This weekend we come to thank the Lord for the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ, praying our hearts can grasp the significance and depth of the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This weekend Pastor Miles focused on the theme of numbers surrounding the Easter message. In the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we can pull a lesson for our lives today, and that is that God uses difficult times for deliberate reasons, and that is to teach us something. Different numbers hold different meanings in Scripture. The number five reflects grace, the number seven is for spiritual perfection, the number eight is for new beginnings, nine is for finality, and ten is symbolic for order/completion.
On this Easter Sunday we focus upon the number three which is for divine perfection.
On Good Friday Pastor Miles focused upon the number three and the crucifixion. There is a lengthy list he compiled to show the emphasis of three in the story of the crucifixion ranging from the thirty pieces of silver Judas was paid in the betrayal of Jesus to the three who were crucified including Jesus when He died on the cross.
The number three is also a theme in the story of the resurrection. Pastor Miles also pulled three points to focus upon from the resurrection, when Jesus rose from the dead on the third day.
Do Not Be Afraid
When Jesus rose from the dead, He encountered Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, and encouraged them not to be afraid by His appearance and the extraordinary event that had taken place, but to go and tell the other disciples.
As followers of Christ we are not called to a life of fear, but to go and tell. Sometimes life is scary, and the future is uncertain, but we have truth and certainty in Christ that we can and should share with others.
Matthew 28:9-10 states, And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me."
Cling to New Life
Sometimes it is easy to put God in a box and make Him what we want Him to be. John 20:17-18 states, Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"-and that he had said these things to her."
Jesus wanted Mary to understand that His resurrection was a new phase and a new ministry. We are not to cling to the old Jesus morphing Him into what we want. Let the Lord do what He really wants to do in your life!
We are all familiar with the term "doubting Thomas." When Thomas had heard of Jesus' resurrection he did not believe what he heard. He had to see Him, to be convinced of it.
John 20:24-27 states, Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe." Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although 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 see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe."
Though it is not always easy, we have to exercise faith even when we have not seen. Jesus' death is a divine sacrifice. It was the only way to pay for our sin. The penalty of sin is death. Nothing else is good enough to pay that penalty. Jesus fulfilled the debt for us, because of love, and overcame death! So today we celebrate His Resurrection with joy, humility, and gratitude!