April, 2019 “…today and tomorrow I cast out demons and heal people, and on the third day, I reach my goal.” (Luke 13:32)
A few weeks ago, the above scripture was within the scripture which was the basis of my sermon One More Time. The sermon was about repentance and how Christ always works in us to make us fruitful. While studying, one commentary wrote that the “goal” mentioned above was the Cross.
So I thought about it. And the more I thought about it, the more excited I became! This is an Easter message! This is not about the Cross, but about the other side of the Cross. This is about the Resurrection! Using the words “on the third day” made that “goal” the Resurrection.
So I thought more about it. Why would someone think the goal of Jesus would be the Cross? I think it’s because we all Know the Gift of the Cross. We understand and have been saved and healed by its message: Forgiveness of Sins. While Jesus suffered on the Cross He took our sins, and traded them for His righteousness. When we receive His gift of the Cross, we are forgiven.
Jesus taught His disciples (at least three times) “that on the third day, [He would] rise again.” Perhaps we GET (in more ways than one) the gift of the Cross because it comforts us. Perhaps we Fear the gift of the Resurrection, because it’s Powerful! Risky! New! So we have never really received it.
The Gift of the Resurrection is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which makes us new creations in Christ. The Gift of the Resurrection is our being aware of, and able to use, Christ’s holiness within. It is the gift of healing power. It is the gift of fearlessness. It is the gift of living so fully in the Family/ Kingdom of God that even prison shackles wouldn’t keep us from telling of Christ’s love.
This is why, after the Resurrection, the disciples’ shadows could heal people; why Peter saw visions and walked in those visions to freedom; why Peter and John could stand up to the Sanhedrin who had sentenced Jesus to death and tell them the truth of their witness; why Philip trusted a Word, baptized an Ethiopian eunich, and then astral-projected a couple hundred miles away…(various stories from ACTS)
The Church was built on the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. The disciples were, and we are, forgiven when we say “Yes” to Christ. The next Gift is the gift of the Resurrection! That gift is Power – the power of the Holy Spirit which is the Love of Christ within us.
Of course this is all a first draft. I’m still pondering, praying and studying for the Easter Sermon.
Fear Not! Receive the Power of the Gift of the Resurrection! Peace be with you. He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! In you! In us! Thank You, Jesus!
See You Easter Sunday!