Summary: If Jesus bequeathed His position and His glory to us through His will, what does Resurrection do that inheritance? What do we need to do to claim that inheritance and enjoy the full benefits of His will?
Easter Message: Claiming the Inheritance that Christ bequeathed upon us
Good morning and Happy Easter to all of us. Today we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. As all of know, this is the triumphal epilogue of the Good Friday Story.
In my Good Friday message we saw that what Jesus promised us through His will is John 17:24 (NKJV) Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. Now to make this happen, Jesus needs to reach the place where we think He is going to be right? He needs to be in a place where we would long to be isn’t it?
Since January of this year, starting with the New year message, I have been preaching here about the topic of suffering and the responses of us to the issue of suffering. We did study the example of Peter and his response to the declaration by Jesus about his own imminent suffering and death. This was from Matthew 16: 13-22, where Peter was all willing to accept the glory that came with the promise, but was not really ready for the suffering and death that came packaged with that promise. Jesus was promising him Great things like building the Church on him, and giving him the keys to heaven, and giving him authority to bind or let lose people for heaven while on earth. Peter could not fathom a dead person being able to do this. Peter wanted the promise to be fulfilled, but not the suffering and death part that was associated with the same.
How about us? If we had only Good Friday, if we had only the death and burial of Jesus Christ, if the story had ended there? Would we have been as excited about His will that he wrote in John 17? Would we have been excited about the inheritance described in John 17:24 (NKJV) Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. Would that inheritance meant anything to us, if all that Jesus did was to stay put in the tomb? Would we have been excited about the will then?
Let us face the facts? The answer is no.. None of us are looking forward to spending eternity inside a tomb, even if it is a “rich man’s “ tomb, isn’t it? We need a better place? We don’t expect our God to take us to such a place.
And He did not. He meant business when he said John 14:1-2 (NKJV) 1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. He sure was not talking about a place in a tomb. He was talking about a place in heaven. For that to happen He had to get out of that tomb and ascend to heaven, and that is the resurrection day that we are celebrating. For the will to take effect, the author of the will had to die, and for the inheritance to be complete, the author had to rise from the dead and sit at the right hand of God the Father. 1 Peter 1:3-4 (NKJV) 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,. You see , our inheritance is reserved for us in heaven, and to make that fully available to us, Jesus had to be raised and He had to ascend to heaven, so that we have hope that we can claim the inheritance that he promised us. That is the resurrection that we celebrate today. Verse 3 is key here. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of the hope of every Christian. It is through this resurrection that the Father has begotten us again. It is through this resurrection that we have been regenerated. It is through this resurrection that we are reborn. To claim the position that we inherited to sit at the right hand of God, we need to be raised with Christ Colossians 3:1 (NKJV) 1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.