This was an Easter Sunday like no other. Our country and most of the world was in lock down due to Covid-19. For one of the few times in the last 2,000 years, Christians did not gather (in person at least) to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We will likely remember this strange Easter of 2020, but my hope is that you will remember something much more important about Easter than this years unusual circumstances.
The disciples made a huge mistake on the first Easter Sunday. Don’t repeat it!
Jesus entire ministry was pointed like an arrow toward the events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It was not a series of unfortunate mistakes that led to Calvary, but the intention of God. Jesus ministry lasted for about three years. Throughout, Jesus spoke about his death and resurrection. Check out his predictions.
John 2:18-22: Jesus predicts his death and resurrection near the very beginning of his ministry.
Mt 12:39-40: Jesus declares that his death and resurrection was the sign that he was the Messiah.
Mt 16:21: During the last six months of Jesus ministry, he repeatedly spoke about his death and resurrection.
Mt 27:62-64: Jesus predictions of resurrection were so widely known that a guard is placed at his tomb.
Now, despite all the predictions of resurrection, none of Jesus followers seem to have any expectation of resurrection. You would think that with the way that Jesus repeatedly addressed the subject, that the disciples would be living with a crazy level of anticipation for Sunday, but they did not. Instead, they were consumed by their doubt and fear.
Here is one account of Easter Sunday in Luke 24:1-12.
A group of women go to the tomb early Sunday morning. They leave while it is still dark, but they were not up early out of an eagerness to see an empty tomb. Resurrection was not on their mind. It is just the opposite. They are planning on caring for a dead body and were worried about how they would get into the tomb.
The women are shocked and confused to see an empty tomb and are told by two angels that Jesus had risen. They hurry back to tell the other disciples, but they do not believe. Peter and John go to check it out, but still are not grasping resurrection.
Now…you would think that at least after the crucifixion that someone might have said…”you know what…Jesus said this was going to happen. What else did he say would happen? Oh yeah…he was going to rise from the dead.” It’s not like those were words of small talk that they would forget…but they did.
They didn’t remember what Jesus said and neither do we. We forget.
Like the disciples, we often get so consumed by the darkness of our circumstances that we forget that the sun is going to rise.
In Luke 24:6, the two angels said to the women….”Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”
Like the disciples, when life is difficult, dark or discouraging, we can have a hard time remembering what God has told us, but we must.
When trouble or persecution or hard times come to us, we have to REMEMBER…”Oh…I remember now…Jesus told us that we would have times like this, but to not think that he has left us or lose heart because he has us covered. (John 16:33).
When sin seems to have the upper hand and we feel defeated and want to start making excuses about how our situation is different and maybe it’s okay for us, we have to REMEMBER… “Ahh yes…God told us that none of us are overcome with any sin that is any different from what everyone else is dealing with and that he has provided a way to victory.” (1 Cor 10:13).
When we feel weak or incapable of doing something in our life, we have to REMEMBER…”Oh I got it now…God told us that when we are weak, we can be strong in him…he said that I can do everything through Jesus who gives me strength…God told us that he fights for us…I remember now…The angel told Mary when things seemed impossible that with God all things are possible…Jesus said he would rise from the dead and that grave was empty come Sunday morning! (2 Cor 12:10, Phil 4:13, Ex 14:14, Lk 1:37, Lk 24:6)
We must remember what God has told us…remember that Jesus rose…remember that it’s never over with God.
What are you forgetting?
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