It would have never been a Good Friday if not for the murder of Jesus Christ. (Reflect on that for a moment).
It is an ironic reality but one that has stood the test of time. Jesus died for you, for me, and for all of mankind. And if we choose to believe and accept the gift covered in His blood, Easter becomes the greatest news we will ever receive in our lives. This is what we celebrated this last weekend.
He is RISEN!
God is so good, and if the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross were the only way He showed that to us, it would be more than enough. And yet … it is only just the beginning. He miraculously offers us even more.
Notice the way Jesus greets His disciples when He re-introduces himself to them in their first gathering post-crucifixion in John 20:19-20:
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 proclaimed peace to His disciples … and He had the scars and markings to make this declaration possible. Jesus then went on to encourage His disciples even more than what they might have expected because of His death and resurrection in John 20:21-23:
Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.’
This is the Gospel we are now able to preach to the masses … and it is all thanks to King Jesus. In a world filled with fear, turmoil, anxiety, and all things distressing, King Jesus provides the opposite effect. He serves as the immovable rock, sustaining us through all the enemy and our fallen humanity can throw our way. The truth is carved in stone forever, and the truth is indisputable:
He is RISEN, indeed!
Here are some other takeaways from John 19-20, as we look back on such a glorious weekend with the Good News of Good Friday, and its result on Resurrection Sunday:
- When Jesus said, “It is finished, and He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit (Jn. 19:30),” it shows His death on the Cross was an act of His own will.
- Even the thief on the Cross knew Jesus did not deserve to die. He declared Jesus to be the Son of God with his final breath. (Lk. 23:39-43)
- Peace comes to us when we declare Jesus to be our Lord and Savior because He is with us always by way of the Holy Spirit. (Jn. 14:27)
- Jesus promises us that though we will face “tribulation” in life, we can “take heart” because He has “overcome” the world. We will always come out of troubles standing tall if we let Jesus be the one who ultimately fights our battles for us. (Jn. 16:33)
- An abundant and eternal life is only possible because of the resurrection.
- Our first and most important response to what Jesus did on the Cross for us is to repent and be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is what Peter called upon those to do who were “cut to the heart” by what he preached about on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:1-41)
- It is by “prayer and supplication with thanksgiving” that our anxiety can and should go away if we hand it over to the Lord, regardless of our surrounding circumstances. (Phil. 4:6-7)
Now it is your turn. What are some of your biggest takeaways from this last weekends’ sermons, along with your own study of John 19-20, that you can share with someone you know today?
(All Scriptures used above are from the ESV translation).
Our study of the GOSPEL OF JOHN in review: