Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter!

Matthew 28:1-10

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

What must have been going thru these women’s minds?

After spekaing to Angel: Excited, afraid, bewildered, mourning-turned-to-gladness, disbelief, joy – too good to be true!

So off they run then – BAM – Jesus appears and says “greetings” – so casual and non-chalantly, like “hey guys!” 

Immediately they bow down at his feet and worship, they clasp his feet.

What other response could they give? What response would you give?

Even today can you say “I trust that Jesus is alive?” 

We can all recount the story from Sunday school: on the third and most glorious day Jesus rose from the dead.

So we can say it and maybe even believe it in a mysterious, dutiful sort of religious way – the same way that we can say God loves me but we struggle to say that God really likes me!

Religion tells us that God is Omnipotent. Don’t you feel safe?

Religion tells us that God is Omnipresent. Don’t you feel close to Him? 

Relationship does what religion could never do!

Religion says: Behave – Believe – Belong – Bless

Backwards, God says: Bless – Belong – Believe – Behave

Jesus came to replace religion with relationship.

That is why the religious leaders of His day killed Him. They did!

And that is why He died – to pay the debt of our sin. 

When Jesus rose again – He made a way for all of us to come fully alive. 

In Christ we are dead to sin – alive to God, “I have come that they might have abundant life.” The offer is life, in fact its more than an offer its an invitation!

I trust that Jesus is alive. 

I trust that Jesus is my King, I trust that Jesus sacrificed himself for me, I trust that Jesus died for me!

I trust that He fulfilled His mission – to pay my debt and replace the controlling, laws of religion with the liberating joy of relationship.

John 21:1-14

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[a] It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the waterThe other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.

Did you pick it up?

Can you see the playful, joyful touch of humanity?

The beautiful, relational touch? He doesn’t but on a suit and go to the temple and goes to the lake!

What is amazing about this scene is that it plays out exactly where they first met, on the banks of the Sea of Galilee way back in Matthew 4. 

This was their old hood – where it all began!

And just like in Luke 5 after he had finished preaching he told Simon to let his nets down for a catch and Simon said we have been out all night and not caught a single fish but at your word I will let then down again and of course you know what happens – its like the difference between when I’m fishing (the boat is empty) and when Mark is fishing, the nets are so full of fish the boat starts to sink!

So when Jesus shows up on the banks of the Sea of Galilee and shouts out “iwe Shamwari, mabata hove here?” it seems like the most natural thing but its actually an inside joke!

Instantly the guys get it, they recognize Him and rush the beach for a braai on the beach with their buddy!

What could be more human and more alive than that!

Jesus is deeply relational and He desires to be 

intimately involved in the day to day details of our lives.

 

Do you trust that Jesus is alive?

Not just that He rose from the dead but that He reigns in your life now and forevermore!

Remember what Jesus said that He came to do when He read His mission statement for coming to earth from Isaiah 61? 

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]

I trust that Jesus is fighting for my heart today!

I trust that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him!

I trust that He reigns in eternity and that He has gone to prepare a place for me!

I trust that Jesus is alive and that my name is written on a white stone in heaven. That my name and my life forms part of the pathway along which the Gospel has travelled thru the ages that is cobbled by the lives of the believers – those that have fulfilled the calling on their lives and pursued righteousness through faith expressing itself in love.

Revelation 2 says that the names of the believers are written on white stones that will be given to them if they are victorious in keeping the faith – beside each pew is a pen and some white stones will you take a quiet moment now as the band begins to play and write your name on one of these stones as a symbolic act.

Can I encourage you to pray as we do this and ask God to write your name in the book of Life!

If you cannot say that, “I trust that Jesus is alive” then pray this prayer with me in the quiet of your heart.

Lord Jesus I have sinned against you and fallen short of the glory of God.

I am not worthy of your sacrifice and the death that you endured on the cross.

Thank you for dying for my sins and paying the price for my failure.

I believe that your rose from death to life.

I acknowledge that you alone are God. 

I trust that you alone hold the keys to life and death and I now receive the free gift of abundant life in you and I apply the fullness of your resurrection for me to my life, my family, my work, my walk, my calling and all of my domain.

I no longer live but Christ now lives in me. 

I trust that Jesus is alive today! 

Thank you Lord, thank you Lord, Amen.

He is alive!

The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace – go and reign in life with Him!