, is you actually suffocate because you have no more energy to be able to lift yourself up anymore.

That's right. The theologian Jonathan Edwards was actually talking about this. And what he said was that basically what Jesus Christ did on the cross for us and for our sins, it was like we're in a valley and there's a huge dam of water and the water is just let out and all of the water is coming straight towards us and it is about to wash us away and we're going to be completely eaten up by the water and killed.

And then all of a sudden the ground right in front of us opens up and takes all that water in. And so what Jesus Christ did on the cross was he took the pain that we were supposed to suffer. He took the hell that we were supposed to go to and that just by believing in him and trusting in him that we have eternal life.

He did that for us. Is that right? Yeah, that's right. And that's the power of the resurrection is the reason we celebrate. And I think there's reason that it's important to celebrate stuff like this is because we forget we as human beings are quick to learn something. We read it in the Bible, we learn about it.

We've heard it so many times that it just becomes normal, right? But there are things like, like, uh, like things that Jesus institutes, like communion to say, hey, bring, I want you to bring, uh, bring yourself back to what I did when I go. I don't want you ever to forget the gospel. I don't want you to ever forget this new covenant that you've been invited into. So I think it's important for us to go through these details and to really think about what he went through for us so that we have a proper perspective on why we should give everything for him.

Yes, yes. There was a, uh, there was a movie that we just watched on Count Zinzendorf and I don't know if you've seen it, but, uh, there was a hundred year prayer revival. I know Todd saw it. And, uh, one of the things that they said in that prayer revival is that when he, when counts Zinzendorf really first became a Christian, he saw a picture of Christ who was crucified on the cross and he was being crucified. And he felt the Lord speak to him in his spirit. He said this, I have done for you. What will you do for me? And, uh, you know, when we think about the, the, the price that he paid, it really makes me grateful.

How about you? Yeah, absolutely. And a lot of people, it's funny because we catch a lot of slack because we, we preach that, like, do something with what you've been given and people will say, well, that's workspace. You're earning your relationship with God. And I'm like, no, this is, this is past the point of surrender, right? This is, this is works from faith, not works unto salvation.

You understand? And so Jesus preaches that way in the Bible. He says things like, if you love me, you'll obey me, right? Even in the book of Acts, I believe it's chapter four or five. It says he who gave the Holy Spirit to those who obey him. So obedience is not what, what, what brings us into relationship with God in the sense of we're earning that gift of salvation, but it's the proper response to somebody who has a genuine transformation inside. And so we can look at the fruit of that and say, man, if nothing's really changed, if this person really doesn't want to do anything for Jesus, then I would have to question if they've truly experienced the transformation that Christ brings through what he does, what he did on the cross.

Yeah. And so one of the, whether you're a Christian or whether you're secular, a psychologist, psychiatrist will say the same thing. One of the, uh, greatest emotions that we can have as human beings is gratitude. And so when we think about what happened, uh, this resurrection Sunday, yes, the resurrection is awesome. Uh, but first I did want to talk about what he actually went through. And when we think about that, it makes it a little bit tough. It makes it a little bit easier to have to go through some of the persecution or some of the tough times that we go through as well. Um, but you know, we were talking about this this morning on the way through that you said that even atheists now will say, okay, yeah, we may not believe that Jesus is the son of God, but they will at least say that he did live. Is that right?

Absolutely. You can look, you can look up, you know, Lee Strobel or any of the leading apologists that, um, had to do a much better job at explaining the, the, the ways that these things can be proven. And the funny thing is a lot of them, guess what? Were atheists when they decided to study this stuff out. So they began writing books or researching for books or studying on how to disprove Christianity through things that they thought would be easy. Like, did Jesus really live? Did Jesus really die? Did he really rise from the dead? And come to find out there are even secular and atheist scholars that would not deny that Jesus was a real person, that he lived, he breathed, he moved, he lived in the place that the Bible says he did, he died by crucifixion. And even, uh, you know, then we can go into talking about the, the resurrection and the proof of him rising from the dead. You know, it's funny, a lot of people will take their textbooks and they'll just completely believe them. You can read about Plato or Socrates and stuff like that, but the evidence that we have surrounding the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is, is, is enormous, but people deny that.

And I think the reason that they deny even what secular scholars would affirm is because if, if we have to start playing with the idea that Jesus is real, then we have to start working with the idea of, of, of maybe what he said, what he claimed to be was true. And now that that has some really serious implications on my life and how I live my life. That's right.

