Easter 2020 - The Easter we will never forget

 

 

Over two thousand years ago, followers of a prophet named Jesus were huddled in their homes in hiding.  Jesus their leader had just been crucified between two criminals.  the bible says, that all of Jesus' disciples, “forsook Him and fled” (Matt 26:56). They cowered in Jerusalem’s cupboards and corners for fear of the cross that could bear their name. They feared for their life, because they didn't understand Jesus words,

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,” (John 11:25 ESV)

The religious leaders conspired with Pilot, to not only kill Jesus but to wipe out his followers. The religious leaders made this request of Pilate,

So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, His disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that He has been raised from the dead” (Matt 27:64).  

Their hopes were to put an end to Jesus' followers, but they didn’t understand, that you can’t stop the church of Jesus, with fear.  Some of God’s biggest worldwide breakthroughs have come during times just like we are living this Easter Sunday. 

The cross of Jesus and His death and burial in the tomb wasn’t the end for this man from Nazareth, born in the city of David.  Jesus' last words from the cross weren’t, everything is over.  They were, "It is finished!” 

No one understood those words or dreamed that Jesus was going to actually raise from the dead.  

Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, a woman named Mary Magdalene, “came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance. 20:2 She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, breathlessly panting, “They took the Master from the tomb. We don’t know where they’ve put him.” (John 20:1–2 MESSAGE) 

Peter and John ran to the tomb and found it empty, just like Mary had told them, but they couldn’t figure out who took the body away.  They still did understand the scripture that Jesus to read to them, about him rising from the dead.  I love the next part of the story.  God the Father chose a societal outcast, a former prostitute, to be the one who would announce the resurrection of the Son of God!  

Jesus told his disciples that he would be buried and would raise from the dead but no one understood his words. When Jesus spoke his final words, “It is finished,” the price had been paid in full with his death, and the promise and power of us being born again happened at his resurrection.

The Heavenly Father’s perfect love is the only thing that conquers our fear, forgives our sins, restores our hope, and transfers the power of his grace inside of us.

Mary Magdalene, after hearing that the tomb was empty, came running in hopes of finding the man who pulled her life out of ruin, and she stood there weeping because the tomb was empty. She thought that someone had taken Jesus’s body away when all of a sudden Jesus spoke to her and said,

“Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?” She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him. Jesus said, “Mary.” Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!” (John 20:15–16 Message)

In three-dimensional, living color, Jesus was standing outside the tomb that represented the father’s house we were born into. Jesus then said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God’” (John 20:17 Message).

The price for our brokenness was paid on the cross, and the resurrected Son opened a door into the Father’s presence for every one of us who the world has counted out.  For every one of us who find themselves hunkered down in their homes this Easter Weekend.  

Beloved, when Jesus rose from the dead, he overcame every attack, virus, and problems we would face. 

Jesus promised that “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world, you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” (John 16:33 MESSAGE)

Maybe your reading these words, or you have watched this short Easter message and you want to take a step towards Jesus right now.  If that is you, and you want to meet the one who has conquered the world pray this prayer with me:
 

“Jesus, I ask you that you would open my heart to know you, and like Mary, I receive that I have your Father as my Father, and to Your God as my God in the name of Jesus. Forgive me for trying to lead my life without you. I confess my sins to you and ask that you would forgive me.  Jesus, you are my one and only Savior. In Jesus' name, I Pray!  Amen. 

He has Risen!

Praying for you

 

Pastor Ed

 

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