Special Easter Message from Ed Tandy McGlasson
Happy Easter! He has risen!
The story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter morning is an amazing one indeed. On the Friday before Easter, the day we call Good Friday, we reflect and remember the crucifixion of Jesus. And on Easter Sunday, we celebrate His resurrection, the day that He rose again from the dead. Many of us are familiar with the story, but how many of us have actually met the resurrected Jesus?
You might be wondering what I mean by that. Well, first I want to tell you two other stories that happened right before and right after the resurrection.
The first story I want to tell you begins with a woman named Martha. Martha, along with her sister Mary and her brother Lazarus, were all friends of Jesus. One day, Lazarus got sick and the sisters immediately sent word to Jesus to come quickly. However, when Jesus finally arrived, Lazarus had already died.
Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." (John 11:21-23 ESV)
Martha didn’t understand what Jesus meant.
Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world." (John 11:24-27 ESV)
Clearly Martha had a relationship, a belief, a faith in Jesus. But her brother was still dead. She thought Jesus was talking about an event that would happen later, at the end of time.
Well, if you’ve read the rest of the story in John 11, you know that Jesus wasn’t just talking about end times. Because He went out to the tomb where Lazarus had been buried and called Lazarus, who had been dead for four days, to come out.
And guess what happened? He came out, wrapped in grave clothes and all.
Lazarus’ resurrection wasn’t just for him. It wasn’t just for Mary and Martha and all those who witnessed Lazarus raise to life that day. This event is a picture of what happens to each and every one of us when Jesus calls our name.
Now let me tell you another story. After the crucifixion of Jesus, they laid Jesus in a new tomb. Mary Magdalene—one of the women who had followed Jesus and whom Jesus had set free from seven demons earlier (Mark 16:9)—came to the tomb where they had laid Jesus.
Mary Magdalene’s life had been so changed by Jesus that she had given her life to following Him. Jesus was probably the only man who had ever loved Mary in way that was purely for her good, her benefit, her wellbeing. And that love had changed her.
As Mary was standing outside the tomb, weeping, she looked up and noticed that the rock covering the mouth of the tomb had been rolled away. As she peered inside, she saw two angels sitting inside, one at the head and one at the foot where Jesus’ body had been laid.
They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
You see, even though Jesus told everyone He was going to die and rise again, no one really understood what He meant. They didn’t understand that He was talking about a physical death and resurrection.
The story goes on,
She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). (John 20:13-16)
The resurrection is more than a story that people tell at Easter. It’s a promise that we will not only be forgiven, but we will also be raised up from the death and penalty that our sins deserve to a life filled with love, hope and peace. We will be changed.
When Mary realized that Jesus was alive, she grabbed hold of Him.
Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" (John 20:17)
This is the moment where everything changed. No longer are we separated from God by our sins, but now because of Jesus’ death and resurrection we can go directly to God the Father as our Father just the same way that Jesus did.
Mary met the resurrected Jesus that day. He was no longer just a man who had loved her and forgiven her, but a man who had died for her sins—died as if He were her—so that she could live and truly experience life as though she were Him. Completely set free.
Here are the 5 amazing things that happen in your life when you meet the resurrected Jesus for yourself:
1. We have peace with God because we have been completely forgiven
To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7)
2. You are invited to be fathered by God
Jesus said: "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)
3. We get a message to share with the world
When you meet Jesus, you get a story to tell of how Jesus has completely changed your life.
4. We get to live forever
God gives us a whole new beginning in our life because we get to be filled with His Spirit.
5. We get the same power that raised Jesus from the dead: the power to live our life, and nothing becomes impossible for you
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11)
That same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is going to raise you up from the areas in your life where you are dead in your sin.
Remember, the Father loves you and sent His Son to let you know!
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Published on March 30, 2018.