Good evening. My name is Georgi; it means the man who brings victory. I come from Bulgaria and I am a professional tennis player. Before I met Jesus I used to break my expensive tennis rackets out of anger. However since I met the Risen Christ I don’t break my rackets any more. The Risen Christ changed me from an angry tennis player to an international bible messenger. Praise Jesus!
JESUS HAS RISEN
Key verses 28:6
“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”
“Hristos voskrese.” This is the traditional Easter greeting in Bulgaria; it means “Christ has risen.” And the answer is “Voistina voskrese.” which means, “Truly he has risen.” So Bulgaria is full of witnesses of the Risen Christ at Easter time. When I was a boy, I hated Easter, but loved Christmas. I loved Christmas because my birthday is on December 24th and I received double the amount of presents. I hated Easter because I had to say these traditional Easter greetings which neither I nor others actually believed in. But now things have changed and I love Easter more than Christmas because Jesus has truly risen. He saved me and gave me a clear life direction. Tonight we will hear the message of the Risen Christ and learn the meaning of the resurrection. The Risen Christ gave a Great commission to his disciples. Let’s learn what this commission means to us.
I. He has risen (1-6)
Look at verse 1. It was early Sunday morning, at dawn. It was still dark. Two women came to Jesus’ tomb. They were Mary Magdalene and the other Mary who was the mother of James. Mark’s gospel says that they went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus with perfumes (Mk 16:1). But this was very dangerous, especially for women. Jesus’ tomb was outside of Jerusalem. They had to pass the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb and remove the heavy stone which weighed over a ton. They could do so because they loved Jesus with all their hearts; however, their hearts were full of sorrow and despair because of Jesus’ death. Jesus was everything to them, but now he was dead. They had no hope for the future. They were under the power of death. Death is the biggest problem of all human beings. Death takes away everything, all the glory and the power, beauty, wealth and so on and so forth. Nobody can avoid death. Recently people all around the world were in grief because of the unexpected death of Michel Jackson, the king of pop. That is why everyone fears death and falls into despair and fatalism.
Look at verse 2. Suddenly, there was a violent earthquake in Jesus’ tomb. An angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled back the stone and sat on it victoriously. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow (3). The angel’s appearance is very important because it symbolizes the glory and power of Jesus’ resurrection, defeating darkness and death. The angel was so bright that even the strong Roman soldiers were afraid of him and they shook and became like dead men (4). In this way, all the hindrances were completely removed for these two women.
Look at verses 5 and 6, “The angel said to the women, ‘Don’t 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.” Jesus was raised from the dead and defeated the power of death. This is the good news which gives us real hope for our lives. Jesus solved our death problem through his resurrection and there is no need to fear death anymore. Look at verse 6a again. “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” Here “just as he said” means that the resurrection of Jesus is not an accident but a fulfillment of his promise. The resurrection of Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s salvation plan for all mankind.
After the angel declared ‘Jesus has risen’, he invited the two women to see the evidence themselves, “Come and see the place where he lay.” In any court in the world, the judge requests clear evidence to be able to give the final verdict. That is why the angel said to the women to come and see the empty tomb. Jesus’ tomb was empty. That is the first proof of Jesus’ resurrection. More evidence is the witnesses of the Risen Christ. These two women became the first witnesses. The Risen Christ also appeared to the disciples. In 1 Corinthians 15, Apostle Paul says that the Risen Christ appeared to more than 500 people at the same time. Paul himself met the Risen Christ on the way to Damascus. But the strongest evidence is the changed lives of the witnesses. They were completely changed – from weeping Mary to happy Mary, from fearful disciples to brave apostles, from hopeless fishermen to shepherds of the people, from doubting Thomas to a man of conviction, and from Saul, the persecutor, to Paul, the apostle for the gentiles. They were all changed by the Risen Christ and lived joyful and victorious lives. Praise Jesus.
II. Go and tell (7-15)
Look at verse 7. “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.” Right after the message of the Risen Christ, the angel gave the women a mission to go quickly and tell the disciples. In verse 10, Jesus also repeated this command to the women, “Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me”. Why was this so important?
There is a famous story that can help us understand the importance of telling the good news of the Risen Christ. You probably know the story of the longest Olympic athletic race – the marathon. It is named after the Greek town of Marathon where one of the biggest battles between Persia and Greece took place. When the Greek army won the great victory over the more numerous enemy, they immediately sent a messenger to Athens to deliver the good news. The messenger ran so fast that when he reached Athens he could only whisper “victory” and collapsed dead. Here we can see how important someone to bring the good news of great victory is. The good news of the Risen Christ is much more important than any other news. The Bible says “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news” (Ro 10:15). Therefore we should be more willing to go and tell the message of the resurrection with more determination than the marathon runner.
What happened then? Verse 8 reads, “So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.” Wow! What a change in these women’s hearts! They had been so depressed. Their hearts had been totally hopeless and in great despair. But now the news of the Risen Jesus filled them with great joy. What is more, they were changed into women of mission. They used to be just two women who couldn’t make any difference. But they received the power to influence the whole world, starting with the disciples. Through the resurrection faith of these few believers, the great Roman Empire was converted to Christianity and the whole world was blessed. The message of the Risen Christ for the last 40 years has also changed several desperate students in Europe, like me. And God will surely use these changed students to revive Europe as a missionary sending continent.
Verses 11-15 tell us how the religious leaders plotted to cover up Jesus’ resurrection. They bribed the Roman soldiers with a large sum of money into lying that the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus during the night. The religious leaders tried their best to hide the truth of the resurrection. But they could not stop the truth. It was impossible to suppress the news of the Risen Christ.