Yeah. We, uh, Todd and I were watching a quick video by JD Greer last night and he, and he kind of said the same thing that you're saying right now. What he said was that it's not that people don't, you know, it's not that it's not that the evidence doesn't lead people to Christ and the truth of the gospel, but it's that if you don't want something to be true, you're going to find reasons that are going to try to support what you don't want to be true. And he says, you know, Jesus put it this way. He says, uh, the reason that the world hates me is because I testify that it's works are evil. And so in order for anybody to come to Christ, uh, they first must realize that they are sinful. You know, one of the greatest lies that the devil and that the world will teach people nowadays and throughout history is that somehow we're good people. And you, and you hear people say that, you know, well, how are you going to get to heaven? And what they will say is that hopefully my good works will outweigh my bad works.

And that somehow maybe that that way I'll get in it. Is that what scripture teaches? Not the Bible I've read. Maybe, maybe, I don't know if you guys have a different version that says that, but I've done, actually spoke on this topic in previous, uh, videos that I did.

And you know what? It's, it's, we can laugh about it, but it's really the, it's, it's a, it's a horrible, horrible lie that is plaguing our culture. This idea that we can just live however we want, and then we get before the gates of heaven, and we've got some kind of scale that we present our good and bad works on. And it's, it's the lie of the devil because what it does is it teaches people that they can, they can rely on their own actions in order to basically purchase their own salvation, which is not what the Bible teaches in the first place. But number two, even if that were the case, Jesus says, no man is good, right? But God, right.

And so what makes, and on top of that, what makes you think your good works do outweigh your bad, right? Um, if you begin to look at it because of Jesus's measure, right? If you're, you're like, yeah, have you ever seen, uh, Ray Comfort? Yeah, he's the one I think of, right? Yeah. And so, you know, he'll bring out the scales and all of a sudden people they're like, wait a minute, I'm not as good as that. Have you ever lied?

You know, have you ever had an adulterous thought, you know, lusted, took the Lord's name in vain and how are you doing on judgment day? You know? And so I think rephrasing people, sometimes people need the law. They need the measurement stick, uh, before they realize that maybe my good doesn't outweigh my bad.

And now I have to start looking at other options because it's not looking good. Yeah. Because if our good somehow outweighed our bad and that's how we would get to heaven, what would be the purpose of Jesus dying on the cross? That's right.

That's right. Well, it's a self seeking religion. People have costs. So it's all about me. Uh, you know, Jesus died for nothing. Basically if I'm depending on my own good works, but do you know what a lot of people do is they, they, they think about heaven as a destination instead of a person. Heaven means nothing. If God is not there, heaven means nothing. If the presence of Jesus is not there, we're not after a place. We're after a person. It is what it is.

And it's called what it is because the presence of the person that we trust in that we want to be with for eternity is in that place. Yes. Yes. So we're going after a person. We need to change the gospel from a destination gospel to a person gospel. I'm after Jesus. I'm getting as close as I can to him now because that's who I want to spend eternity with later. And when you start to think about it like that, all of a sudden you have to start, uh, understanding your theology a little bit different on how you go about getting there. Absolutely.

Amen. Uh, first Corinthians chapter 15. Um, and if you can just go to verse, start in verse 54, uh, in the, and I'm looking at the ESV this time, but if you have another version, that's fine. And it says when the perishable puts on the imperishable and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written death is swallowed up and victory. Oh death. Where is your victory? Oh death.

Where is your sting? The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is in the law, but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. And when I think about that, and when I look at that, uh, many scholars have said, Justin, that if, if somebody could disprove the resurrection of Christ, then it would pretty much disprove Christianity. Uh, but when Lee Strobel looked at this, the resurrection was what pointed him to the fact that Jesus Christ is the truth.

He is the way and he is the life. Uh, what can you tell us about the resurrection? Well, I do want to say too, on that note, before we get into that earlier in that scripture, I love first Corinthians 15 is one of my favorite chapters in scripture because it presents the gospel clear. And then it talks about the importance of the resurrection and it says, but if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. So if we, if we have no resurrection, we've got what every other religion has. That is some sort of religious figure that came up and started preaching their message, but ended up in the grave and now they're dead and gone.

Right. But Jesus we know is not in the grave. And so speaking of talking about the proof of the resurrection, we've got all of these instances in scripture that would make absolutely no sense if they were trying to make this up as a story or prove something that really didn't happen. Number one, we talked about this before, who were the first, was it male or females that were the first witnesses to the resurrected Jesus? It was females. It was females, which if you do study would be ridiculous for them to use a female's testimony in a first century, you know, Roman or Jewish world because they, the women didn't, they didn't have a lot of weight when it came to testifying and stuff like that. The second thing is, is then immediately the story began to circulate that the body was stolen.

Well, guess what that confirms? The grave was empty. The grave was empty. They wouldn't have to make up a story if the grave wasn't empty.

