Last week we heard words of love spoken through pain. We saw love being extended despite the most difficult of circumstances and today we want to look at his great love and the hope of the resurrection.
Let’s look at something that may seem unimportant at first but really is important
Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, 7 while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. 8 Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed—9 for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead.
Why would empty graveclothes make them assume Jesus had actually risen from the dead? The description is why….the cloth that covered his head was folded exactly as it would have been had he still been wearing it and the suggestion is that the cloths are exactly where he was lain. So the narrative tells us they weren’t taken off of him but that he moved right through them and they collapsed where he had been.
On to Jesus words…Mary meets Jesus in the garden
15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”
She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
16 “Mary!” Jesus said.
She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).
17 “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.
Mary doesn’t recognize him, the disciples on the road to Emmaus don’t recognize him, His 11 closest don’t recognize him….we know that he still bears the scars of the nails and the cut in his side from the spear piercing him….was his beard pulled out still part of his features? Yes, it was pulled out on the cross but he would have been covered with blood so it would have been difficult to see….having raised from the dead he now was clean so not having a beard would have made him look radically different.
But Jesus knew how to reach Mary as he knows how to reach us….his sheep know his voice…he called her by name and all of a sudden the impossible was possible…he will do the same for you…in your most difficult of circumstances He will always reach you in the way it is most important for you if you will allow Him.
He says don’t cling to me….he is not being mean he just can’t allow her to celebrate right this moment he has more for her to do….it is also prophetic that while he walked the earth they all held on to Him and now they would need to learn that as he ascended to the Father they would then receive the in-filling of the Holy Spirit.
Because of Jesus death there is a relationship change…he had previously changed their relationship from servants to friends and now they are his “brothers”
Mary was given a special blessing on this day
- She saw angels
- She was the first to see the risen savior
- She was the first to proclaim the good news
His love and care for the disciples…John 20:19-23
That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Peter and John had been to the empty tomb, they recognized Jesus was alive, Mary Magdalene had told them she saw and spoke to Him….but their faith was still small…they were still wrestling with a fleshly mindset. Jesus enters the room…they are freaked out he has to speak peace to them and then because they still do not believe he has to prove who he is by the wounds in his hands and side….
No matter how you feel…Jesus can bring you to life again….no matter how bad your situation, Jesus can turn it around….they believed he was the resurrected Christ, the final requirement to being born again so they are the first among many to be “born-again” so he says, I’m sending you, Receive the Holy Spirit” they are made new regenerated….as they go out if people accept Jesus as Lord, all of their sins are forgiven and the disciples have the right to proclaim their sins forgiven and if they reject Jesus then the disciples have the right to proclaim their sins are not forgiven….but that is part of the beginning of their journey….later they will be filled with the Spirit which will give them the power to share this message….
The same is true for you today….if you want to be sin free Jesus promised in Matthew 26 and God promised through Jeremiah in chapter 31 that we would be free from sin and be made new if we chose to accept Jesus as our Lord and savior.
His love desires for us to walk and live in freedom always….this day is special so we would understand how much He loves and cares for us.
- Our sins are forgiven
- Satan has been defeated
- We can be filled with the Holy Spirit and power.
Because of Jesus resurrection
Last verses today from John….
Jesus went out to Galilee to meet with the disciples…some of them went fishing again and Jesus sees them from the shore John 21:4-6
At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. 5 He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?”
“No,” they replied.
6 Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.
John immediately recognized that it was Jesus because he did the same things when he called them to be his disciples the first time. Peter jumps out of the boat and meets Jesus on the shore and Jesus had a private conversation with Peter. (with all the other disciples there)
John 21: 15-17
After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.
Jesus begins by making sure he would be open to having this conversation….he points to all the other disciples and says, Peter do you love me
There are 4 different words for love in Greek
- Love you have for pets and stuff
- Erotic love
Jesus asked Peter twice do you have “unconditional” love for me
Twice Peter responds with, “I love you like a brother”
Jesus lowers the bar for Peter and says, “Do you love me like a brother?” and Peter says you know my heart, what I am capable of, I love you like a brother.
Peter, by one fire, denied the Lord, and now by another one, is being restored
Peter denied the Lord three times, and then is completely restored by Jesus three times.
He didn’t feel it was possible to be forgiven but received forgiveness along with a new dream
No matter how hard a person falls no matter how distraught or unworthy they may feel Christ’s grace and love is more than enough for them and if they are willing, He will restore them!
Jesus last acts living in our world
Met Mary in her most difficult of situations and brought comfort and love.
Brought peace, comfort, and hope in the greatest times of despair and hopelessness.
The one who felt they could not be forgiven Jesus always forgives and if we are willing to receive that forgiveness will receive fresh vision
In other words, it was about love!
How about you today? Easter, isn’t about candy, the Easter Bunny, dressing up nice but we celebrate it with those things…its above love and relationship…Jesus came, lived, and died so that we could have a real relationship with our heavenly Father and that we might live in His love, joy, and peace always