If you don't understand brokenness, you can't fully appreciate what it means to have Jesus make you whole. God can take a moment in time and move in it and change a person’s life. They will never be the same. When have been confronted by God, SOMETHING good will happen, maybe a small thing that is the seed or the beginning of some massive changes that have been needing to happen.
Jesus came to the earth to die so that whosoever believes in Him as Savior can have eternal life. Jesus spilled His blood and died on a cross and purchased salvation for you and for me, and offers it freely. We don’t deserve it, but because of His grace, He gives us His salvation.
In Matthew chapter 28, starting at verse 1, it says that early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, for the angel of the Lord came down from Heaven. He rolled aside the stone and he sat on it.
He sat on it. He could have just rolled it away and been done with it. But – and I think, just because he could - he rolled the stone away and sat on it. That helps me! That very thing that seems like it’s blocking you and you’re just not strong enough to deal with it, God’s already got it dealt with.
He’s sitting there on that stone and his face shone like lightning and his clothes were white like snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. He said, “Don't be afraid! I know you're looking for Jesus who was crucified. He isn't here he's risen from the dead, just as he said it would happen! Come see where his body had been lying! And now go quickly tell his disciples that he's risen from the dead and he's gonna go ahead of you to Galilee. You're gonna see him there. Remember what I have told you.”
The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were afraid, but they were also filled with great joy. They rushed to give the disciples the angel's message. As they went Jesus met them and he greeted them. They fell at His feet, and worshipped him. He said, “Don't be afraid! Go tell my disciples to leave for Galilee and they will see me there.”
It's Easter Sunday and Jesus has overpowered death, hell and the grave. He has defeated the strategies of the enemy against humanity. He has paid the price for our sin and our shame. And, He declares that you are forgiven and you are a child of the Most High God!
But even with that, there’s more! Because Jesus lives, you shall live also! The message of Easter is that Jesus came as God in human flesh. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. Jesus said in John 14, verse 9, “if you've seen Me, you've seen the Father.”
If you want to know how God feels towards you, look at Jesus. How did He treat people? He was never mean to anybody. He was never angry at anybody except Pharisees and hypocrites who were keeping people out of seeking a relationship with God by their hypocrisy and their plain old meanness.
But to people who were hurting, to people who had failed, to people who had messed up, He would bring them words of cleansing and forgiveness and new starts and new hope. If you want to know how God loves, look at Jesus. If you want to know how God thinks, listen to Jesus. As we get to know God through Jesus, we find the God who says, “I love you. I took your sins away. I paid the price. I want you to walk with me, and know me, and help others to know me as well!”
Jesus paid the price for our sins. That means that our sins are atoned for, that we have access to God. We were separated from God, but on that day of atonement, Jesus made our peace with God. God is no longer separated from us because of my sin, but His blood cleanses us. His blood pronounces us guiltless, forgiven, free of sin and shame.
Our mission is to spread this gospel wherever we are and wherever we go. You have a mission. It’s to share your testimony of what Jesus has done in your life and will do in their lives if they let Him. You don't save anybody – only Jesus can do that. You don’t have to be up to the task, only Jesus is fully up to that. You just tell what Jesus has done for you. If God’s people would do that, the church, the body of Christ would be a mighty force in the earth and in our culture.
People don’t always initially want to hear about the Lord, but if you tell them the good news of what’s happening in your life, what He is doing, what He is working on, and they can tell you’re excited about your life, they will start to want to hear more.
Why? Because there is so much negativity, so much that is depressing or anxiety producing that when you talk about your life being changed, and other peoples’ lives being changed, it is like a breath of fresh air.
When people are complaining about the job, and you talk about how, because of the Lord you’re grateful to have that job, and how they hate the government and you tell them that you’re glad that no matter who is in office, and even though you don’t agree with a lot of what’s going on, your God is still sovereign and you can still affect things by your praying. You know God is bigger than any problem we have, you’re at least standing out from the complainers and whine boxes out there!
The only thing that's going to turn a life around, the only thing that can free a captive is a genuine encounter with Jesus. That’s the only thing that can turn around a life. It’s the only thing that can turn around a church, it’s the only thing that can turn around a country: An encounter with Jesus Christ. It’s the work of the Holy Spirit.
When things are happening in your life and you let people know that it is Jesus at work, they will listen. When you tell how your marriage got saved, it got healed, and how only Jesus made that happen. When you can talk about how you used to be, compared to how you are now, and how it’s not your great willpower, it’s the power of Jesus operating in your life.
Most Christians don’t have any idea how much in their lives can be used to lead people to Jesus. Like, how come you don’t drink or do drugs? How come you’re easy to deal with and not all up and down and moody? How do you stay so happy and joyful? How come I never hear you criticizing people and being negative about other people? How to you stay so calm and at peace, with all the stuff going on in the world? There’s no end to the things in your life that can be used to lead people to Jesus.
Easter reminds us that Jesus rose from the dead after paying the price for our sins. Jesus said in John 14:19, “Because I live, you shall live also.” That same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, if it dwells in you, it shall raise you up also. That’s in Romans 6:10-11.
He gave us this gospel and He told us to give it to others. He gave us such grace, such mercy, that we can have grace and show mercy to others. If you want to be a shining light in the darkness, be a Christian that forgives those who don't deserve it, because Jesus forgave you. Forgive those you disagree with. Forgive those who get under your skin. Jesus said in Luke 6:27-28, “I say to you, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who despitefully use you.
That will make you stand out in any group of people. Only the Lord, only the Holy Spirit could get those things happening in a person’s life.
You’ll stand out because we’re in the midst of a culture that tells you that you should be bitter and you should be mad, you should be vengeful. That you should carry it around and be defined by those who did you wrong and hurt you. If you can roll that hurt over on the Lord, and not be filled with hate and bitterness, that is a miracle of God’s grace.
We can’t be withholding grace from people just because we’re mad at them or bitter against them. Because of the power of the risen Jesus, we can live free of that bitterness and constant internal pain.
Jesus says in Matthew chapter 11, verses 28 through 30, “Come to me all you who labor and are heavily burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke of you and learn of me.” That means getting to know Jesus better. Learning from Him. We’ll learn that He is meek and lowly in his spirit, and when we learn that, we will find rest for our souls. We won’t be all stirred up and just waiting for the next grifter or manipulator to stir us all up again. Jesus says that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
You might be weak and at the edge of giving up, but our Bible says when you're at your weakest point in life, then God's at his strongest point in your life. That’s what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12, “when I am weak the I am strong.” When I am weak, that’s when I am ready to draw on the strength and power of the Holy Spirit of God.
You may be weak right now, and I want to ENCOURAGE you that Jesus is working behind the scenes in your life in ways that you don’t even know. He was in that grave and no one knew that He was working the work of God and that on Sunday He was going to rise again, victorious over sin and death.
God loves you, God is for you and He wants to fill you with His spirit. He wants to transform your life and all He's waiting on is an invitation. If you just open the door, if you just respond, He will come into your heart and life.
He never comes where he's not invited and when you bow your head and turn to him, asking Him into your life, that is the invitation. You can be sure that He will come in and begin releasing His resurrection power into your life!