Easter Message - 2018
Pastor Stephen Hayes
Main Idea – Jesus came into the world for every human, to restore a relationship with God that had been lost. Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection made that restoration possible, and are the central events of human history. Each one of us is so special to God that complete reconciliation with Him is available to every person through Jesus.
- Jesus came for the purpose to redeem a relationship with God that had been lost between Him and humanity. John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
- When one finds something of value, one restores it. One doesn’t restore something that doesn’t have value.
- Every individual who has ever lived is valuable to God.
The value of Easter week
- Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are the central events of human history.
- Fully 1/3 of the content in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) describe the events of that week.
- All of us have stumbled and sinned. Sin is simply the condition caused from having separated ourselves from God by things we have done.
- God will not stay in a place where wrong activities are welcomed.
- Jesus is the person who can re-connect us with God the Father.
- Bringing Jesus into the world was the Father’s demonstration of His own righteousness.
- In Jesus, God fully experienced the human condition.
- He did this so that our reconciliation with Him would be just.
- Romans 3: 21-26 – But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Jesus’ human family had issues
- Jesus’ ancestry is filled with individuals who were flawed and sin-filled.
- Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, was a compulsive liar and stealer (read the story of Jacob – Genesis 25-49.)
- Judah, the father of the tribe of which Jesus was born, was involved in an illicit relationship (read the story of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38.)
- Jesus was a descendant of King David. David’s great, great grandmother was a prostitute (read about Rahab in Joshua 2 & 6:22-25.)
- King David was an adulterer, murderer, and a poor father (read about David in 1 Samuel 17 thru 1 Kings 2:10.)
Jesus’ words from the cross
- Luke 23: 34 – Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Jesus was fully in control of everything during the crucifixion. His purpose was to pay the price for our sins.
- Luke 23: 43 – And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” It is never too late to receive forgiveness through Jesus.
- John 19: 26-27 – When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by; He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. Each of us should belong to the new family Jesus created in the Church.
- Matthew 27:46 – And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Jesus came to earth to gather everyone who has ever felt alone.
- John 19: 28 – After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Jesus understands you because He too was fully human.
- Luke 23: 46 – And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Jesus released His Spirit into all the earth, not only for those of that time, but also for our time. We receive this Spirit for ourselves by faith.
- John 19: 30 – So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. Jesus accomplished the full payment for our sins. This full payment is applied when we open our hearts to receive Him.
The timelessness of God
- God regards the events of Jesus’ life as if they are happening right now. Revelation 1:8 – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
- To demonstrate God’s timelessness, the events of the crucifixion were described in detail by a prophet hundreds of years before Jesus was born. Isaiah 53: 1-5 – Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
- Healing and salvation are always available, even right now!
Reflective Questions for the Easter Message - 2018
- Pastor Stephen said that people only restore things that have value to them. If God restored the relationship between Himself and humankind, what does that tell you about how He regards you?
- Does He see you for what you look like now, or for what you will look like to Him after receiving Jesus?
- Knowing that Jesus’ earthly family had serious flaws, how does that make you feel about your own family and heritage?
- Take a look at the seven statements Jesus made from the cross. Identify one or two that have particular meaning to you today.
- God is timeless. Forgiveness and restoration are always available to anyone. If you would like to accept full payment for your sins through Jesus – or would like to rededicate your faith – ask a Christian friend to pray with you for this restoration.