Today’s message summary of April 1, 2018 from Pastor Gus Brown:
Whenever there is a loss, there is still opportunity for gain. As an example, those who lose their ability to see well may acquire a better sense of hearing.
The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ was an experience of loss at the time of His death and burial, and yet we, as His people, gain eternal life from His actions.
Sometimes we take things for granted, and we may lack appreciation for someone or something until it is gone. Many can tell you about something that has been lost in life, but few can tell you what they have gained because of the loss.
At the time of Jesus, there were women who had experienced the loss of Christ when He died on the cross. He saw them differently in life, for women were viewed as second-class citizens. These women were devoted to Christ, and were still trying to process what had happened.
The women went out to see after the One that they loved.
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared.
Returning from the tomb, they reported all these things to the Eleven and to all the rest. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them were telling the apostles these things.
Mary Magdalene was healed by Jesus of a number of demons, physical and emotional problems. She is one of the women who help support Jesus.
Joanna was the wife of Cuza, Herod Antipas’ superintendent of his properties. She also supported Jesus financially. She was there on his last trip to Jerusalem and went to the tomb.
Mary was the mother of James. She joined Jesus on the trip, as well.
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. They went in but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothes. So the women were terrified and bowed down to the ground.
“Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” asked the men. “He is not here, but he has risen! Remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, saying, ‘It is necessary that the Son of Man be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?” And they remembered his words.
Returning from the tomb, they reported all these things to the Eleven and to all the rest. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them were telling the apostles these things. But these words seemed like nonsense to them, and they did not believe the women.
These women were well known to the disciples. The men heard what they said but they were not believed right away as credible witnesses. These women were also in ministry with Jesus. They were also part of the experience. The women, the like the disciples, had lost someone very close to them. Jesus had brought to them a new life and a new meaning of womanhood. Jesus valued them as people. The women were out immediately the first day of the week after the sabbath had ended. They were on the way to the tomb (Luke 24:1). Where were the men?
When it was evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because they feared the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
The men had experienced loss, as well. They were locked in for fear of the Jews in spite of Jesus’ promises that He would have to go to Jerusalem to be crucified. Their loss was that they had shared everything with him, and now He was gone. His presence was very meaningful to them. The men were hiding because of fear. they also were there because they had lost the One who they had given three years of their life. The question was now what was to become of them. They were famous because of Jesus through the feeding of the five thousand, the healings, the teaching of the people, and the debates with the Pharisees. They were questioning everything that they had experienced.
Why are we to live for Jesus? It is because He died on the cross for you. Your life will change the moment you take this head knowledge and allow it to be in your heart.
Don’t remain behind locked doors dealing with issues in your past. Jesus wants to unlock those doors and give your life meaning with the freedom to live in Jesus Christ.
The disciples lost the One who gave them importance. He gave them the confidence to go and cast out demons and teach the people. They had lost their leader, teacher, the one they looked to for the reason to live.
Having said this, he showed them his hands and his side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you.”
Sometimes you have to experience a loss in order to receive a greater gain. You may think you have lost something, but God will give you in return something greater than you could ever possibly imagine.
All that Jesus calls for us to do is to love Him and to obey His word. There may be fear, but He gives you what you will need to overcome that fear.
1 Corinthians 15:1-2
Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel I preached to you, which you received, on which you have taken your stand 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
Hold firmly to the word preached to you. The disciples had to be guided as to the purpose and meaning of everything that they had experienced, and the importance as to Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:13-19
If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is in vain, and so is your faith. Moreover, we are found to be false witnesses about God that he raised up Christ–who he did not raise up, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Those, then, who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only. we should be pitied more than anyone.
They needed to see the alternative to where they would be without Christ:
1. If Christ was not raised…
2. What happened in the last three years was useless.
3. Our faith in Him was useless. He is not here.
4. Was He a false witness? He is the Son of God.
5. The dead is not raised (Lazarus was raised up by Jesus).
6. Faith is futile, devoid of force, truth, success and results. If it is futile, it is useless, of no purpose, empty.
7. We are to be pitied for being the fools that we are.
If the resurrection is not true and if Christ did not come out of the tomb, then those of us who teach about Christ are nothing but fools.
The testimony that we have, as we believe in Him, is that Jesus Christ has overcome death and evil and has given us the opportunity to have eternal life with Him.
We grieve more over that we have lost than we rejoice over what we have gained.
The blessing of the resurrection:
1. My Savior lives! He is Lord, Master and coming King.
2. Jesus Christ died for our sins (Romans 6:23).
3. Death has been conquered for me (1 Corinthians 15:54-56; Hebrews 2:14-18).
4. I live a life free of condemnation (Romans 8:1-4).
5. I know that I am a son or daughter of the living God (Romans 8:15-16; 2 Timothy 1:11-12).
6. I know that I have a home to go to (2 Corinthians 5:1; John 14:1-3).
7. I live life in the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8, 2:37-39).
Jesus is indeed alive! He can give you wisdom, knowledge and strength to live this life through His presence in the Holy Spirit.
He wants you to get to know Him for yourself.
A week later his disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though 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 look at my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Don’t be faithless, but believe.” Thomas responded to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
He is alive! He is not in a grave. He is in heaven ruling over His people.