Summary: Thanks to the power of the resurrection, we do not have to be overwhelmed by the pressures around us.
Pressures Need Not Defeat Us
Is pressure something good or something bad. Too little pressure and you can be stuck on the freeway going nowhere because of four flat tires. Too much pressure and you can go flying off the freeway out of control from an exploding tire. Whether pressure is good or bad all depends on how, where, when, and why the pressure is released.
There were pressures of all kinds hanging around after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Mary was dealing with the pressures of grief over the death of her son. There were the pressures of confusion and unemployment for Matthew the former tax collector who had left his job years ago to become one of Jesus’ disciples, and now Jesus is gone and Matt does not have a job.
There were the pressures of where do we go from here, for we believed God was going to make a way and God did not come through as we expected.
Pressures of life. We all have them don’t we. Doesn’t it hurt when somebody close to us is slipping away and we can’t do anything. Doesn’t the pain run deep when a loved one dies. Isn’t it hard when you think your job is secure only to have it snatched away from you through no fault of your own. There’s an aching pain left inside when you don’t get the position you believed should have come to you. The pressures of life can wear us down.
The bad thing about pressures is that instead of leading us to God, they often lead us to worrying. How many of us have worried about things that got us down, but now on the other side, we think that was just a waste of my time. But come the next pressure, we’re back to worrying again.
The last week of Jesus’ life on earth was the most pressure filled of all. On Sunday, he was riding high as king on a donkey with people shouting, "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord." By Thursday he was hanging high as a criminal on a cross with the people shouting "If he is the Son of God, then let him come down from the cross so that we will believe in him."
Between Monday and Wednesday, Jesus had to love Judas, knowing that Judas was being two-faced and would betray him to be killed. That final night in the garden, he had the pressure of deciding "do I simply go back to heaven from where I came, I do I go on to the cross and into hell itself."
He suffered the pressure of God turning away from him because of all the sin we have and shall commit was piled upon him, as he cried out "My God, My God why have you forsaken me." He yielded His spirit into the hands of God as he cried out saying," Father, into your hands I commit my spirit It is finished."
When Jesus died on the cross, Satan thought the pressure on him would be gone. He thought the pressures on Jesus had ended Jesus’ mission in failure. Now Satan would rule this world without the fear of being cast out. The demonic spirits were probably giving each other high fives. When Jesus said "It is finished," they must of mistakenly thought he had said "I am finished."
Death notified Satan, " we’ve got Jesus down here in hell, but for some reason there’s some pressure down here building up that we haven’t felt before." Satan said, "keep me informed." Death notified Satan again, " Well Jesus is suffering in hell like none other because God has placed on him the sins of the world, and by the way the pressure I told you about since his arrival keeps on building."
Close to the third day Death notified Satan again, "Jesus has endured all the pain hell can offer and he’s going to the angelic spirits who were placed here before Noah time’s. He’s preaching a message to them about a victory he has conquered over you , over hell, and over me. I think you better get down here, Jesus looks like he’s intending on leaving. There’s not much I can do to stop him. The Pressure is too great. Oh my goodness, it’s too late, he’s leaving hell, and he’s leaving death behind and he’s headed back into his body."
Satan said don’t worry I got his body sealed into a tomb with cement and rocks. He’ll suffocate in there. No one can live under that pressure. I’ve got a group of Roman soldiers on the outside ready to kill him again if necessary. So what if he rises from the dead, the pressures killed him once, we’ll get him again if need be."