He wants us to be a part of his life, and he wants us to be a part of his. It’s profound. His call, and the change in us should be too. It looks different for everyone, but there are things we share in common. We love Jesus and we love others. Our love for him and for others is so deep that we can’t help but tell others about him.
When that is what motivates you more than anything else, your love for him, your love for others, your desire to share what he has done, then you know you’ve met the real Jesus.
Follow him. That’s all he asks of you. What that will look like? We’ll that’s his business – but you will alway know you are loved, and the questions of life, the where did I come from, the why am I here, , the how am I supposed to live, and where and I going – over time that will become clearer too.
Women go to the tomb, expecting to find a corpse. They had seen the tomb being sealed, a large rock covering the entrance. But when they arrive the has gone. It’s not where it is meant to be. There doesn’t seem to be any explanation as to what has happened. The tomb of death had been closed and sealed. It was over, finished, death had its final say. But the rock speaks – Jesus had said so hadn’t he, on the road into Jerusalem, even the stones will cry out – and here is this stone saying something has happened. Death has had its door opened. Come in and see, things have changed.
The resurrected Christ changes everything!! It proves we are not the centre of the universe. That there is a God who truly is in control of all things.
It proves that the promise of life after death is true, the promises that for us there is an eternal life is true.
It declares that there is hope – that this life is not all that there is. Can you imagine that for those who cry for justice, for those whose life is in this world has been unbearable, this isn’t the end, death here is the beginning of a new and wonderful eternity.
It says creation can be and will be remade and reordered to what it was always intended to be.
It confirms that the God who promises to never leave you or forsake you is true to his promise. You will never ever be left alone.
It proves that God has entered our world, experienced our pain, knows our doubts, understands us and walks beside us. That this God is a God who has made himself known and wants us to know him again.
This reality filled these women with wonder and amazement, and the story had to be told. The story continues to need to be told. BUT are we amazed, do we wonder at the power of the resurrection and what it means? Are we telling the story of Jesus?
This week pray for opportunities to be a witness to the resurrected Christ and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to someone who will be open to what you say.
Vincent Van Gogh committed suicide at the age of 37. Depressed by his lack of success. A prolific artist who only sold two paintings in his lifetime. Plenty of people looked at his art., He did his best to get people to buy his art, to enjoy his art, but people couldn’t see his art for what it was. People would look at his art, study his art, but the could not recognise the beauty and the genius and the value of his art. They simply misunderstood what it was that they were seeing.
On what is now called Palm Sunday as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey – people cheered and celebrated the King they thought he would be. Here is our King. And he will bring peace. Here is Jesus the one we follow, the one we trust, the one we have seen working miracles, healing the sick, raising the dead.
Finally for these people who have been locked in wars, a defeated nation, in their own land but not the masters of it, a land occupied by a foreign power, here comes their saviour. He will defeat the Romans, he will throw them out of Israel, they won’t be paying taxes to them again. They will be the masters of their own country and their own destiny. They will have peace, and with peace will come prosperity. Imagine the opportunities.
But very shortly Jesus would be killed by the Romans. left hanging battered and scared on a cross. He wasn’t the saviour they were looking for. He didn’t come up to their expectations. The Jesus they were looking for was the one who would do what they wanted.
Sadly today we are no different. We want a Jesus who fits in with our lives. We want a Jesus who does what we want. We want a Jesus who defeats the problems in our lives. Who meets our needs, affirms our lifestyles, fulfils our needs. We want a Jesus who will bless us. Peace and prosperity, comfort and tranquillity. We want a Jesus who comes to us on our terms.
Jesus was in front of them, but they misunderstood him and his purpose. His purpose wasn’t to defeat the Romans, his purpose was to defeat the devastating consequences of sin and its hold on them. He wasn’t coming to deal with the military and political situation, he was coming to deal with them personally. To challenge them, to show them the way to God.
Jesus came to die not for his sake but for their sake and for our sake.
This time of celebration was mixed with Jesus’ sobbing wailing for what the people could not see.
His tears are for those who do not recognise him and respond to him.
Here, Jesus says, is an opportunity for you to see me and to understand what I am doing. I going to die for you. As a humble servant King – but a King no less, and despite what it looks like I am in control of what I am doing.
Jesus gave a foretaste in words of a judgement that was to come. An awful frightening judgement. He says, here is an opportunity to recognise me and what I am doing. To value the gift I am to you.
He says unless you see me and respond to me, obey me and follow me, then your opportunity is lost. You are free to make a choice, but if you choose not to follow me then the consequences of that choice are frightening, dreadful and eternal – why? Because you did not recognise the time of God’s coming to you.
How seriously do you take the Kingship of Jesus? Where are you putting your trust? Who is the Jesus you want to follow? The servant king of the universe or a puppet Jesus who fits in with your life?
Pray this week for a fresh understanding of Jesus as to who he is and his amazing love for you. Live the life he has planned for you.
That is the message of Christianity, that what was is not what is. That who we were is not who we are. This is absolutely fundamental. We cannot enter into a relationship with the creator God and not be changed, not be transformed.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.
Here are the examples of change old to new, darkness to light, death to life. This is not minor adjustments, this isn’t a small correction of an annoying fault this isn’t a slight change this is a transformation. This transformation comes about not because of who we are but because of What God has done. In Ephesians 2 Paul writes this:
Do you hear the negativity associated with all these words – this sense of lostness.
And here we are told that that is no longer the case our situation has been radically changed – it’s not a circumstantial change but a change within us and for us. Don’t forget how it was, Paul says, and realise that what was is not what is.
The comparisons that we will make to elevate us above another – we are culturally superior, financially superior, racially superior, physically superior.
There is that more tragic barrier between us and God – a barrier that has eternal consequences and a barrier no one could break down but God and he did it through Jesus Christ.
We are not an example to the world because we meet on Sundays, we are an example to the world when we show them that the barriers do not exist. We must live to show that we belong to Jesus Christ – we live a life of sacrificial obedience to him, and we live as if we belong to each other.