He has risen!

Good Friday and Easter Sunday are instrumental to all believers and disciples of our messiah Jesus Christ. It is a glorious celebration for all to come together and celebrate what Jesus did for all of us, sinners, who did not deserve his love. However, we received it anyways when he laid pierced on the cross for all of our sins and transgressions against our Heavenly Father. So before I move forward to this message, I just want to thank Jesus for helping me find my true self because I was lost in this world. I constantly lashed out to those who most loved me and it was not until I was saved by Jesus, that I knew how much change I needed in my life. Many have read my personal testimony, but if you have not, it is on my main page. It wasn’t until after I submitted to Jesus that I have been fixing all my transgressions by sharing his love to everyone I met. I just want to give Jesus thanks for my wonderful wife and four children that I am blessed to raise, teach and love. Now if you are ready, lets begin!

It was written, ‘When Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and told them as they were walking along, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the high priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death. Then they will hand him over to unbelievers to be mocked, whipped, and crucified, but on the third day he will be raised,’(Matthew 28:16-20, ISV). Jesus knew what was meant to happen to him. He knew it was necessary to deliver us from the law to a state of grace. I get choked up when I read this scripture. I can’t imagine what was going through Jesus’ mind knowing what was in store for him, but he continue to do what God wanted of him. It must have been on his mind to the very last minute before he was taken after Passover. The amount of love Jesus had not only for all those who loved him, but all who hated him and every future generation. That kind of love can never be measured.

John wrote, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it produces a lot of grain. The one who loves his life will destroy it, and the one who hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me. And where I am, there my servant will also be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him,” (John 12:23-26). Jesus knew that he had to plant the seed of love and grace in all of the worlds hearts and mind. This could not happen without his sacrifice. The end of his death would signify the foundation of our faith. Jesus’ death allowed us to be glorified through his suffering and allowed us to be sanctified by being his disciples. Only when we suffer like Jesus did so we can truly enter the Kingdom of God. 

Paul clarified this in Acts, “As they were proclaiming the good news in that city, they discipled a large number of people. Then they went back to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to continue in the faith. “We must endure many hardships,” they said, “to get into the kingdom of God,” (Acts 14:21-22).

After Jesus suffered and paid the ultimate price for all of us, the high priests and Pharisees gathered before Pilate. They petitioned to him to secure Jesus’ tomb because Jesus stated “he would rise after the third day.” They were scared that Jesus’ disciples would steal his body from the tomb and cause an upraising. So Pilate had a stone seal the tomb of Jesus and had guards and a seal on it (Matthew 27:63-66).

What fear these people had to have to take such extremes to ensure Jesus’ body could not be touched. They also wanted to disprove everything Jesus taught. I am confident that in the back of their minds stood the question “what if ?” We all know what happened next…

As it was written, ‘Jesus asked her, “Dear lady, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she told him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will take him away.” Jesus told her, “Mary!” She turned around and told him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus told her, “Don’t hold on to me, because I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I’m ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” So Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord!” She also told them what he had told her,’(John 20:15-18). 

When this event happened, it was confirmation for everyone that Jesus was the messiah and that all of his teachings were valid. This also showed everyone that he fulfilled the prophecies of the old testament. When Jesus spoke to Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses, the rush of emotions for these woman must have been enormous. The feeling of happiness, sadness, relief and reverence. They instantly started to worship Jesus at his feet. I truly wish I could have been there to be the first to worship our risen Lord before he ascended back to heaven.

After Jesus defeated death, he taught his disciples and thousands of others for 40 days before he ascended. The Pharisees even tried to bribe people to say that they did not see Jesus. What fear must have been in them to do this! Then Jesus told his disciples about his great commission.

Matthew recorded it as, “ The eleven disciples went into Galilee to the hillside to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him, though some had doubts. Then Jesus approached them and told them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, as you go, disciple people in all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. And remember, I am with you each and every day until the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:16-20). 

This message is not only about what Jesus did for us, but how we can repay him. In Jesus’ great commission, he told his followers to not only be disciples of him, but to make disciples of all people in all nations. Jesus told us all what he expected of us!

Disciples are disciplined in not only studying Jesus’s teachings, but actually living it! As Christians (disciples of Jesus Christ), we must first build ourselves up and work with the Holy Spirit to mature us spiritually. Then we are to turn around and teach our families. We must first make our wives and children disciples before we can move outward into the community. This is a lesson often skipped by many, but I am not throwing stones like the Pharisees to the ones who do this. I have been guilty of this in the past. You cannot disciple others while you are letting your family live in condemnation. After doing your primary duty in life (ministering to your family), then you can move outward. Share your testimony and share the gospel. 

This celebration is not only about what Jesus did, but what he called us all to do about it now! This is how we can truly honor Jesus for his love for all mankind. We are his disciples, his ambassadors for his love, and the example for others to emulate who do not yet know him. We need to take time during this celebration to remember to carry our crosses.

If you have not been faithfully following Jesus’ teachings, then take some time today before you go to church and pray to him. Give Jesus thanks for everything he did for all of us, sinners, and then give thanks for what he has personally done in your life. Then align yourself to his ministry and truly honor him. At the end of the day, everything Jesus did for us is to be shared with others. So please submit yourself and be his disciple.

May God bless you all!

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