Easter and its After-Effect
It changed the world forever.
On the dawning of Easter’s first morn, the disappearance of the body of Jesus was a startling reality that frightened and confused His first disciples.
Can you imagine approaching the tomb, fully expecting to administer the formal burial preparations of Jewish custom, only to find Him missing and strange men (angels) telling you he is alive and to go tell others? What a shock to their expectations. And that is what God continues to do, today – “shock our natural expectations with His supernatural acts of grace and power.
Below are the headlines of that new day, as recorded by the original witnesses and their sources…
To the women who followed Him – Mary Magdalene, the “other” Mary and Salome:
“He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead…” – Matthew 28:6-7
“Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.” – Mark 16:6-8
“Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” And they remembered His words, and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.” – Luke 24:5-9
To Peter and John:
“For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. So the disciples went away again to their own homes.” – John 20:9-10
Well, they did just what they were told! That is they believed and they told others. And they went, with the expectation that they would see Him again, at the designated time and place!
Now, 2000 years later, the same sense of urgency remains, the same request – to believe, to go, to tell, to wait upon Him that we may see Him. Each Easter, I am reminded of the great love of God, the great sacrifice, the great miracle of “The Christ’s” resurrection – all of which leads us to the great miracle of rebirth, reconciliation and rejoicing; because of God’s love – Jesus’ saving grace.
Each year, then, my own sense of urgency, faith and commitment are renewed by His magnificent story. He uses it to re-energize my mind, renew my soul and redirect my priorities. Ahh, I feel born again, again!
So, once again, I decide to believe, to go, to tell, to wait upon Him till I get to see Him. But I must ask you, what do you think, how does the Easter story manifest as a reality in your life? And what should the “aftermath” action be for us as a mobile ministry?
Consider this final Easter day – then aftermath quote…
“Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him;… And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples…the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:7,17-20
The resurrection of Jesus ensured at least one thing – the Christian message was true; that man is a sinner and sin can only be atoned by guiltless sacrifice. That sacrifice was Jesus and His subsequent resurrection proved several things. For instance:
His unconditional love and…
That heaven was open to all who received Him; resurrection for believers was a reality!
All that was left to do was go tell the world, this great, gospel news and groom believers to follow Him. That is called discipleship. And that is not only the stated mission of Master’s Men (Our mission is to lead men to Christ, and disciple them toward maturity in Christ, so that they develop spiritually and become leaders in their sphere of influence”), it is our whole-hearted pursuit; operationally.
Now, as I move into my 40th year doing this – reaching men through an intentional effort that is founded on a spiritually focused relationship and sticking with a man for a long time, by sharing life with him, as a companion follower of Jesus – I’ve discovered that disciple making isn’t a program, it doesn’t need curriculum, or a building, or a seminary education. Those are adjunctive things; tools that are helpful but not essential. A relationship that walks alongside a man, through life, that is the essential thing. I repeat, tools are not what marks a discipleship lifestyle; friendships that pursue a relationship with the Living Jesus, is.
Here is what we know:
Crucifixion – “Jesus died for sins, once for all, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18)
Resurrection – “now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming” (1 Cor 15)
Discipleship – “Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead…When they (His disciples) saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” (Matthew 28)
Action item: Please join us in prayer, daily, as we set our lives and year before the Lord in prayer. Then continue with us as we move out into our communities to reach out to men,intentionally seeking to introduce them to Jesus and helping them grow in a relationship with Him, as we walk alongside them through life. That is our sole, simple, occupation this year. We ask God’s blessing for our success in making disciples. And we ask His blessing on you for joining us in this great occupation.
Master’s Men Founder – Jim Cote