As we come together to celebrate something awesome that God has done, it’s a good time to stop and think about what it means personally to you.
- You all have heard, most likely, the story of the suffering sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross. Mel Gibson has made sure of that!
- You’ve probably heard the story of Mary Magdalene and the other women who saw the empty tomb three days after Christ’s death on the cross.
- And you’ve probably heard about the race between Peter and John to see who would get their first. (John 20:1-10) As if they had something at stake in arriving first. Besides it wasn’t a fair race. Peter was probably in His late 30’s or 40’s and John was a strong young buck in his early 20’s. No wonder he got there first!
But what is interesting is that even though they had been with Jesus Christ for 3.5 years 24 by 7, they did not understand what was going on and what was to occur.
~ John 20:9 ~
9 “For as yet they did not understand the Scripture,
that He must rise again from the dead.”
10 “So the disciples went away again to their own homes.”
And the funny thing is Jesus preached about what was to happen to Him many times including just three nights earlier.
~ Mat 12:40 ~
“for just as Jonah was three days and three nights
in the belly of the sea monster,
so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
It started when He was a boy of 12 years old .
~ Luke 2:46 ~
“Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.”
So Jesus was in the heart of the earth listening and asking questions of those He was with.
~ Luke 23:43 ~
“And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
w/ Acts 2:27, 31; Eph 4:9
Then at the Last Supper Jesus tells His disciples and us what will happen to them upon His death. Mat 26:31
~ Mat 26:31 ~
31“You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written,
‘I will strike down the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered’.”
32“But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”
Further emphasis that they didn’t get it can be found in Mark 8:31 where Peter was acting like a blockhead.
~ Mark 8:31 ~
31“And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things
and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes,
and be killed, and after three days rise again.”
32 “And He was stating the matter plainly.
And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.”
Maybe if Peter spent more time exercising instead of thinking how important he was, he would have won that race against John.
Then we see James and John getting in on the act of ignorance, when Jesus said in Mark 10:34:
~ Mark 10:34 ~
“They will mock Him and spit on Him,
and scourge Him and kill Him,
and three days later He will rise again.”
35 “James and John, the two sons of Zebedee,
came* up to Jesus, saying, “Teacher,
we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.”
36And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
37They said to Him, “Grant that we may sit,
one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory.”
We also see Jesus plainly telling of His death and resurrection in these verses and others like John 2:19.
Paul also had his day. As you know he wasn’t with the original bunch of 12, but he got his own dose of wake medicine on the road to Damascus.
~ Acts 9:9 ~
“And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.”
So you see in death there is anger, arrogance, blindness and hunger. God knew this and did not stop at death. God knew that in order for there to be life there had to be a death. But death would not be the end. There also had to be life.
~ Rom 5:18 ~
“Yes, Adam’s one sin brought condemnation upon everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness makes all people right in God’s sight and gives them life.”
You see the analogy here and throughout scripture is that death without subsequent resurrection is just death. In order for Jesus to complete the process of providing us all forgiveness for our sins there needed to be life. Without the culminating resurrection three days after His death, we would be nothing more than blind and hungry even though He went through all that suffering. The forgiveness that Jesus has for you would be powerless without resurrection. His death would be just another death.
But His death was different, His death was unique, His death included resurrection to life so that through forgiveness of your sins you would have life. So Jesus has the right kind of remedy for you. He has the right medicine to cure all your ills, blindness and hunger.
Jesus Christ has forgiven all.
As an emphasis of the need for resurrection, Jesus said to the crowd by the Sea of Galilee at mount Tabor that He had been preaching to for three days.
~ Mat 15:32 ~
“And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said,
‘I feel compassion for the people,
because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat;
and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way’.”
The literal meaning here is their need for food. The spiritual meaning is their need for Him to be resurrected. Without His resurrection, His death would have been meaningless and you and I would have no strength, courage or confidence in life and would all faint away. But because of His resurrection we have life eternal when we believe in Him.
~ 1 John 5:1 ~
“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,
and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him…”
And based on the resurrected life of Christ, you now have a true opportunity for living life, now and in eternity.
~ 1 Peter 2:24 ~
“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross,
so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness;
for by His wounds you were healed.
~ Isa 53:5 ~
He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities:
the punishment of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.)”
~1 John 5:4 ~
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world;
and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. ”
~ 1 John 5:5 ~
“And who is the one who overcomes the world,
but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? …..”
~ 1 John 5:11 ~
“And the testimony is this,
that God has given us eternal life,
and this life is in His Son. ”
~ 1 John 5:12 ~
“He who has the Son has the life;
he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. ”
~ 1 John 5:13 ~
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God,
so that you may know that you have eternal life. ”
~ 1 John 5:20 ~
“And we know that the Son of God has come,
and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true;
and we are in Him who is true,
in His Son Jesus Christ.
This is the true God and eternal life. ”
And Jesus Christ said through the apostle Paul…
~ Gal 2:20 ~
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”
~ Eph 2:19 ~
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens of God’s country along with the rest of God’s family, you are a part of God’s home.
God has done something fantastic for you. The God / Man Jesus Christ did something wonderful for you. Now you have to stop and ask yourself what does it mean to me?
Will you be like the apostles and think about whether you’ll be first or not, or ask Jesus to place you at His right or left. Or will you remember the awesome love He had and has for you, remember the promises He has made to you and start to live the life He intended for you. A life filled with Him as the authority over your soul.
That reminds me of another joke…
God looked over the millions of people in heaven and said “Welcome to Heaven. I want the women to go with Saint Peter, and the men to form two lines. Make one line of the men that dominated their women on earth, and the other of men who were dominated by their women.”
There was much movement, but eventually the women were gone and there were two lines. The line of the men that were dominated was 100 miles long. The line of men that dominated women had only one man.
God got angry and said, “You men should be ashamed of yourselves. I created you in my image and you were all dominated by your mates. Look at the only one of my sons that stood up and made me proud. Learn from him!”
He turned to the man and said, “Tell them, my son. How did you manage to be the only one on that line?”
The man said, “I don’t know, my wife told me to stand here.
~ Eph 2:4-6 ~
4“But God, being rich in mercy,
because of His great love with which He loved us,
5even when we were dead in our transgressions,
made us alive together with Christ
(by grace you have been saved),
6and raised us up with Him,
and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
Resurrection means you are forgiven and have a life in Christ.
Start living that life!