Three Lessons of Easter
Good Morning and I wish you and your families a blessed and happy Easter. As I was beginning 2022, I decided to prepare a special message for today. If you have been following my Bible Reading posts, you will notice that I have been using snippets from the six penitential Psalms for the daily Psalm posting. For 40 days we have observed Lent which is a time of preparation for Easter. Easter is a joyful time because the bloodguilt has been paid for. So whatever it is that has been afflicting you, whatever struggle that has held you bound, and/or addiction you have been powerless to shed, we have a place we go to and that is the cross. I pray that you will be encouraged as you read this message.
Easter Background: Easter stems from the Jewish festival Passover. The math for determining when Easter will be was established in 325 AD at the Nicean Council (Easter). According to the church calendar, the Easter celebration follows lent which is a 40-day time of preparation to commemorate the day. The Easter cycle ends with Pentecost or “Whitsunday”. You will not find anywhere in scripture where it mentions the word “Easter”. The reason for that is, that Easter, just like Christmas, is a “chosen day” meaning, it was picked out. Easter, unfortunately, is also a “Pagan Holiday” or the feast of “Eostre” (Eostre). Does it being a pagan holiday make the day evil? The short answer is, “No”. The reason is, that we worship the Lord not “traditions”.
Three Lessons of Easter
Time to Move On – As parents, we worry about what our children will do after we have passed away especially when the children are physically or emotionally challenged. For this reason, it is incumbent upon the parent to do everything in their power to prepare the children for the troubles ahead. Some of you struggle with your children and are not so sure they are going to make it without us at their side to help them. So, we angst over what to do with them like, “pray that G-d takes them home ahead of us”. The thing is though, we would never learn to trust Him and have faith that He’ll do what He promised to do (keep that which concerns us). Most certainly the children will struggle but eventually, they will move on and find their way and do themselves proud if we can but have a little faith in them.
In the 17th chapter of the book of John Jesus is praying to the father on the eve of his appointment with the cross. Now Jesus knew his time was short and that within a few hours the passion play would begin which would not be pleasant. Jesus had a mission and he completed it. The only loose end was the disciples and the journey that lay ahead of them. Having immersed himself in his father he knew without a doubt that the disciples were in the best of hands – The Holy Spirit. For 3.5 Jesus had spoken at great lengths about the Kingdom of G-d and what the next steps would be (Reference). These men were not so sure they would make it without him at the helm. His absence could leave a big set of shoes to fill. Jesus knew the transition would not be without struggles yet he had faith in the disciples.
Faith through the Storm – one of the hardest things to do in times of trouble is to cling to faith when all of the evidence points to a “failure”. While we are in the middle of a storm, we find out if our faith is in ourselves or the Lord. Jesus knew where his ministry was heading and how he would exit the earth just as Moses and Elijah had (Deuteronomy 31, 2 Kings XX: XX). Jesus knew what the disciples would go through but had complete faith in his Father and the power of His Holy Spirit (John 17:XX-XX). The world today is dealing with enumerable forces that are pulling at the fabric that holds us together. War is raging across Russia and Ukraine, China is ramping up for war, and North Korea is pulling out the nuclear hardware and it looks like this is the end of the world. The thing is, just like Resurrection Sunday rocked Jerusalem to its core so it is with the 21st century.
Jesus was under no illusion that everything would go smooth for the 12 because although they were diamonds in the rough they still had things to learn – like how to get along. There was no doubt that the Sanhedrin would be a never-ending pain in the keester and that his dear friends would be martyred for their faith. While this brought great sadness, Jesus knew their destiny. Now, it would be up to the disciples and believers to develop their ministry. Because of the faith and determination of the disciples, many millions across the entire world of the time would come to know the Lord and place their trust in Him. Today we are progenitors of the courage of these people and what we do with this blessing will set the course for the future. So whatever you are facing today, I tell you that if you will but trust in the Lord and let Him lead you, you will succeed.
Finish the race – As I said earlier, Jesus was leaving because he had finished the race set before him (John 17:1-2). The disciples’ race was just about to begin. For 3.5 years this group of men and women had been taught by Jesus and prepared for the race they would one day run. Many of you are in the same situation, maybe your mentor or parent has passed away, and now it’s your turn to step up to the batter box. While the thought of being put in charge may seem daunting, consider how Jesus encouraged his disciples (John 14:1-6). The 11 were saddened that Jesus was leaving and they wanted to go with him but it wasn’t their time yet. For the next 60 years, the 1st-century world would be irrevocably altered thanks to 1 man and 11 disciples. This was all due to one man’s faithfulness and obedience although it cost him his life.
Rome was bent on conquest throughout the 1st century and they would be responsible for the destruction of the beautiful temple. This should have caused the young churches to become alarmed making them run for cover. Instead of running, they dug in and reached out. King Agrippa wanted to put to death every Christian but ended up dying from worms. Today our world is under attack and if there was ever a time for the church to stand up, it is now. Indeed, life hasn’t gotten any easier since the first century in fact it’s gotten a lot more difficult and more dynamic. The thing is though, whatever we face in life just as in any ministry we enter into, the Lord will prepare us and help us to face the struggles.
Conclusion: Easter is a seasonal event that, like Passover, starts somber and ends in joy. In ways, Easter is like the seed of faith. If Jesus’ death had been rightly deserved, no one would know anything about him. Yet, when you see people irrevocably a seed is transplanted into our hearts that overflow with joy. My hope and prayer for you today is that this Easter will be a special time for you to get things right in your life. There is nobody that is too far down that is over “no use to the Kingdom” or that Jesus can not reach you.
This is Easter the celebration of your son’s resurrection. I pray that lives will continually be changed throughout the year. May your good Spirit fill us and equip us for the battle that lay ahead for us. I know that there is no pit too deep and no person too scarred by sin that they can not be healed. I pray for my family that you will continue to bless them and keep them. I pray for the world at large that your peace is upon them and that the people will learn to talk to each other and equally learn how to listen before reaching for violence. I pray for those who are dealing with the loss of family members due to the COVID 19 plague that has been inflicted on the world without impunity. I pray for the military, law enforcement, and EMT communities that you will be with every one of them and bring them safely home. I pray over our politicians that you will continue to shake them to their core with the message of the Ephod so that they fully understand who they serve. I pray for the city of Stacy, the state of Minnesota, and the USA may your Spirit fall fresh upon us. I pray for the truckers who carry supplies to our communities. I thank you for healing our land by rain that refreshes the land and the storms that shake the heart of mankind. I pray for those who need a special touch from you today. Finally, I pray that my words will always be an encouragement to all who read these words in Jesus’ name I pray. May your peace be upon my family, city, state, nation, and world. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer (Psalms 19:14).
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