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Easter Sunday: Responding To His Call

Praise Jesus, our risen Lord!

Sing: See What a Morning!

Read God’s Word

Matthew 28

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

The Guards’ Report
While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

The Great Commission
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Ask

The angel told the women about the resurrection. After the initial “show and tell”, there was palpable urgency. “Go and tell the disciples” was an instruction given immediately. The resurrection of Jesus is an event of unprecedented importance. Yet very little time was spent to marvel or gawk at it. This highlights the urgency of the gospel. The Lord is looking for humble gospel bearers.

The time for action has come! Right at the centre where fear and doubt mixed with joy and marvel, the Great Commission was given. The authority has been given for the making of disciples. The conditions will never be perfect. Let’s not wait any longer to continue on our journey of faithfulness.

As you read the following poem, reflect on the way you have been living the life Jesus bought with His blood.

Sobering thought for consideration:

Charles H. Spurgeon once declared, “Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that!”

On a more personal note, over the years serving the Lord, there have been great moments and seasons, there have also been many painful seasons. Resurrection Sunday arose from the ashes of intense pain. Let’s crucify the ghost of former pain, and allow the power of Resurrection to move in our souls to raise us from the ruins of fruitless toil. Let’s allow Him to reign where the pain is most intense. Let pain no longer be our god. Allow God to heal however He wants to heal. Trusting God means trusting His methods. Why chase away fruitful living because of the sins of others? Are we not adding to the damage when we do so? 

Friends, the clock continues to tick. Let’s surrender our lives to go where He wants us to go, to be where He wants us to be, to do what He wants us to do and to say what He wants us to say. Surrender fully to the Lord who surrendered His life fully for us. He is not looking for agreement. He is not looking for fractional commitment. He is looking for surrender; to obey everything that we have been commanded.

If we are pining for God’s presence in our lives, His Presence accompanies those who surrender their lives to fulfilling the Great Commission.  His Promise was and is, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Be strong, and take heart. A little while more and this world will give way to His eternal reign. Carry the Joy of His Presence everywhere the resurrected Christ bids us to go.

Sing: For The Cause

Sing: The Power of Your Name

Yield

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  (1 Peter 1:3-5)

Hallelujah! Christ is Risen! You conquered the grave!! Whom have I to fear? Salvation is mine when I put my trust in You. I rejoiced on Palm Sunday that You are the King. Yet, Lord, I also realised that I have often made You an image in my mind. What a gracious God You are that You would forgive me as I come to You. 

Lord, even as I prepare to worship You and pour my heart out before You, I am fully aware that my motives are not always the purest. Instead of pouring upon You my deepest adoration, I cry out for my own predicament. But…gently, lovingly, graciously, You open Your arms. Even when I was so consumed by my own pain, You looked with such tenderness as You did to Judah and let me go my way. Yet, all the while You wait for me to take my eyes off the things of this world and look full in Your wonderful face. What do I see Lord? What do I see? I see that there is no greater love than One Who laid down His life for such a sinful world. No greater love, Father! You are my God who demonstrates love in its purest form! You made a show of what this world laughs in mockery.

Jesus, You stooped down as a humble servant to demonstrate Your love, Your humility, Your example of what it means when we take up our cross to go Your way. You invite, You nudge, You call me to a deeper love, a greater life! You desire that I truly grasp how I, too, am not meant for this world, but for greater things with You. What have I to gain in this world in holding on to it…all my possessions, prizes, past glories or failures? Has it not hit me that all these too will pass away?…Will fade?…Will die? 

Why, Lord, do I cling to them as though they would comfort me when all they do is rob me of true joy? So like a pregnant pause on that night when You were in the tomb, let not my life be put on hold for fear of dying that I fail to truly live. Remind me, Lord, that nothing lasts. Nothing but…the Word of God and the lives saved for eternity! Let me be struck once again by what a great God I worship! How my humble, serving Savior, sweet Jesus bids me come and die that I might truly live. And as I live, I live by the resurrected power of Christ Jesus my Lord who ransomed me from the futile ways inherited from my forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. Glory Hallelujah!  Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed! Today I raise my hands in praise! Today I raise my hand to take Yours and follow You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength to make disciples of others as You call me to. Thank You Abba Father! Precious Jesus I follow You in the power of Your Holy Spirit in Your name I pray. Amen!

Sing: Here I Am, Wholly Available

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