This weekend, we celebrated Easter all over the world. Not as a church in a building, but as a body of Christ, building the church. Most of us celebrated the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. But there is something else that happens before and after this that I want to talk about today.
The Last supper; an invitation from Jesus to receive his gift.
Matthew 26: 27-29
"While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. "
"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."
Before Jesus was crucified, He gave His disciples a way to honor Him through what we now know as communion.
And it was at this moment, Jesus knew that He was about to die for people who may never even love him back. People who would betray him. Including one of his disciples sitting next to him at the table.
YET, He still chose to pay the price for our freedom.
I encourage you to read or reread what happens after this in
Matthew 26: 31-75 & Matthew 27: 1- 31.
Let this truth sink in.... In the midst of His heartache and pain, He thought of you.
I'll never forget growing up when I disobeyed, (yes I know, surprise, I'm not perfect) my mom would tell me to go to my room. We had a rule that she would always give us ten minutes. Not only to think about my actions but to reassure me that I don't get spankings out of anger, only from discipline.
And I can tell you now, those ten minutes of knowing I was about to be punished, I never once thought of anything else other than what I can do to get out of the situation. I wish I could say I thought about the way I didn't honor my parents or love them like Jesus.
But I was too busy praying it would be my dad that walked in the door and not my mom. Because being a girl dad, he naturally also became a softy. It only took one look at my I'm-sorry-daddy-eyes for him to always let me off the hook, replying with, "ok girl, don't tell your mom."
Although that may be a silly story, I bet we can all think of a time of distress knowing that something terrible was about to happen or even happening. And more than likely, you aren't thinking of ways to honor the person hurting you.
But this is precisely what Jesus did for us.
One who is all-knowing, without blame, with all power. Saw the cross, the pain, and thought you were worth it. And after His resurrection, Jesus tells us something.
He gave us a commission.
The last supper was not only for twelve disciples. It was for us, Gods people.
To never forget the commission He has given us.
To not only remember the gospel but to share it.
After the resurrection, Jesus goes to tell his disciples what He asks of them to do.
Matthew 28: 18-20
"Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Let this be not just a story of Jesus resurrection, but of your own.
That you would leave behind what once was and carry a new identity in Him.
That when the day comes just as the tomb is open, and we are all suddenly free again. Would you not look to who you once were but who God has now made you to be in this season.
You are now made white as snow. Redeemed, freed, made new!
Do you believe it? And if so, why aren't we sharing it with others?
Let this be your challenge,
What if when you start to gather with friends again, instead of talking about how bad quarantine was. We start talking about how good God has been!
Easter weekend is not just about a story of Jesus; It is your story of how Jesus has now made you clean, perfect, and holy.
Let this be your everyday story, not just an Easter story.
Jesus has said, "Therefore, Go! Make disciples"
He didn't die on the cross so we can have one weekend a year to talk about how good He is. Jesus died so that now WE can GO and share about what God has done! That we never have to go back to who we once were.
Don't leave this quarantine, just thanking God that it's over. But leave it thanking Him that in the stillness, We GOT to celebrate His crucifixion, resurrection, and His commission over our lives!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" -2 Corinthians 5:17
"Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." - Isaiah 1:18
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." -1 Peter 1:3
Don't let the cross just be a symbol.
But a reminder of what it means to surrender your all back to him.
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