Summary: The risen Christ appeared to the two Marys and gave them clear direction as to a new meaning and purpose for life. Jesus’ words to them give us new meaning and direction for our lives today as well.
Jesus had been gloriously raised from the dead. The two Marys had been to the tomb and found it empty! As they encountered the risen Christ, a new meaning and purpose for life was revealed. That meaning and purpose is for you and I today:
I. WE HAVE A REASON TO REJOICE! (28:9-10)
A. Jesus told the women to “rejoice!” Joy should result from knowing that Jesus lives!!!
B. There is a lack of joy in the lives of a great many people. Jesus wants to replace that lack of joy.
C. Christians sometimes need to slow down long enough to rejoice in the One whom they serve!
D. We have no reason to fear Jesus. His presence is a place of peace and comfort.
E. The women were called to serve that day. So are we!!!!!
II. WE HAVE AN ENEMY TO FACE (28:11-15).
A. In contrast to what Jesus told them to “go and tell,” the enemies of Jesus sought to discredit the resurrection.
B. Satan seeks to discredit Christ in every way possible:
1. Philosopy or teaching that is false
2. The coldness of God’s people toward the needs and hurts of others
3. Our behavior – willful sin
C. Even while Christ works in people, Satan works to destroy Christ’s work. We must be on guard and allow God’s Spirit to lead and guide us day by day.
III. WE HAVE A JOB TO DO (28:16-20).
A. Our service will always be under difficult circumstances. Jesus lived and ministered in difficult circumstances too!
B. Jesus is the authority by which we must serve – under His banner! He goes before us and it is He who will accomplish His purposes.
C. We are to “make disciples” – literally “learners”. This is evangelism in the fullest sense. Jesus’ command is in contrast to the other major religions of the world which do not encourage or emphasize the need to really understand the meaning of the holy book or to know God personally. Jesus does not command us to lead people to perform “rituals” of religion. He desires that people come to know for themselves the truth that will set them free in Jesus!
D. We are to “baptize” – the sign of obedience and commitment that should take place as soon as a person professes faith in Christ. Baptism does not save from sin. It is an outward acting out of what has taken place in the heart of the one who believes – that Jesus died, was buried, and has risen. The believer professes publicly that he/she has died to self and sin, and is a new creation in Christ.
E. We are to “teach” – that is to “educate” people in the faith. This does not take the place of faith but is the natural outcome of genuine faith – a hunger and desire to know more of Him who is the Truth and Savior of all. Notice the command to “teach them” comes after the command to “tell them” and “baptize them.” Baptism must be a public initiation of a life of following Christ rather than a sign of graduation from being taught about Jesus.
F. We do not work or serve alone. Jesus will be with us wherever we go and in whatever we do for Him. Do not fear!
Jesus is risen!!!! The resurrection is a call to action for every believer. Let us share His message of victory and hope with every person. Hear and do what the risen Christ commands us to do: “Tell them!”