Easter: To Know + Follow Jesus

Part 4: Jesus' Invitation

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God is inviting you into His Easter Story. He is drawing you to Himself and asking you to make Easter personal. God is not simply interested in religion, but He wants a personal relationship with you. Not your parents’ faith or your church’s faith, but your faith – a committed relationship with the God of all creation through His Son, Jesus. Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and the relationship you can now have with God for eternity as a part of His forever family. Easter allows you to come alive in Jesus’ unconditional, transformational, and eternal love. Receive God’s gift of salvation today and live in His love forever. God loves you!

The Stone was Rolled Away 

How do we know that Jesus conquered death? We read at the start of Mark chapter 16 that “Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, ‘Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?’” 

Stones like these, which sealed tombs so that no one could remove the bodies of the deceased, weighed upwards of one to two tons! Not only were they incredibly heavy, but they also were rolled into divots in the ground. It would be impossible for the three women to push the stone out of the way even if there weren’t guards keeping watch. 

Understandably, the women wondered how the stone would be moved. What the women wondered about the stone, we wonder about salvation. On our own, attaining eternal life is impossible; our sins are too heavy to roll away. For the secular world, death is inevitable. But with our God, everything changes. If the stone and our sins are almost-immovable objects, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is truly an unstoppable force

The Gospel account of Matthew tells us that an angel of the Lord rolled back the stone, frightening the guards and opening the entrance to the burial place. And, when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away Mark 16:4. Sometimes, in the face of impossibility, all we need to see the truth is to look again. You are invited to take another look at this person of Jesus this Easter!

The Meaning of Jesus’ Resurrection

As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said, “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.” Mark 16:5-6

Just as Jesus foretold, He rose from the grave! But what does this mean for us? Thanks to Jesus, we are no longer condemned for our sins if we have faith in Him as our Lord and Savior. John 3:16 reads, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. It was on Good Friday that God gave His son for us, and it was on Resurrection Sunday that Jesus proved that He had conquered death for our sake. 

Church, hear this: you are loved. Man rebelled against living in a world governed by God and ruined it; but then, God came to live and suffer among us in a world governed by man. And he overcame that world, for our sake, so that we could be redeemed. Our God made a way for you and I to experience His love and grace, and to experience an eternity with Him in heaven.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins 1 John 4:10. The love of God is better than the love of man. God’s love is unconditional, transformational, and eternal. Don’t miss this: eternal life is possible if you accept the love of Jesus Christ, acknowledging Him as your Lord and Savior. Death does not have to have the last say in your story. 

What’s Next?

Church, in Jesus Christ, we all have a purpose. The angel with the women at Jesus’ empty tomb said, Go, tell His disciples and Peter, “He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you” Mark 16:7. Jesus is alive, and as long as our God sustains us and keeps breath in our lungs, we have a life worth living. 

Notice that the angel makes clear that the women should tell Peter of Jesus’ Resurrection. Peter was downcast and ashamed, having denied Jesus three times, just as Jesus foretold. Have you denied Jesus in your own life? If so, Jesus is still waiting for you. Just like Peter, you can come to our Lord, who is concerned for you and loves you unconditionally.

God wants to use you to further His Kingdom and spread the love of Jesus to everyone. And regardless of how old you are as you come to faith, or what you’ve done in the past, you are uniquely equipped by God for a role in that vision. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do Ephesians 2:10. 

This Easter, we’re asking everyone a question: will you accept Jesus’ invitation to know and follow Him? We pray that you will say yes, and we hope you’ll join us as we journey through Jesus’ whole life in the Gospel of Mark this summer. 


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