Rejoice! Christ is Risen!

From the Garden Tomb

Christ is risen, and Christ will come again! Thus, with these words, amidst the crazy things going on in the world, we followers of our Lord Jesus Christ have all the reasons to have hope and to rejoice!  

In Matthew 28, the Apostle Matthew wrote the account of the resurrection of Jesus:

Mary Magdalene and other women came to the tomb and found the tomb empty. An angel spoke to them and said, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” (Matthew 28:5-10)


Rejoice! Rejoice, rejoice!

For the Lord is risen

He is risen indeed!

Death has no more dominion

Death and sin have lost its power

Because the Lord has overcome.


People of God rejoice!

The battle has been won!

Christ has won the victor’s crown.

Rejoice for the Lord has overcome!

Rejoice for the Lord is risen,

He has risen indeed!

Rejoice for the battle has been won.


For Christ is coming back soon!


For the Lord will be here soon!

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The Empty and Resurrection Power

 He is not here, but is risen!

Luke 24:6

From the previous post, we shared the account of the execution and death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.

From the Gospel of Luke:

Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. 51 He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. 54 That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.

55 And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

Luke 23:50-56

Continuing with the story, the author of the Gospel Luke wrote:

Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ”

Even though these events of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ happened almost two thousand years ago, these are true accounts and still relevant to us. The story of Jesus, His life, death and resurrection happened in a real place in a real time.

About two years ago, in January 2020, the Lord blessed David and me to travel and visit the Holy Land. It was an awesome experience to be in the actual where all these events happened.

One of the Bible sites we visited in Jerusalem is a place called the Garden Tomb. This is another site many Christian groups believe to be the traditional site where Jesus was buried. Adjacent to the park is a hill that looks more like the description of Golgotha. In the Gospels, it says, “And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.”(John 19:17-18)

Golgotha, Jerusalem

Inside the park was a nicely landscaped garden of beautiful and colorful plants, flowers, and trees. I enjoyed the peaceful, serene atmosphere, and it was not too crowded. In another corner of the Garden was the Tomb which was cut from a rocky hill. Inside the tomb were two chambers with an iron fence between. The inner chamber is the main tomb in which the body of Jesus was laid to rest after He was crucified. The tomb was believed to be owned by Joseph of Arimathea.

The Garden Tomb, Jerusalem

Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid” (John 19:38-42).

As I entered the empty tomb, it was an awesome experience seeing and touching with my bare hands the rough and cold stone where my Lord Jesus was laid some two thousand years ago. I’m at a loss for words; it was truly an indescribable experience. It was a surreal moment to be right there at the spot where Christ arose from the dead – a foundation of my faith, the Christian faith, the empty tomb. As the apostle Paul says,

The Empty Tomb

“And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!But now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”            (I Corinthians 15:17, 20)

For many years I have read the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, but to see, touch, and feel the actual place where those events happened made my faith more real. I became more certain that those stories were not just fairy tales, legends, or myths. They were true accounts of the death and resurrection of my Lord Jesus Christ. He died on the cross because of His great love for you and me. And when Jesus died, He did not stay on the cross. He did not stay in the tomb; Jesus rose again and is now sitting at the right hand of God the Father in heaven interceding for us.

Therefore, He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

Again, the Apostle Paul said, But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11)

Christ is risen, and Christ will come again! Thus, with these words, amidst the crazy things going on in the world, we followers of our Lord Jesus Christ have all the reasons to have hope and to rejoice! 

All Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version, NKJV.

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Via Dolorosa (The Road to Suffering)

Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem

Today, on Good Friday, we remember the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross as a sin offering for all people of the world.

A street on Jerusalem, part of the road to suffering.

Here is the account of the road to suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ in Jerusalem which happened about 2000 years ago from the Gospel of Luke chapter 23

Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. 21 But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.

And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. 28 But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.

Station of the Cross, Via Dolorosa.

There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. 33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”

The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”

38 And an inscription also was [i]written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:


Station 12- Jesus on the Cross

Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”

40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last.

47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!” (Luke 23)

(Thank the Lord this is not the end of the story, to be continued)

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The King is coming, are you ready?

(The Triumphant Entry)

Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Reading: Luke 19:28-40

v.38 Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

// “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah 9:9

Jesus started His journey from Capernaum to Jerusalem. After 3 years of teaching, preaching, healing sick people, and other miraculous acts of kindness in different parts of Israel, He was ready to go to the city of Jerusalem. He made some stops along the way in different cities like Jericho and Samaria, ministering to the people. He healed some blind people in Jericho and touched the family of Zacchaeus (Luke 19). However, Jesus was still focused on His final destination, Jerusalem, even though He made some stops and detours. Just before heading to Jerusalem, Jesus told His disciples the events that would take place there, His death on the cross and resurrection (Luke 18:31-33). Jesus knew what would take place in Jerusalem, His suffering on the cross, but He was determined to fulfill the call of God in His life.

When Jesus entered Jerusalem with His disciples, He instructed them to get a certain colt that nobody had ridden (Luke 19:29-34).

The disciples brought Him a colt, and Jesus rode on it as he entered Jerusalem.

And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.

Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen,saying:

‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:37-38)

The followers of Jesus believed He was their long-awaited Messiah, the Savior. So, they praised and worshiped Him. Jesus also fulfilled the words of the Prophet Zechariah which were written several hundred years earlier:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,  A colt, the foal of a donkey.”  (Zechariah 9:9)

In ancient history, when a king was inaugurated as the ruler of a land, they rode a mule or a colt and were paraded around the city. When Solomon was proclaimed king in Israel after his father David, it was written:

“…Solomon ride on King David’s mule, and took him to Gihon….And they blew the horn, and all the people said,  “Long live King Solomon!” (I Kings 1:38-40)

In fulfilling the words of God through Zechariah, Jesus made it public that He was the Messiah, the Savior and coming King. With this gesture, He gave opportunity for the people of Israel, especially the religious leaders (Pharisees, Scribes, Priests, Elders, etc.), to recognize Him as their Messiah. Sad to say, some religious people did not recognize Jesus:

And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’”     (Luke 19:39)

However, some of His followers believed and praised Jesus as their Messiah, the promised King from the line of King David. They may not have fully understood its full meaning; some of them thought Jesus would be their king to overthrow the Romans and the puppet King Herod.

But the mission and purpose of Jesus from the beginning was to seek and save the lost, to deliver people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).


Jesus was and is indeed the King of Israel, if only they would allow Him to reign in their hearts. Jesus is indeed the Savior, King, and Lord for all people of every nation. The King is coming. Are you ready?  Is Jesus King and Lord of your life?

If you open your heart to Him, He wants to be your Savior and Lord, too. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Someday Jesus will come again here on earth and establish His kingdom. Jesus will come again to bring final justice on earth. Jesus will come again to execute justice and vengeance for the oppressed.

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war….

And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:


(Revelation 19:11-16)

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, You are my King, the King of kings and Lord of lords! I praise and thank you for your words. Thank you that you came to seek and save the lost. Thank you that you are coming back to establish Your kingdom. Judge of the earth, ruler of all nations, please come. Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Come, Lord Jesus, come!

All Scripture quotations are from the New King James Version (NKJV)


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Jesus prays for you!

Photo of a mural of Jesus praying in Gethsemane – Basilica of Agony, Jerusalem

Do you know that when you pray to Jesus, He also prays for you?

As a follower of Jesus, I pray to Him most of the time. I also ask others to pray for me. But today, in my study of Luke chapter 22, I learned that Jesus also prays for me. Here’s the story. For the past few months, I’ve been reading and studying the Gospel of Luke. My reading today was Luke 22:24-38. This is where Jesus is having the last supper with His disciples before the Passover Holiday. Passover is one of the most important religious holidays for the people of Israel as they commemorate the time when God freed them from Egyptian bondage. (See Exodus 12.)

During dinner, the disciples had a dispute about who was the greatest (Luke 22:24-27).  Jesus washed the disciples’ feet to show them that to be great means to serve (John 13:3-10). Since this was the last supper before the crucifixion of Jesus, He spent good quality time with His disciples. He loved them and encouraged them to be prepared for the time when He would not be with them physically. Jesus saved the last, but the best, teachings for His beloved disciples. The apostle John shares more details on the words of Jesus during that last supper in John 13-17.  Take note that these last teachings of Jesus were not given to the crowds but were reserved for His 12 disciples only. However, I believe these words are specifically for the followers of Jesus – both then and now – including us. Yes, you and me!

Then Jesus broke some bad news to Simon: “And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.” (Luke 22: 31)

Simon may have looked to the left, to the right, and at his back. Using my sanctified imagination, perhaps he said, “Me? Are you talking to me, Lord?”

“But he (Simon) said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” (Luke 22:33)

But then Jesus gave Simon some good news: “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22: 32)

Most of us know the rest of the story:

 Then He (Jesus) said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.” (v.34)

In this study, however, I’m not focusing on the failure and weakness of Peter. We all know that Peter denied Jesus – a big smashing failure! But again, my focus here is not on the humanity and failure of Peter, but on the love and care of Jesus for His followers.

Remember that Jesus assured and encouraged Peter: “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail…”

Jesus loved Peter, despite his weakness, and prayed for Him. But not just for Peter – Jesus prayed for all His followers. At the ‘last supper,’ the apostle John recorded these words, the prayer of Jesus for His disciples:  

-I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.  (John 17:9)

–  Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.  (John 17:11)

– I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.  (John 17: 15)

-Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.  (John 17:17)

Again, these prayers are for the followers of Jesus. He is praying for us! The writer of Hebrews also says:

“Therefore, He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)

And even the Holy Spirit prays for us! The apostle Paul said:

“Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26)

Jude, another follower of Jesus, said:

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless. Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy…” (Jude 24)


I don’t know about you, but I’m very encouraged by these words.  Jesus is praying and always interceding for His followers.  Jesus is praying for me!  No matter what the adversary and the evil ones do against the followers of Jesus, He has already covered us, just like He did for Simon Peter.  No matter what happens, Jesus has hold of me, so there is no need for worry or fear.  While we often think that we only pray to Jesus, Jesus is praying for us – with the full backup of the Holy Spirit and the love of our Father God.


Oh Lord Jesus, thank you for Your words and truth. Thank you for praying for me, interceding for me, holding me tight, and keeping me from falling. I love you Lord! Thank you for this assurance, that You won’t allow me to be given over to the adversary. Thank You, Jesus, for keeping me in the palm of your hand.  Thank you for praying for me.

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