They could have said, there he is. Right. And here's the thing. The grave was sealed.

Correct. They sealed the grave. They put two of the biggest soldiers there. And I think even the soldiers said, Hey, that an angel came to them. They were not, did they know that it was an angel that had knocked them out or no?

I don't, I don't, I don't think so. I'm not sure if they knew or not. You'll knock them out, which would have been almost impossible or whatever. Right. Right. But the, but anybody, even the, even the, the Jewish, even the people who were not believers, they came to these soldiers and they said, you tell the leaders that the disciples came away and stole his body. That's right. So it's almost goes back to the fact that maybe they knew this was true, but they didn't want it to be true.

It's crazy to me, man. Yeah. Because then you have this story that begins circulating that people are willing to give up their entire life for, and eventually are killed for the message that they're preaching. Not only that, but we have over 500 witnesses of this time. Now we've got it.

We've got to think about this. If, if they were making up a story during that time, all these people that were there in that generation were alive when Jesus lived. So if they're making all of this up, then it could have just been shot down right there.

Right. But it wasn't, it was a message that they went out with and they were willing to take it to the end of their lives. And even Lee Strobel talks about this. If you look back, there's early creeds that, that come all the way as close to the generation that Jesus was alive that speak about his resurrection.

So this was something that was immediately being circulated. There are immediately witnesses to his resurrected body and all of these testimonies, these eyewitness testimonies, that not only did they see Jesus die, but they saw him alive and walking around in his glorified body. In his glorified body, the evidence is there. He, he died. He was buried. He rose from the grave, just like he said he would, and he's coming back again.

And I'm looking forward to seeing him when he does come back. But Justin, when, when Jesus died on the cross for us, when, when he gave up, gave up everything for us, and it says that by his wounds, we are healed. It also gives us the power to, to, to believe in him and have eternal life, number one. But you said that part of the gospel is actually gives us the power to pray for the sick, see them healed and also deliverance, right?

Yeah. The Greek word for salvation is soteria, right? And the verb for it would be sozo, which if you look it up, means saved, healed, delivered, set free, made whole. It encompasses all of the things that Jesus died to provide for us, right? We're not expecting to have perfection on this side of the, in this side of heaven, because we still have these earthly bodies. We still live in a sinful world. But I think a lot of Christians, a lot of churches, are missing out on certain aspects that Jesus died to give us. That is the power and the authority to go out and not just preach the message with words, but like Paul says, a demonstration of power, right?

The gospel is not just words, but it comes in power, and that's what he said. I don't want you to rely on my wisdom or man-made wisdom. I want you to rely on the power of God and see that.

And so we see that happen on a regular basis. You start to believe, Mark 16 says, these signs will follow special apostles, you know, pastors, leaders. No, these signs shall follow those who believe. So if you're a believer, you have access to these things that are not for your glory, but they're to be signs that point to the king, right? And the last thing I'll say about that is, is these are signs that point to the eternal kingdom that we want to enter into, because there will be no sickness in heaven. Therefore, you can heal a sick now. There will be no bondage in heaven. Therefore, you can cast out demons now, and there will be no death in heaven. So that's why Jesus went around raising the dead, which I believe we can still do today. And it does happen today. There was actually a guy who just came to Amp Church over in Burlington, North Carolina, David something. David Hogan. And his ministry, they've raised over 500 people from the dead.

That's right. Friends, the evidence is there. Jesus is real. If you've never said yes to Jesus, if you've never given your life to Jesus, I want you to cry out to the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, ask him to forgive you right now of your sins. Ask him to give you salvation. I want you to surrender your complete life to him. And I pray that you do this right now in Jesus' name. Amen.

And Justin, thanks a lot for coming back on today. You can check out his channel Unshakeable Kingdom on YouTube. He's got 200,000 followers almost on Facebook. I think 350,000 followers total now.

So he's blowing up. People are excited to see the signs and the wonders, because they want to know that Jesus is real. Anna over here married to Todd. She said that she had an experience with God. She had always wanted to see it, but she had a burning bush experience. You had an experience where God spoke to you in your heart, gave you a Bible verse, and then you had never cracked open a Bible in your life. And I had had an experience where I had a folder and I asked the Lord to show me something with one sheet of paper in that folder. I opened it up.

There were two sheets. I closed it again and I said, Lord, show me again. I opened it up and there were three sheets of paper and Jesus is revealing himself to people today. Jesus is Lord. God bless you and thanks for listening.

Have a very happy Resurrection Sunday, if not for God. All right. For my YouTube channel, if not for God with Mike Zwick, just like, subscribe and hit that notification bell. So you'll be alerted when we have our next video. Thank you. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-12 10:24:14 / 2023-04-12 10:36:36 / 12

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