Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!!
We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! We celebrate the victory of life over death, the victory of righteousness over sin! We celebrate the best day in history when man conquered death, which was his biggest fear and the enemy of man.
The Kingdom of God has a vision that cannot be destroyed by death, sin and human imperfection!
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds..” (John 12:24)
The seed, which is Jesus, died, but rose again and continues to bear fruit today!
On Thursday before the Passover, Jesus prayed to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane; he prayed fervently and sincerely.
“They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”” (Mark 14:32-36)
Jesus became deeply distressed and troubled, His soul was exceedingly overwhelmed with sorrow, he prayed that, if possible, this terrible fate would spare him. Jesus prayed twice so hard (Mark 14:39), that his sweat was like drops of blood (Luke 22:44). “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer” (Isaiah 53:10)
Yet then there were the following events
- Judas betrayed him with a kiss (Mark. 14:44-46)
- Jesus said that He was the Christ, and the priests condemned him to death (Mark 14:62-64)
- Some spat at him, struck him with their fists, beat him, and afterwards blindfolded him. (Mark 14:65)
- His disciple Peter denied Him (Mark 14: 66-72)
- Pilate released Barabbas to the people, and handed Jesus over to be crucified (Mark 15:15)
- They twisted together a crown of thorns and placed it on Jesus’ head (Mark 15:17)
- They struck him on the head with a staff, mocked him and led him out to crucify him (Mark 15:19-20)
- At noon, darkness came over the whole land (Mark 15:33), and at three in the afternoon, Jesus cried out in a loud voice “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34), and then Jesus breathed his last and died (Mark 15:37)
- The curtain of the temple, separating the Holy of Holies, was torn in two from top to bottom. (Mark 15:38)
- Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God, took the body and placed it in a tomb, and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. (Mark 15:43-46).
Why did Jesus have to die? God’s logic is far different from ours, but with the death of his Son, God defeated eternal death! There was no other sacrifice able to make it, apart from Jesus, because He was the only one without sin.
Through this hard path Jesus has done so much for us:
- “he took up our pain and bore our suffering,” (Isaiah 53:4)
- “… by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6) Healing, first and foremost – it’s healing from the sin!
- “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not even open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to slaughter, and as a sheep who before its shearers is silent, so was Jesus as he did not open his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7) He suffered of his own free will, and silently for our sake! He went through all that things for our sake.
- “God made him who had no sin to be the sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) We changed places with Christ, to become righteous before Him by faith!
- The death of Christ is a huge gift from God to us, but this gift must be taken by faith (John 3:16)!
- The result of the resurrection of Jesus is our righteousness before God through the faith in His Son, and His resurrection. “… and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in a Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:9-11)
- The power of the resurrection of Christ changes our hearts and makes them good soil. Through the power of the resurrection the Holy of Holies is always within us, now we are the temple of God, and God is in us!
- Jesus paid for our sins, he changes our hearts, and now the system of the world and death has no power over us. Now Jesus is our power and protection! We are protected by the covenant of His shed blood! Our defense is in His blood! His resurrection is our life!
Important conclusions for us:
- Passover is a new beginning for all of us.
- Jesus is special, blameless, holy, eternal and God’s Passover (Exodus 12:5).
- Passover is the time of the renewal of the covenant through the blood of Jesus Christ. There is life in his blood, his blood protects us from all kinds of adversity. This is the covenant of our security! (Exodus 12:7, 13).
- The relationship with Christ is always a live issue. We must make a decision now, to make decisions into the direction of a relationship with Him, to be always here and now in understanding of this.
- Due to Passover we can endure the trials. “That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire – with the head, legs and internal organs.” (Exodus 12:8)
- The power of Passover is the power of the missionary. We’re on a mission, so we should always be ready to do what the Lord will command us to do. We are His disciples and warriors of Christ. “… with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.” (Exodus 12:11)
- Passover is the time of special humility and the worshiping God. Jesus is the sacrifice that pleases God, and through whom God sends His mercy to us and saves us.
- Through the communion we remember and celebrate the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- Passover is a victory over the curse, it is a success and a blessing, and life in the Holy Spirit. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” (Galatians 313-14)
- Jesus is our Passover! “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”” (John 11:25-26).
Dear brothers and sisters, let your life and ministry will constantly indicate the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Christ is risen! Happy Easter!
With love and respect,
Pastor of the Central Church
The Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations
Translated by Daria Unichenko
Edited by Perez Adelaja