Before I get down to sharing my thoughts on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, let me unashamedly invite you to our Easter Sunday service tomorrow (Sunday 27 March 2016) at 11am. Anyone and everyone is welcome. Come just as you are (perhaps not in your sleeping clothes though).
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let me share with you things I have been thinking about whilst preparing my sermons and teaching material this Easter season.
Firstly, I couldn’t imagine spending Easter not being with my church family
In John 13:31-35, Jesus gives a new commandment to his disciples – to love one another as He had loved them. This was to be a sacrificial, agape type of love which reflected and resembled the love God demonstrated for sinners like us. Jesus is here talking about the church loving the church – Christians loving Christians sacrificially. The fact that Jesus was sharing this on the night of betrayal, hours before His gruesome trial and crucifixion would commence, magnifies the importance of the mandate (latin mandatum – where we get Maundy Thursday from). I can think of no better place to fulfil this commandment than within the church. And for me to be able to obey Jesus, I must be present physically, mentally and spiritually with the church.
Where are you spending Easter this Sunday? Are you obeying Jesus in loving one another as Christ loved you?
Secondly, I couldn’t imagine spending Easter not sitting under the preaching and teaching of God’s Word
Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23). The words of Jesus are central to that life giving, life sustaining relationship with God. These words are of course articulated, captured, communicated and preserved in the 66 books of the Bible. For my obedience and love to grow for Jesus, I need to believe, understand and live according to what the Bible teaches.
My ears and spine tingles with joy when I hear the preacher expounding on the atonement of Christ and what Christ meant when He said “It is finished.” My spirit bubbles with exuberant joy when I hear the preacher proclaim triumphantly that death had lost its sting.
What will you be doing this Easter Sunday? More importantly, what will you be hearing?
Thirdly, I couldn’t imagine not telling someone the true meaning of Easter
It would be sinful of me to not tell someone of the amazing grace of God. To keep this to myself would be the height of selfishness. The grace of God that has been shown to me through the death (Good Friday) and resurrection (Easter Sunday) must be proclaimed, evangelised, taught and witnessed. Yes, I’ll give Easter eggs to family and friends, but more importantly, I’ll be burdened to give the life changing, live saving Gospel.
What will you be sharing this Easter?
Finally, my thoughts on the resurrection.
This morning, I sat at my computer tweeting some of my thoughts on the resurrection. Here are two of my tweets with a few deeper thoughts explaining them.
“Jesus’ rising from the dead is of far greater significance than the sum total of all teachers, gurus and prophets combined.”
I was a hindu before I trusted in Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I was told all manner of stories and traditions. But I was not told of a God who died to save me. When I read the Bible for the first time, I instantly knew that the man hanging on the cross was God indeed. But not just God – I came to recognise Him as the only God; the true God; the creator of the universe and Jesus was this very same God in the flesh. The claims Jesus made about Himself are unheard of by any other teacher in history. No one claimed to forgive sins and be perfect (totally and completely free from sin; ever) other than Jesus Himself. This warrants not only my enquiry, but if His claims be true, my allegiance, obedience and worship. Let me challenge you to investigate the historical life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
“The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is history’s pivot. The scope and scale of its ramifications knocks on the door of mankind.”
I’ll keep this one short, sweet and simple. No other person and event in history has been more scrutinised than the life, death, burial, resurrection and legacy of Jesus Christ. You should wonder why.
Come and hear me talk more about all these things tomorrow (Sunday 27 March at 11am at Grace Church Southall).