Sunday – April 5, 2015
“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” Matthew 28
An interesting practice for us to do is to imagine the last days of Jesus Christ, the last supper, the agony at the gethsemane garden, the crucifixion and the resurrection.
Can you imagine what went on in the disciples’ minds. We remember Judas who betrayed him and Peter who denied him. There were also the others who at that moment left Jesus behind. We cannot blame then. Although they had witnessed the miracles and the teachings, they had not yet understood the sacrifice that was to come, the death and the resurrection either.
We are also usually distracted and we do not meditate upon the promises, the principles, the things that were underlining what Jesus was doing. They did not understand nor do us many times.
The disciples were told those things would happen, but their eyes were closed.
It also happens with us. We go through hard times, problems, losses, and it seems we do not see anything else, but our pain.
There are people who know Jesus was born, came to save us, died and resurrected. People know what Passover means. And yet they do not experiment it.
We can imagine the disciples, reflecting upon what Jesus had done and said. I doubt if they remembered what Jesus had said about his death and resurrection.
The women went to the tomb not to see the risen Christ, but to mourn. They did not remember what he had said.
So what I tell you tonight is that you should remember everything Jesus said.
Then as the women approach the tomb they find an empty grave. They do not come to see it empty, but they meet the angel who said to them: Do not be afraid.
They should not be afraid. Nor should they look for a dead Christ, as they were doing.
When we look for Jesus we do not seek a dead one.
What do they hear from the angel?
He said 4 things to them.
He is not here, he is risen.
You will not find Jesus in statues of him dead.
You will find Jesus alive.
Where have you been looking for Jesus?
Have you been going to the tombs?
Have you been mourning his death?
Do you enjoy crying for him? Oh how much he suffered for us.
You will not find Jesus there.
Do you believe Jesus is alive?
Do you trust he has risen form the dead?
When we look for Jesus with an open heart, there will always be someone to open your eyes, someone who will guide you to him.
We are the ones who are supposed to lead people into the presence and knowledge of Christ. We should be ready to explain Jesus to people.
Have you had an experience with the living Christ?
Those women saw the empty grave!
They would be able to testify about it.
To talk about the resurrection is to have an experience with the living Christ.
The angel invites them in to see that Jesus was not there. He wanted them to be eye witnesses of what had happened.
The invitation: “Come” is for us to experiment the resurrection of Jesus.
The angels also say to them: go quickly!
The grave is not a place for us to stay! It is just the place to testify that Christ is not there! The grave was empty!
Experiences in the our Christian lives pass. Do not stop! Do not linger on to old experiences! Enjoy new things! Do not throw the old ones away, but live the new moments.
The kingdom of God is dynamic. Every day God does new things.
Go quickly! The experience was great, but go.
However, it was not only to go, but to tell others!
Tell the disciples!
The message of resurrection can change them!
Society has to know that Jesus is alive!
The hopeless, the sick, the addicted, the salves – they all need to know! Jesus is alive.
I was not there, but I have the revelation that Jesus is alive.
When we see people suffering, tell them Jesus is alive!
Come, see, go and tell!
This is the message!
Jesu is alive!
The gospel is not a burden or suffering.
We celebration of the Lord’s Supper and the celebration of the Passover is all about rejoicing!
Today the message of the Gospel is the same.
That is how people are changed.
The women got changed!
They were sad, fearful when they arrived at the grave. They were “afraid yet filled with joy”. They left the place with a different mind.
Share your experience!
Lord Jesus we want to live all you have for us today.
Message preached in the New Life Church
Sunday evening – April 5, 2015
Niterói, Rio de Janeiro
May God richly bless you
Marcos Paiva, Pr. and MD