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He Chose the Nails

By Pastor Alex Ruelo

The decisions you make are like melodies you play on an instrument. You choose the songs that you play. You can play sad music; but you can actually play songs that are victorious - happy melodies that remind you that more than 2000 years ago, Jesus rose from the dead. You do not have to wallow in the dark valleys. Choose the music you play.

When Jesus was with His disciples during the end of His ministry, insinuating to them that He has to die to fulfill His purpose, what do you think was running through their heads? If you were in their shoes and you know you left everything just to follow Him, how would you feel if you see your leader being arrested and tortured and finally nailed to the cross? Three years ago, when they left their families and jobs to follow Jesus, they were so sure that He is the Messiah, their Savior. But why could He not save Himself? Was He really God? Did God forsake them? Most of the time, they heard Jesus but they did not feel it.

One week before Jesus was nailed to the cross, He rode into Jerusalem as people welcomed Him shouting “Messiah” and laid down their robes for Him. But those same people were also the ones who spit at Him, kicked Him, and shouted, “Crucify Him!”

John 19:28-30 says, “Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” During that time, most of His disciples were not there. Only John was present. The people He healed were watching Him, asking themselves, “Is He really the Messiah?” If you were a faithful follower of Jesus at that time, will your faith falter too? No wonder Peter denied Him three times; no wonder Judas sold Him for 30 pieces of silver. Have you seen how people disappear in the middle of an adversity? That is probably how all of them felt about Jesus. They did not want to get involved.

How important is Resurrection Sunday? How important is it that the tomb is empty? It is the most important part of this event. When Jesus died, His body was given to Joseph of Arimathea who was a very rich person during that time. Jesus was buried in a tomb for the rich. If you will remember, the stone covering the tomb could not be moved by a single person, which means that it was a huge stone. 1 Corinthians 15:12a. 3-4 says, “Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the good news I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this good news that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you… I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the scriptures said. He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the scriptures said.” The first good news is that Christ died for your sins. The second best news is that He raised from the dead on the third day. If He did not rise from the dead, there will be a huge problem. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14 says, “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” The cloth is very important; it is a gift to humanity. If Jesus did not live again, your faith is useless.

You can preach the truth because Jesus rose from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:15 says, “More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.” All would be lies without the resurrection. Do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead? If you do, then spread the gospel.

You are no longer guilty of your sins because Jesus rose from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:17 says, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” Jesus was sacrificed so your sins can be forgiven. No more sacrifices are needed. He was pierced from His side and blood came out of the wound. The blood symbolizes that your sins have been washed away. The conditions to salvation is repentance and faith. Salvation is free but you need to repent. If you ask for forgiveness, then you are no longer guilty of your sins because Jesus paid for all of them.

You are a winner because Jesus died for your sins. He chose the nails so you can be victorious. Many people live a life of pity. They sing sad songs everyday and wallow in despair. 1 Corinthians 15:18-19n says, “Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” During that time, the people in the Corinthian church were at the hem of society. They were the ones to be pitied. But because Jesus rose from the dead, everybody is a winner. Life on earth is just a journey. You may live up to a century but you will spend your life in eternity.

There is a new life promised for you because Jesus rose from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” You are a triune being, composed of body, soul and spirit. Before you received Jesus, your soul is dead. But when you accepted Him into your life, your spirit became alive and was restored to Christ. Your corrupted soul is slowly being sanctified. God is in the process of fixing you.

The enemy is defeated because Jesus rose from the dead. The battle was won more than 2000 years ago. When Jesus was arrested and eventually nailed to the cross, the devil was so happy. They did not understand what was going to happen next. 1 Corinthians 15:24-25 says, “Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” After three days, they became bound to hell. They continue to look for allies on earth and they are persistent in destroying the work of God. Do not fall prey to their lies. You are already victorious.

The enemy is defeated; but if you allow the enemy to get a hold of you, there is a chance you will fall. Do not allow the enemy to win. Follow the footsteps of John. When all the followers of Jesus have turned their backs, denying Him and selling Him for silver, stay. When things are getting difficult day by day, JOhn 20:5 says, “He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.” Everybody ran but he stayed. When things in your life get tough, stay. JOhn was obedient to the calling and the words of Jesus. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” If you sin, do not run away from Jesus because He is faithful to forgive you.

Jesus was battered and broken and killed for your sins. If He did not turn away from all of that and even allowed it, then He will be with you in everything that you go through. He will never leave you. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” He wants to be involved in all you are going through. He does not want to be left out of anything in your life. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 says, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” Play the music of victory. That is His promise. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” God causes your addiction to work together for the good. God causes your sickness to work together for the good. God causes your pain to work together for the good. Everything works together for the good of those who love Him.

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