Summary: Jesus came to save sinners and provide other blessings. He accomplished his mission, declaring "It is finished". This sermon focuses on the blessings Jesus provided (and still provides) after his glorious resurrection
POST-RESURRECTION BLESSINGS FROM JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ can be aptly described as an embodiment of unrivaled blessings. Every facet of his life (pre incarnate, incarnate, when under arrest, in trial, on the cross, in the grave, in resurrection, in ascension and in heaven, etc) was full of varieties of blessings that are beyond cataloguing and description. This is not too surprising because the Bible says he was anointed by God with the Holy Ghost and with power and "he went about doing good - - " (Acts 10:38). Furthermore, Apostle John reports that "- - there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, - - even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written- -" (John 21:25). Obviously, blessing people must have been a big part of what John referred to as "many other things Jesus did".
Christians all over the world have just celebrated this year's Easter Sunday (April 1, 2018) marking another anniversary of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. While this anniversary event is still fresh in our minds let us look at some of the post resurrection blessings Jesus bestowed on his followers. A thorough understanding of these blessings can be useful and instructive to any one desiring similar blessings from Jesus Christ. He is still in the business of blessing people for the Bible says, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever". (Heb 13:8)
The blessings that will be discussed in this message were among those released by Jesus during his appearances to various groups of his disciples and followers during his 40 days of sojourn between his resurrection and ascension to heaven. Notable among these appearances are (1) to Mary Magdalene ( Jn.20:11-17), (2) to Other women (Matt 28: 9-10), (3) to Peter (1 Cor. 15:5, Luke 24:34), (4) to Seven disciples (Jn. 21: 1-23), (5) to The eleven disciples (Mk. 16:14, Jn. 20: 26-29, (6) to More than 500 brethren (1 Cor. 15:6).
All the people to whom Jesus appeared received some form of blessings or the other from Him. Nobody has an encounter with Jesus and go empty! The numerous post resurrection blessings transferred by Jesus Christ to his disciples and followers can be classified generally as follows:
1. The blessing of His Presence
II The blessing of Peace
III. The blessing of Provisions
IV The blessing Power
I. The blessing of His Presence (Jn 21:1-14; Ps 16:11)
The presence of Jesus Christ means a lot to His followers. His presence is a reflection of one of his names, Emmanuel (meaning God with us, Matt 1:23) as well as a demonstration of his omnipresence nature (Psalm 139: 7-10). On one occasion before he died, Jesus emphasized the value of His presence in the lives of his disciples by telling them " --Without me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Although all his disciples ran away and deserted him during his trial and crucifixion, Jesus' affinity for them did not wane after his resurrection. It is not surprising therefore that after Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and some other women he sent them to his disciples saying, "---go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me" (Matt 28:10). Jesus cherished fellowshipping with those that he loves.
Cleopas and another unnamed traveler were two of Jesus' followers that were blessed with his presence (Lk. 24: 13-32). The duo were travelling from Jerusalem to Emmaus,sadly discussing what has happened to Jesus. Suddenly, Jesus Christ joined them and without disclosing to them who he was he asked them what their conversation was all about. Cleopas responded: "--Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?" (v. 18). When Jesus asked them "What things?", they told him the news that was going on regarding his arrest, crucifixion and resurrection still not knowing who he was. Jesus then rebuked them about their unbelief saying, "--, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory" (vv25-26). Jesus then gave them a refresher course about himself and the prophets beginning with Moses.
When they arrived at Emmaus, it was getting late and Cleopas and his partner persuaded Jesus to spend the night at their place of residence and to dine with them. Jesus agreed and "- - as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures" (Luke 24: 30-32).