Thursday, April 4, 2024

The Easter Message

 This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on March 31st 2024 by Colin. For the audio & video please click here.  For the worship please click here. 

The Easter Message

Easter is celebrated differently in different countries. Shopping, eating, playing, Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, etc. Where do you get Easter from? This word has nothing to do with Christianity. It comes from the goddess of light Easter in pagan Anglo-Saxon culture. Easter meant something like this then, but today the meaning we attribute to it is remembering the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. 

So eggs and rabbits and all are fine, but we need to look at the truth. What is Easter all about? 

On Easter, we celebrate the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead. People can conquer a lot of things in their life, but no one can escape death. Houdini did amazing things all his life, he even said to his wife, if there is a way I will find it and come back. But the greatest kings, emperors etc. couldn’t conquer death. There is one who conquered death, i.e. Jesus Christ of Nazareth! 

”When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.“ - ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭27‬:‭57‬-‭61‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Fact no. 1- Jesus was dead and was buried. 

”The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, 'After three days I will rise.' Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last fraud will be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can." So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.“ - Matthew‬ ‭27‬:‭62‬-‭66‬ ‭ESV‬‬

There was a seal on the tomb and guards were guarding it. 

”But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise." And they remembered his words,“ - Luke‬ ‭24‬:‭1‬-‭8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

What happened before this? 

”And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.“ - Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭2‬-‭6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This is one of the most attested facts of history. Anyone can make a claim, but Jesus appeared to his disciples. In 11 records in scriptures, it speaks of Jesus appearing to different people. 

”On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe." Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."“ - John‬ ‭20‬:‭19‬-‭21‬, ‭24‬-‭29‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Jesus is saying that the disciples were privileged to see him in order to believe. But for the majority of mankind, we cannot see yet we believe. 

”Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.“ - John‬ ‭20‬:‭30‬-‭31‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Even this morning, as we believe, we can find life. We will all die, but we have this hope. Jesus Christ gives us hope that one day, when we die, death is just a doorway where we pass from earth into God's presence forever. 

When Christians die, we know we will see one another again. 

Results of the Resurrection: 

  1. New birth - ”Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,“- ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭3‬ ‭ESV‬‬. The owner of the resurrection is that we have a new birth. in our own lives as well we can see this. 

  2. Forgiveness of sin - ”And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.“ ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15‬:‭14‬ ‭ESV‬‬. The resurrection is proof that Jesus’ sacrifice was accepted by the father. So our sin no longer remains. 

  3. We are given the Holy Spirit - ”This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.“‭‭Acts‬ ‭2‬:‭32‬-‭33‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  4. Our own resurrection - where we live for eternity is decided by where we put our faith today.  But if you put your faith in Jesus, this is your future - ”In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.“ ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭4‬ ‭ESV‬

Today if you believe in Jesus this is the expectation you can have. Jesus is alive. Do you believe he is the Saviour of the world, that he died for your sin and he rose from the dead? If you believe this, your life can be changed forever.

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto   

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