We’re here! The week that was has become the day that is. The triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the last supper, the scourging, the crucifying, the entombment…all are brought together in this one message. Jesus did not just live and die. Jesus died and lives. And furthermore we can be confident that life is worth the living just because He lives. Rejoice and be glad. Happy Easter.
With all the statistics coming out about how many people are dying from Covid-19, and some thinking it’s the work of the devil, here is a short but meaningful conversation. Devil says, “They’re all mine.” Jesus responds, “Over my dead body.” Happy Easter.
We survived the last supper, the crucifixion, the waiting period, and it is here…the day of resurrection…Easter Sunday!
It has been said before and is worth repeating:
It is not that Jesus lived and died but that He died and lives! Happy Easter.
“Why is it called good Friday when it commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus?”
This is a question asked over and over again.
Indeed, though the deed itself was an ugly one, some two thousand plus years ago, it was the promise of His return that held out hope and made it almost bearable to bear.
It is that hope that so many of us cling to that gives such meaning to the Easter season and all seasons before and after.
It is that hope, that some day we will see Him face to face, as His disciples did after that heartbreaking Friday. That hope carries us through to Easter Sunday.
Today is known as Maundy Thursday…the Thursday before Easter, observed in the Christian Church as a commemoration of the Last Supper, the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples before his death.
Maundy also means “commandment”, and at that last meal, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
And that is what Jesus was/is all about…Love…not only in this Holy week but always.
It has been said before and is worth repeating, this Easter Sunday let us remember that Jesus did not only live and die but died and lives. Happy Easter.
The good news is not that Jesus lived and died, but that He died and lives. Happy Easter.
John 20:10J-29New International Version (NIV)
10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side,I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The deed was done. Jesus was dead. No one knew what was to come.
Luke 23:50-56 New International Version (NIV)
The Burial of Jesus
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
Mary watched as her beloved son died on the cross…a mother’s worst nightmare…the death of her child.
Luke 23:26, 32-49 New International Version (NIV)
The Crucifixion of Jesus
26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene,who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[b] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him.They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[c]”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The Death of Jesus
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[d] When he had said this, he breathed his last.
47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
Before Jesus was betrayed by Judas, He gathered his disciples together for one last time before his death.
Luke 22:14-23 New International Version (NIV)
14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.[a] 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.