If Easter has taught us anything is that when we think it’s all over… God has another plan.
On the Saturday after Jesus was crucified the disciples must have been thinking “What happened, Jesus was meant to be the Messiah and now he’s DEAD?” they must have still been in shock I mean Jesus was going to be the one who was going to lead them to a new freedom… Where they following the wrong guy?
But you didn’t need to look far to find that the disciples should have looked a bit further.
In the Gospel of John there is a story about a friend of Jesus names Lazarus who was ill… in fact he was on his death bed.
Instead of rushing to the aid of his friend to heal him, Jesus waited a couple of days and then went to see Lazarus, and in John 11 Jesus actually says these words “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death” … however by the time Jesus got there his friend Lazarus was dead… in fact he had been dead for four days.
So was Jesus wrong?
You see it’s all in the Grammar… you see we think that when someone dies that’s it… however God doesn’t work like that.
A couple of years ago I hear this phrase:
”Don’t but a period (or what we call a full stop in NZ) where God has placed a comma,
and don’t place a comma where God has place a period”
You see sometimes we think that we are still under the power of the enemy, but the reality is Jesus said “It is finished”
A new chapter has begun.
And like the Lazarus story we get sucked into thinking that because we seem to be dead it’s all over
… dead in our relationships, dead in our careers, maybe even what seems like we are dead in every aspect of our lives… a feeling of being LOST.
But Jesus doesn’t put a full stop on death…
He offers a Resurrection… a comma.
And we have access to the very same resurrection… born into a new life.
You see it would seem to me that death is only an ending for us… however when you place it in Gods hands… there is a resurrection… something new… a comma.
Are you living a life where you have given up… have you put a full stop where God intended a comma to be?
Why do Christians see Easter as such an important part of the year… I would even go as far to say that Easter IS the most important part of the year for Christians and that it’s the one thing that everything revolves around for ALL people claiming to be Christians.
Because it’s more that just a story it’s HISTORICAL… you can read in the Bible about real life encounters with people who were there.
The Apostle Paul (who spent a lot of his early carrier bashing Christians and killing them) said in 1 Cornithians 15:14
“And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.”
and then later in 15:17
“And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins”
EVERYTHING hinges on this…
It wasn’t just Jesus’ teaching that was great the Bible is FULL of people who brought the word of God…
It wasn’t Jesus’ death that made people take notice… thousands of people have died for their faith…
The one thing that changed everything for the whole world is the fact that Jesus Christ came back to life!!!
He rose again… RESURRECTION
In the book of Acts… the main reason thousands of people became Christians, wasn’t because of just good preaching… wasn’t because of a death… it was to do with the resurrection.
It was like “hey remember seeing that Jesus guy get crucified? – He came back to life again….”
And it wasn’t months ago or years ago… it was just a matter of weeks.
They all knew about it… and it was local…
It turned a bunch of sniffling disciples who were hiding… and turn them into followers of Christ… and for most of them that lead to their own death…
These stories are unchanged for centuries… it’s authentic… told by people who were there… passed on by people who knew them… in towns close to where it all happened…