Well, we have made it to the end of the series from Vicki on why we celebrate this Holy week. I really do hope that those of you who have read through the series have enjoyed it and most importantly learned something from it.
Was something moved in your heart?
Did you understand something in a different way?
They Jewish leaders and local Roman authority thought they had successfully silenced this early church movement they called The Way (named that because of Jesus saying He alone was the Way, the Truth and the Life). What they had no way of knowing is that God’s plan was not foiled but had been instead perfectly set in place. Persecution would scatter the church and the Gospel message of Jesus taking sin with Him upon that cross spread like wildfire throughout Israel and the surrounding nations. Victory to the Father; and Defeat to the Enemy!
But, what about Peter? What about that reconciliation he so desperately needed? In His absolute mercy and grace… Jesus brought that about too. In John’s 21st chapter we find the apostles doing what they knew before Jesus called them to follow Him. As they fished on the Sea of Galilee, they watched a man cooking fish on the seashore. The haul from the night was disappointing and they were preparing to row ashore. The man shouted for them to ‘cast the net on the other side of the boat’ for a better catch. Peter, discouraged and frustrated, did just that… and the net filled with fish! John—remembering this same thing happening before—told Peter that the man on the seashore ‘was the Lord!’
Instead of waiting for the boat to be rowed to shore, Peter dove over the side and swam to Jesus. No condemnation. No criticism. No humiliation. Restoration! Jesus challenged him three times (the same as the number of denials) to ‘tend His sheep and shepherd His flock’. Peter, the denier was restored not only personally to Jesus but restored to a position of authority in the early Christian church. That final act of kindness elevated Peter to be a passionate and outspoken evangelist and to actually give the first public sermon after Jesus had ascended into heaven—returning to His Father.
That is why we Celebrate this Week!
Because of the Empty Tomb…
• Sinners are Restored to their Creator
• Death is Crushed and Eternal Life is Ours
• Fear is Gone and We have Jesus’ Blood to Cover Us
• We are Free—Free to Serve as Jesus’ Hands and Feet
• The Story from Genesis to the Cross is Completed
SCRIPTURE: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3
Note: I realize that most of you who read these entries are fellow believers who already know part of or most of this story. If, however, anyone has read these and for the first time you realize that Easter isn’t about eggs, jelly beans, chocolate bunnies or baskets… please message or email me. I want to talk to you more about the implications of the Resurrection and what Jesus did for you! God’s richest blessings on each of you as His Word has come alive in your heart.