We are approaching the time of year when we celebrate the event that is at the heart of our Christian faith. Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, Christianity would be less than a run-of-the-mill religion.

Our Savior, Founder, and Sustainer of Christianity is not a dead leader. He is, instead, actively involved in every aspect of Christianity. He is alive eternally, and because he conquered death, we too will have life everlasting.

Our Eternal Life is not just eternal as to duration, but Eternal in quality. The real quality of eternal (without beginning or end) is only possessed by the Godhead. Life Eternal is an inseparable aspect of God's essence.

If Jesus Christ, who is God the Son, the fullness of the Godhead bodily, had not become a human, yet without diminished deity, and had not made a full payment for the sins of the world on the Cross, and rose triumphant over death and the grave, you and I could look forward only to eternal torment in the Lake of Fire.

But Christ did make sin's payment, and conquered death.

There were circumstances that brought about the need for such a payment and conquest. The beginning of the human race reveals many of those circumstances. God fashioned the body of the first human from the elements of this earth (the dust). God breathed, or put His breath in that body and man became a living soul. Through that creative act, God made mankind in the likeness, or shadow image of Himself.

That first human had within him the spiritual source or likeness of God so he could live like God in holiness. Adam, as he was called, was the first human and the rootstock of all who would follow. All who would be procreated from the line of Adam would have the nature of Adam. Those to follow would not necessarily express that nature as Adam did in every area of living. Their personalities would each be different, but the nature or the source of life and living would all be the same.

This account is well known to most. God took from that first human and made another in likeness or image of Adam. This newer creation, called woman, was taken from within Adam (not the dust), and she was a help comparable to Adam.

The account is far more complicated than this short thumb-nail sketch. Those details are for another time, but for this time, we need the basic concepts to understand the events and purpose surrounding the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Godhead.

Those who have availed themselves of the teaching of the past months and years will have expanded understanding of the these events by drawing on that previous information. Those who have not had the opportunity of these studies or retained the background material will miss a great deal. For that I am sorry, but even if you have very little background information, these accounts can do no less than thrill your spiritual soul.

Through and because of the breath of God given to mankind in the original creation, the soul or immaterial aspect of each human has everlasting existence. Everlasting existence is different from Eternal Life. Everlasting existence speaks only of the duration. Eternal Life, on the other hand, has reference to the quality and/or source of life, God's life.

Three Sources of Living

Mankind, fresh from the hand of God, had three sources of living, or three different types of life. Each of these had to be in perfect harmony with the others, yet distinct in their function. We learn these facts not from the definition, but by their use in context given by the Holy Spirit throughout the Scriptures.

Over time we have studied all of these aspects. That information will illuminate and give greater meaning to the events of our next two lessons.

Genesis 2:7-9 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 8 The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 2:15-17 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
Genesis 2:21-24 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

God's made these first humans free of imperfection in any aspect. He also provided all they needed to keep every aspect of their existence in that original state. Remember, mankind was made in the shadow image of God.

God in His essence is sovereign or has the right of choice. Also, He is love, as well as many other aspects that we don't have time to mention. The shadow of God's essence is seen in the soul of mankind.

Genesis 1:27-29 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 29 And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.

God gave mankind the right of choice or volition, and emotion or the ability to love. God in His essence has the right of ultimate choice. Mankind, however, has the right of limited choice within the realm given to them for domination by God. The area of human domination was the earth, and everything on it. In Genesis 1:29 the scope of man's food supply is described. By the way, the scope of the food supply was increased after the flood.


Look again at the scope of the food supply. It was, basically everything that grows from the earth. That included the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Certainly, those first two humans had the right to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

That was their right of choice from the volition of their God given soul. However, the shadow image of God was not just a matter of rights. There was also that matter of love, or emotion. For mankind to demonstrate their love, there had to be the choice or possibility of not loving.

The expression of love has to do with more than personal rights, needs, etc. When that same emotion involved in proper love is turned inward to the wants or desires of self to the exclusion of others, then that emotion is called lust.

1 John 5:2-3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

Love Demonstrated

Yes, those first humans had their rights. However, God also provided, in that first Garden, all that was needed for them to express and exercise their love. We can talk about, sing about or write about love, But we know that we love when we keep His commandments.

How we demonstrate or talk about our love may be just hot air. Some, who admit that they are not Christians, sing, write and talk about God's love. That does not mean that they are living in and by God's Love.

The real test of love is in the keeping of what God commanded, not singing or talking about what God commanded. When we are keeping God's commands, then our singing, talking and writing, etc. will have real meaning not just words and emotions. In that Garden was all that mankind needed, including what he needed to properly express his love to and for his Creator.

Genesis 2:15-17 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

God gave them a commandment. He did not force them to keep the commandment. He also gave them information concerning what would happen if they disobeyed the command.

