He is risen! He is risen, indeed!
Likely you’ve heard the phrase, “What a difference a day makes!” But as we look at the events of this week, just over 2000 years ago, we can see what a difference can take place in only a week’s time.
As we focus on the 4-14 in the month of April, take time even on this Easter Sunday to bring your family together for some time in God’s Word. Follow Matthew’s recordings in the New Testament, chapters 21 through 27. Palm Sunday was just a week ago. It was on that day, so appropriately named, that crowds cheered as Jesus entered Jerusalem (21:1-11). They waved palm branches, and shouted “Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” But, the very next day leaders expressed their anger as Jesus threw vendors out of the temple (21:12-46). The day after that Jesus confronted hypocritical Jewish leaders (23-25). Then on the following day, Judas, one of Jesus’ disciples accepts a bribe to betray his Master (26:14-16). Ouch! And if that wasn’t enough, Peter, another of Jesus’ followers, denies He ever knew him (26:17-75). Jesus knew His days were quickly moving towards his death. He holds what is known as The Last Supper. Then it’s Friday … a good day on a bad day. How could people turn so cruel in just five days. Crowds were now yelling, “Crucify him!” (27). Jesus is led through the streets, being beaten and whipped, made to carry His own cross. Many watched on as He was raised to hang on a cross, nails piercing through His hands and a sword thrust through His side. Why? Because. Because of you. It was God’s plan to show true love and forgiveness available for all mankind, through the sacrifice of His Son.
Then, as we know, His body was buried in a tomb, and much to the shock of his friends who went to mourn there three days later, the stone was rolled away, and His body was nowhere to be found – or so they thought. Jesus had been resurrected from the dead. His body was no longer there. He has risen (28). And it is at the end of chapter 28 that a very clear instruction was given to Jesus’ followers that day, directly from their risen Lord. Jesus 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.” Jesus’ begins this passage with a declaration about the authority He has been given directly from God. He then goes on to tell us how we should live and conduct our days. We are to be disciplemakers. We are baptize those who come to faith in Christ. We are to teach others to obey everything that God has set in place for us to follow. And then the promise – He will be with us until this life as we know it comes to an end.
This is what we know as the “Great Commission”. Even our children can be part of seeing the Great Commission go forward. You don’t need to reach a certain age to be considered a disciple or follower of Jesus. You just need to acknowledge Him, believe in Him, and confess your sins to Him. He will forgive. He will make you His child. And He will use you to reach others for Him. Let’s spread the story of Easter not just today or throughout the month of April, but every day throughout the year. Research around children ages 4 to 14 tells us that they are most receptive to the gospel. But, with the uncertain and unprecedented days we are living in with the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus around the globe, people of all ages may be open to hearing about Jesus than they ever have. Who will you share Jesus with today? This week?
Click here to watch the Easter Story as a family. This is also a great video kids can share with their friends: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL8R158Ujp4