III. Go and make disciples (16-20)
These verses are called the Great Commission. The eleven disciples followed Jesus’ command to go to Galilee. There they met him face to face. When they saw him, they worshipped him. The word “worship” is used only when the object of worship is God. This means that the disciples have recognized and honored Jesus as God Himself. Only Jesus is worthy to be worshipped because he conquered the power of death. The phrase that some of the disciples doubted show that resurrection is not something natural for everyone to believe in. But still, despite their doubt, they became witnesses of the resurrection and Jesus gave them the Great Commission.
Look at verse 18. “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” Before Jesus gave them the Great Commission, he declared his authority. Jesus has the authority to judge, to forgive sins, to drive out evil spirits, and to give eternal life.
Let’s read together verse 19. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” First, we have to go. Without going, nothing happens. This is the first step of obeying Jesus’ Great Commission. Nowadays, through internet, we can go anywhere in the world without leaving our room. Actually this is not what Jesus meant. Going requires a great sacrifice. But when we go, people can hear the good news and meet the Risen Jesus more personally. Jesus showed a good example by coming to us from heaven. If Jesus had not come into this world, there would be no salvation. Therefore we must go. After we go, what should we do? Go sightseeing, conduct business, or play football? No. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples.” Here we see that Jesus’ Great Commission is different from verse 7. Now the command is not only to tell the good news, but to make disciples. To make a disciple means to help a person to believe in Jesus Christ and grow in the knowledge of him. It means to help him to bear fruit. So the ultimate goal is to help the disciples be disciple-makers.
But how can we achieve that? Verse 19b says that we should baptize. Baptism is a public ceremony declaring one’s commitment to live for Jesus. So we should help others to know Jesus and to make a decision to commit themselves to him. In verse 20a, we see that we should also teach others to obey everything that Jesus has commanded. Christian life is a life of obedience. Finally Jesus gave a promise to his disciples. It is the promise to send the Holy Spirit. Jesus has not left his disciples alone. He is with them forever through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will give them the power and wisdom to carry out the Great Commission.
Before I met Jesus, I was fatalistic about my life. I hopeless and not only broke my rackets out of anger but also drank alcohol and smoked. I eventually dropped out of the university enjoying the pleasures of the flesh with my girl friend. But in 2005, Jesus met me through one to one Bible study. At the European Summer Bible Conference that year, Jesus spoke to me through his word “It is finished.” He paid the full price of my sins. The Risen Christ gave me a new hope and purpose for my life. The Risen Christ gave me power to leave behind my sinful life and to graduate. The Risen Christ gave me a clear direction and life-mission to become a shepherd and a Bible teacher for Bulgarian students. Furthermore, the Risen Christ gave me vision to obey his Great Commission and become a missionary to Arabic nations. Praise Jesus. May God change many students in Europe through the resurrection of Jesus and his Great Commission. Amen.
|25||2010 SBC Closing Message (Philippians 3:1-11) by M. Joseph Sohn ||Joseph||2010.08.25||23267|
|24||THE OUTLINE OF THE WHOLE SCRIPTURES by Nehemiah Kim (Gwangju I,IV) - 05/10/10 ||admin||2010.05.16||23534|
|23||2010 New Year Conference 2nd Day Message (Acts 2:42-47) by M. Joseph Sohn ||Joseph||2010.01.02||23273|
|22||2009 ESBC Closing Message by M. Dr. John Jun: Make Disciples of All Nations ||admin||2009.08.31||24752|
|21||2009 ESBC Main Message VI by Shep. Bruno Aussant: The Word of the Lord Grew in Power ||admin||2009.08.31||24875|
|»||2009 ESBC Main Message V by Shep. Georgi Kumanichliev: The Risen Christ Gives Great Commission ||admin||2009.08.31||19608|
|19||2009 ESBC Main Message IV by Shep. Joachim Dietzel: Jesus Said, It is Finished||admin||2009.08.31||12928|
|18||2009 ESBC Main Message III by Shep. Titus Keller: But Seek His Kingdom ||admin||2009.08.31||12994|
|17||2009 ESBC Main Message II by Shep. Abraham Kaier: Your Sins are Forgiven ||admin||2009.08.31||15100|
|16||2009 ESBC Main Message I by Shep. Eberhard Groß: Jesus, the Spring of Living Water||admin||2009.08.31||13273|
|15||2009 ESBC Opening Message by Shep. Dr. Samuel H Lee: The Hope of God ||admin||2009.08.31||12424|
|14||2009 SBC 1st Day Message(Exodus 19:1-6) by M.Matthew Kim ||kimmatthew||2009.08.03||14340|
|13||2009 SBC 3rd Day Message(Acts 19:1-22) by sh. Jason Perry ||livebyfaith||2009.08.02||12896|
|12||2009 SBC 2nd Day Message(Mt 28:) by 2nd Gen M. John Park Jr. ||livebyfaith||2009.08.02||13070|
|11||2009 SBC 2nd Day Message(John 19:16b-42) by M.Barnabas Moon||livebyfaith||2009.08.02||12753|
|10||2009 SBC 2nd Day morning devotion Message(John 4:1-14) by Dr. Jun Hee Lee||livebyfaith||2009.08.02||13025|
|9||2009 SBC 1st Day Message(Mark 2:1-17) by M.Martin Ahn||livebyfaith||2009.08.02||14421|
|8||2009 EBC 3rd Day Message(John 21:1-25) by Dozie Uzoma ||admin||2009.06.30||12596|
|7||2009 EBC 2nd Day Message(Ezekiel 37:1-14) by Abraham Moses Kim||admin||2009.06.30||13422|
|6||2009 EBC 2nd Day Message1(John 11:1-44) by M.Moses Kim||admin||2009.06.30||12622|