In spite of the dire consequences of improper love, God, in justice, respected their volition or right of choice. The Holy Spirit through Paul gives us more insight into the reasons for those (or any) wrong choices, and the consequences of those wrong volitional choices. When we understand even a little about the consequences, then we begin to understand just a little of the why God had to become a man, die and rise again in newness of life. The reason those first two made the wrong choice, and the reason we continue to make wrong choices is found in Romans 2:8 and many other Scriptures.

Romans 2:8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

Here is the twofold reason for improper or immoral choices:

Sure enough, those are the same two major aspects of Satan's essence. Isn't it amazing how these truths keep popping up all through the Scriptures? No, the Author of the Scriptures, the Holy spirit, is very consistent in His Truth giving, and that truth is progressive and accumulative.

I'm sure you remember the last lesson. Even if you weren't here, I'm sure you have read the printout by now, haven't you? At least you've checked out the lesson on the web, right? Well, if you haven't, it would an enlightening experience to do so. At least, it would shed a great deal of light on this subject.

About the subject of the last lesson. Yes, if you were here, or if you have read the lesson, or if you ever read the lesson., I prepared it especially with you in mind, and tailored it fit your life style. Very seldom have I had so many say that they were sure I was aiming directly at them with a lesson. There was a couple that was sure the lesson was given especially for someone else, and they knew who. That all sounds good! It must have been just what we needed, and aimed right where we're living.

All that aside, these first two humans chose to place self before God, and to place their own reasoning above God's direct command. Therefore, they chose self-pride or lust over obedience or love.

Bye Bye Freedom, Hello Slavery

Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?

You don't have to be a down-'n-out sinner to be a slave of Satan. All you have to do is not present yourself to God. We are by birth born into slavery to Satan. Therefore, if we are not presenting ourselves to God, we are by nature presenting ourselves to Satan. This is a truth for Believers, because non-believers can't present themselves to God. Only those in Christ can present themselves to God.

As soon as that first couple obeyed Satan and their own reasoning, they lost their freedom and became slaves to Satan. Because of that slavery, all that belonged to the slaves became the property of the slave-owner. Among other things that Satan received in the slave transaction was the world, and all that's on it. As you recall, the earth and all on it was given, by God, to mankind's domination, right after they were created.

Before any descendants were born to that first couple, Adam rejected the spiritual life that God had provided for them so they could continue to live like God. They chose, instead, to follow the instructions or commandments of Satan in an effort to be like God.

And Death Followed

What a situation. Adam and his wife became slaves of Satan. Satan then (and still does) possessed all that they had, the earth, and all future procreation by them, or their descendants will be born into this same slavery of Satan. Adding to their dilemma, was the fact of God's command, "In the day that you eat thereof, you will surely die (literally -- dying you shall die)."

Remember that mankind, fresh from the hand of God, had three sources of living, or three different types of life. Each of these had to be in perfect harmony with the others, yet distinct in their function.

Because of the sin of disobedience, mankind became a mortal physically.

mortal (Webster)
subject to death; destined to die.

Humans are referred to as mortals, because all are in the process of dying, some sooner and some later, But all will die.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Sometimes people ask me how I'm doing. I sometimes respond with, "Quite well, for a person who has that fatal disease called life." Mankind not only died physically, the soul was cut off from its only source of godliness, God and God's Word. Ultimately, that soul will spend all of eternity in the Lake of Fire, called the second death.

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die.

Mankind, also, died spiritually. They were "dead in trespasses and sins".

Ephesians 2:1-2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,

Mankind, in a very short time, made a mess of themselves and all they possessed. They lost their option of eating from the Tree of Life and living forever. Now they have a terminal physical life span.

They died spiritually (separated from their source of spiritual life), and ultimately would spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. Without the restoring qualities of the words of, and fellowship with God, their minds and hearts could only be occupied with wickedness and became totally corrupt. All this, plus all they had, including their own lives, were mortgaged or in slavery to Satan.

Tennessee Ernie Ford used to sing of a miner who after mining 16 tons of coal was deeper in debt than before he started. As a result he owed his soul to the company store. That plight, many times over, was the picture of mankind and this world as a result of self-pride and truthlessness by the parents of the human race.

To bring things and the human race into reconciliation to God and godliness would require:

All of that and more was being put into motion by God at this season we call Easter, as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt of donkey that first Palm Sunday. To have properly laid the foundation for this great event and the ones to follow, would have taken months and months, but I trust that this very brief overview will lend some spiritual light to a seemingly physical transaction.

