Pastor’s Most Revealing Easter Message
“While blessing them, He was carried up to heaven. After worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem bursting with joy. They were
continually in the Temple praising God.”
There is no event in human history of greater consequence than the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
As Paul said, “If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then our worship and faith are in vain…ridiculous…just another silly religion.”
The corollary being, “The resurrection of Jesus is the most important fact in human history.”
Because Jesus beat death, we can say with absolute certainty and calm anticipation, “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through Jesus!”
Because Jesus beat death and promised the same for us by His grace through faith in Him, we know heaven is a nano-second away from the last breath.
Because Jesus beat death, we are indestructibly happy, whole, joyful, and eternally secure.
“Bursting with joy” and “continually praising God” describe how it’s been for believers since that first Easter morning.
Well, counting multiple Sunday worship services for over four decades, I figure I’ve preached about 100 Easter Day sermons.
It’s hard to rise to the occasion.
Still, I come to Easter Day 2019 with more excitement, energy, enthusiasm, and freshness than ever before; feeling like shouting as loudly as I can with the apostle, “I love Jesus! I am not ashamed of Jesus! He rose from the dead! He is the power for existential and eternal salvation for anyone and everyone who invites Him into the head, heart, and gut as Lord and Savior.”
God knows I’ve approached so many Easter Days with the same apologetic or evidence to prove Jesus rose from the dead: (1) The Church has consistently focused on and referred to the resurrection of Jesus as the keystone of its praise and practice since A.D. 32; (2) The worship calendar shifted for Christians from the Jewish Sabbath (7th day of the week) to Sunday (1st day of the week) because Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday (see Mark 16); (3) The New Testament consists of 27 testimonies to our Lord’s resurrection; and (4) The disciples were transformed from cowards into bravehearted gospelers willing to face the tests of torture and martyrdom because of Jesus’ resurrection.
Pero the most convincing proof that Jesus rose from the dead, reigns with Father God, and remains as Holy Spirit is His life in the heads, hearts, and guts of believers: “He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today! You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!”
When Jesus is alive in us, it’s impossible to be as miserable as the rest of the world.
God knows we know God knows people are always trying to pull us down into their miseries.
It’s pathetically true.
Misery loves company.
Gloriously, that can’t happen to believers.
They don’t have enough strength to pull us down into their torments because up from the grave He arose!
Oh, they try!
Annnnnnnd there are times when it seems that we want to join them to make them feel some kinda sick something.
We can’t be as miserable as they are without Jesus in the head, heart, and gut because He’s in our heads, hearts, and guts.
It’s impossible to be really, really, really all-the-time sad when we’re saved.
It’s impossible to stay down when He lifts us up with Him by the power of His resurrection.
Everyone who knows Him has the same testimony in four simple sentences.
Before Jesus came into my head, heart, and gut as Lord and Savior, I was miserable.
Jesus came into my head, heart, and gut as Lord and Savior when I let Him in.
Now that Jesus is in my head, heart, and gut, I’m no longer miserable.
If I could leave you with one thing, it would be to urge you with my whole being to let Jesus into your head, heart, and gut as Lord and Savior so you can live happily ever after…unless, of course, you want to stay as miserable as everybody else.
Christians who are always getting closer to God know they’ve never been happier in their lives.
Christians who are always getting closer to God know they’ll be happier tomorrow than they were yesterday or are today.
Christians can’t wipe the smile off their faces because it generates and regenerates and radiates from their souls.
Christians can’t stop loving and laughing and living zestfully because they’ve got the power of His resurrection in their heads, hearts, and guts.
Outward, undaunted, undeterred, undetoured, unrelenting, irrepressible, indestructible, redundant joy is the greatest proof that Jesus rose from the dead, reigns, and remains.
Bursting with joy!
Continually praising God!
That’s Easter Day!
Blessings and Love!
Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!
Shatter the sound of silence!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!
Shatter the sound of silence!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!
I've got a much older friend who retired a few years ago with this explanation: "I was getting so cranky. I knew it was time for me to quit because I was getting so cranky with my family, other staff members, church members, and...everybody...and I was becoming a bad witness."
I've often said I won't quit unless I get Grandpa Jacob's cancer or I'm assassinated or the minority that hates me becomes the majority and runs me out of town just like they just did to...
Pero, yeah, if I get cranky, allowing for a few moments when people really ___ me off, I'll quit.
Of course, not knowing if it's age or my pile of pension credits or that I'm still surprisingly marketable, I don't suffer fools as gladly as I used to like bad sentences ending in prepositions.
For example, while I promised the congregation on Palm Sunday that I wouldn't insult people coming to worship for their semi-annual pilgrimage to the holy land that show such shameless disrespect and ingratitude to God for life and heaven by grace through faith in Jesus throughout the rest of the year, I must confess I'll get in a few digs as in salting to sting to save.
I've never understood people who don't want their pastors to insult people who insult God's holiness and beneficence and show such disrespect and ingratitude to Him by their winking at Him with occasional worship as if He's that dumb to not know what's really not in their hearts.
BTW, no one buys their crap about not liking the pastor or not being able to get to church even though you find 'em at the hair salon or fish fry or...or still being offended by something another staff member said to them in 1913 as, uh, sigh, geez, whoa, valid reasons for not worshipping God.
Who says worship is limited to their familiar buildings?
If they really love God and understand how much God deserves to be worshipped, they'd worship somewhere!
I mean there are still plenty of faithful remnant churches in America.
People who won't worship anywhere but their cribs and use lame and hellbent rationalizations for their absence in worship are among the increasing number of so-called Christians in America who aren't Christian in the least but rather pathetically idolatrous, tribal, cultic, navel-gazing, disrespectful, and ungrateful.
The truth is people that don't worship God really don't love God and don't know or care who He is and what He has done for them/us and their/our salvation by grace through faith in Jesus.
That's the truth, as Colonel Jessup says, even if they/you/I can't handle it.
If you can show me how I'm wrong by Jesus, Holy Scripture, and common sense, go for it.
Pero if you're among those enabling people to be twice as fit for hell as..., please don't waste my time.
I'm saving my time and energy and anything else worth sharing for those who ain't posing as they bring their authentic love through worship to Him.
Post a Comment