John 12:12-14 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: "Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' The King of Israel!" 14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:
Luke 19:36-37 And as He went, they spread their clothes on the road. 37 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,
Mark 11:9 Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: "Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'

Christ's birth as a hypostatic union of humanity and divinity, was a necessity. I trust some of the information from our study on the hypostatic union of Christ can be drawn from your memory and applied at this time.

About 30 years before Christ's entry into Jerusalem on that Palm Sunday, a Roman governor took a count of the lambs slain in Jerusalem for the Passover, and found that the number was right at a quarter of a million. It was a Jewish regulation that there be a party of 10+/- for each Passover lamb. If the regulation was being followed that means that there could have been close to 2,500,000 people in and around Jerusalem at the Passover. The Law required that every adult Jewish male within a radius of 20 miles around Jerusalem come to the city for the Passover. Whatever the head count really was, it matters not. There were a lot of people in and around the city from all parts of the known world. It was an ideal time to announce His Messiahship.

This type of entry was not just a whim. Jesus had prepared ahead for this event with the owner of the donkey and her colt, and had even given him a password so the owner would know the disciples were sent by Christ. When Christ sent the disciples to get the colt and its mother, they were to say "The Master has need of them".

The stage was set for the events of the pivot point of all history to take place. By this entry, Christ would make His final offer to the Jewish nation to be their King and Messiah. The Messiah (the one sent from God) was to restore all things.

It was through this Messiah that the mess that Adam caused in the Garden would be brought back into harmony with God's essence and plan. That Plan of God involved far more than just the well being of the Jewish nation. God's plan certainly included the Jewish nation, and it was through that nation that God would bring about this restoration all things.

However, these Jews did not realize that the restoration of the Nation of Israel 
could not take place until after the redemption for all things was provided 
through the death of the Messiah. 

The Jewish people should have known these facts. These facts were told them by most of their prophets, and it was pictured in their temple worship. However, they, like us, were far more interested in the immediate and personal comfort than they were in knowing and participating in the eternal plan of God.

Therefore, the people cried Hosanna. In the Hebrew this means save, we pray or save now. The word can be an utterance of praise, or a cry for help. The people's cry at the Lord's triumphal entry into Jerusalem was taken from Psalms 118, which was recited at the Feast of Tabernacles in the great Hallel recitation of Psalms 113 - 118.

The priest would read a portion of those Psalms, and the people would respond. The people's response was accompanied by the waving of palm and willow branches. The last day of the feast was called the great Hosanna; the boughs also were known hosannas.

Ironically, in their very recitation of this passage, they recited the prophesy of their present actions as a nation, along with God's planned use of their rejection.

Psalm 118:21-26 I will praise You, For You have answered me, And have become my salvation. 22 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. 23 This was the Lord's doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day which the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save now (hosanna), I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity. 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.

Christ makes reference to this Psalm in His teaching. The apostles used this fact either directly or indirectly several time in the epistles.

Acts 4:10-12 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the "stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone." 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
1 Peter 2:6-8 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, "Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame." 7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, "The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone," 8 and "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense." They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

For the most part these people, on that Palm Sunday, praised the King because they thought He would bring them earthly benefits. Even though they were praising the position of kingliness, they were rejecting the Person of the King, and the program of the King. They, like us, were far more interested in their own little program than the eternal plan of God. Peter in 1 Peter 2:8 gives us the reason they rejected the Person of the King, and stumbled at the fact and program of the King. They were disobedient to the Word of God.

May we be very cautious that we do not find ourselves in the same position on this Palm Sunday, as they did on the all important Palm Sunday, so long ago. They praised the King for what they thought they wanted and He could provide. But they reject the Person for Who He was, and the Plan of God for what it was.

I fear that we, too, will fail to praise and adore the Person of Christ simply for Who He is without selfish strings attached. When I see Christ for Who He is, then the things I want Him to do will be for His benefit, and furtherance of His plan, instead of for my ego, and my comfort.

Acts 3:18-21 But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.

These in Christ's day, could only imagine a "time of refreshing" if the outward circumstances of the oppression of Rome were removed. I hope we will not ignore God's plan, and think that our comfort is the ultimate end of God's workings.

Too many think that unless they get what they want, then all is despair. Instead, when we see Christ for Who He is, and His plan for what it is, then and only then can we have those "times of refreshing".

Please don't miss the where those "times of refreshing" come from. 

You may find times of happiness and pleasure when circumstances are right, or at least you may think you are happy. But the "times of refreshing" can only be experienced from and in the presence of the Lord.

Don't be like these Jews of Christ's time. Peter said that they rejected the Person of Christ because...

1 Peter 2:8 They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

We are to be in a continual process of obedience to the Word. When we are in a continual process of obedience, then we will experience these "times of refreshing". "Times of refreshing" cannot be ours because of some special event or emotional service. It must be a day by day, hour by hour experience.